Thursday, October 18, 2012

Career Services: A Gem in the Mysterious Building Called Klein

If you are a prospective student, you are probably thinking, "I have a few years before I have to worry about having a resume and job hunting in the 'real world.'"

If you are the parent of a prospective student, I'm sure you're wondering, "Even if we pay the tuition, will my child be able to get a job after graduation?"

For the prospective students, here is my word of advice: create a resume early on. You will need one if you plan to get a job in Burlington or participate in internships . Then, you will have a standard set-up to add experience to during your 4 years.

For the parents, don't worry. St. Mike's not only does a great job teaching us about a breadth of topics and preparing us for the many facets of life, but has an amazing alumni network and career services department to help you with your post-graduation life.

Today, I had my first appointment with Chris Clary from the Office of Career Development. The website advises that you start as a freshman if you are really dedicated. They actually have a 4-year plan. However, don't feel like you absolutely need to do that. I clearly didn't.

I really went in because my friends, Maria and Dachelle, said it was incredibly helpful. They also said that Chris Clary had a way of making you feel awesome about yourself and she totally does.  I have had a resume since my freshman year of high school, which I created with help from my parents and personal research. Chris gave me interesting ways to phrase my work experience and new topics to address in my cover letter. For example, my resume shows that I have professional experience in higher ed admissions, higher ed marketing, financial services industry, and public relations. What I saw was work experience. What she saw was my ability to be a chameleon, blending into new industries and work environments and quickly getting a handle on the different audiences of each group.

Didn't I tell you she makes you feel awesome?

She also gave me some new ideas for dividing up my resume. Instead of simply having "Experience" as a title, I am going to section my resume in a more focused manner. Possibilities include: Writing/Editing, Social Media, and Public Relations. By dividing up the different focuses of my positions, I give them a more easily readable outline.

Clary also advised that I add "skills" and "activities" section in addition to my education/GPA (if above a 3.0). The beautiful thing is that I have a LinkedIn profile that features much of the necessary information. My biggest undertaking will most likely be my cover letters and phrasing in terms of explaining my experiences.

Lucky for me, Clary recommended I don't apply until early in the second semester, so I have some time to get organized. When I get my resume together, I am going to send it back to Clary for review. On my way out, Clary handed me the "Career Advisory Network" sheet. In a nutshell, the worksheet allows students to mark the fields they are interested in working, what industries they like, and where they want to look for jobs. Career Development then compiles a list of alumni that we, the students, can network with based on our sheet. I just filled mine out and I'm excited to see what alumni work in my fields of interest!

I'm sure I'll be back to Career Development again in the near future when I'm deciding what positions to apply to!

Questions? Ask anonymously here: www.formspring.me/gabbismc

xoxo
Gabbi

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