One of the toughest parts of college- besides the classes, money problems, lack of sleep, caffeine dependencies, excessively long papers, panic attacks, breakdowns, and drama- is finding A JOB! Luckily at Kentucky Wesleyan, we have amazing resources which can help us through this intense process. Wesleyan’s Director of Career Development, Deb Jones, is one of those resources. As a part of the Student Success Center on campus, her job is no easy task. From incoming Freshmen who may not have worked a day in their lives, to Seniors walking the line straight into the real world, the levels of experience are wide in range. Ms. Jones says she cannot stress the importance of relevant experience, whether that be internships, summer jobs, campus involvement, etc. The key is to think in terms of where you can do what you want to do. No matter your major, it is possible that many different career fields offer the opportunities you are looking for. For instance, although I may be a Communications major, I do not strictly look for work within the media. There are different outlets in which you can apply your talents, so do not limit yourself to one field of interest.
To put it in perspective, job searching is like taking a class. You must regularly check in, do the work, and always be prepared. One thing some students do not understand is your resume is not what gets you the job, it only plays a role in whether you are to be selected for consideration. Highlight your skills in the resume because they are important- if you do not think about your skills, you will not be able to identify them to an employer when asked. Most importantly, treat everyone as if they have the power to hire you. No matter if they are the intern, the secretary, or the boss, always show respect and let everyone within that company or business see the best side of you. As they say, put your best foot forward.
Another essential tool to use when job searching is networking. By doing this, you can get your foot in the door anywhere. Ms. Jones mentions that alumni are great for this. These professionals tend to be eager to help-out students who reach out to them. With so many successful alumni, it only makes sense to take advantage of these opportunities to make connections with people who have been where you are and can point you in the right direction.
As far as where you may want to work, do not be afraid to travel! Many students find internships and jobs out-of-state and are able to gain great experience in places they may not have ever thought of exploring. Being open and flexible to new locations is one way to better market yourself to potential employers.
Most importantly, the greatest resource we have as Wesleyan students is our Career Center. Ms. Jones is very excited to be on campus and is eager to share her experience and knowledge with students. She mentions that the better she gets to know students, the better she can help each individual throughout their job search. There are also events hosted on campus to help you prepare for your career path. For example, mock interviews are held twice a year, because you need to understand what answers the employer is looking for in their questions. There is also a Career Fair coming up March 20th. This is a good way to connect and interact with employers. Tips for how to prepare for this event will be sent to student’s emails.
It is very important that college students take advantage of any opportunity to gain relevant experience before they graduate and have to enter into the race to a career.