Most of us imagine what our careers will look like after we graduate—some in more detail than others. Some students have every last detail of their future jobs planned out. Others have a vague idea of what they want to do with their lives, but they never really took the time to legitimately determine what exactly they wanted to do and/or how to go about it.
I fall into that last category. Luckily for me, William Woods University has been there to help me determine what my career aptitudes are and how to go about preparing to search for a job. This last week, WWU hosted a series of LEAD events called “Career-A-Palooza” designed to help students learn the tricks of the job market trade.
Amy Dittmer is the director of career services and student transition at WWU. Basically, that means that her job is to help students like you and I find jobs! She hosted each of the events this week, focusing on current relevant topics such as how to build a resume and write a cover letter, how to specifically tailor your resume and cover letter to the job you are applying for, and how to use LinkedIn to your networking advantage.
Almost every college and university has someone like Amy who is supposed to help the soon-to-be graduates find work, but William Woods University is the only school to provide events on this important topic that students can receive financial scholarships from attending. That’s the incredible thing about WWU; everyone here really goes above and beyond to help us, the students, succeed. It is truly amazing to get to be part of such an incredible support system!
College is about expanding your mind and preparing yourself for the “real world” you must survive in after graduation. You attend your classes, join your organizations, and take on your various leadership roles, but are you really going to be prepared to jump into any work situation as soon as you graduate?
A year ago, I felt overwhelmed by the concept of graduating in two years. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and even less of an idea how to find out. At a loss, I went to see Aimee Sapp, one of the top teachers in my major (communications). She strongly encouraged that I take an internship.
“But how do I know what internship to take?” I asked. “I don’t even know how to choose that!”
“It honestly doesn’t really matter which one you take,” she responded. “The important thing is that you get some job experience. If it ends up being in a job you really enjoy, then that’s great—you’ve gotten an idea for what you might want to do with your career! If it ends up being something you don’t like, that’s good too; at least it gives you the opportunity to scratch something off your list of possibilities and learn a little more about yourself in the process.”
Now, a year later and halfway through my two internships I decided to take, I realize just how much truth Aimee’s statements held. I will write more later in the semester about what exactly I am doing for my internships, but for now, I just want to say that I absolutely love the experience and I am so glad I decided to make taking an internship a priority. So much so, in fact, that I think every student should take at least one internship during their college career, for a couple reasons. First, you learn SO MUCH. The things you learn in the classroom are certainly important, but they can’t compare to the knowledge you gain first-hand in an internship. My mind feels like it’s about to explode with all the new information it’s taking in! Second, doing an internship gives you real-life, job-applicable experience. Internships essentially allow you to “test drive” a job before actually taking one—an unbelievably valuable opportunity. Plus, it gives you the chance to develop and hone new skills that you will be able to use when you take your first real job after graduation.
The types of jobs new graduates can choose are literally endless. Thus, each job a new graduate takes is unique to that individual. Given this wide range of possibilities, it is my opinion that nothing can completely prepare you for the first job you will take. However, I am now a firm believer in the power of internships to greatly enhance your preparations! Doing an internship during your junior or senior year will undoubtedly ease your transition from college into the real world and make you more successful in the job you choose—and you’ll have fun along the way!
Hi, hello and happy (belated) New Year! I hope you all had fun ringing in 2013 and are going strong on your New Year’s resolutions!
I decided this year that I wasn’t going to make a “resolution.” Rather, my goal is to be intentional for the duration of the year to be smart with my money. You see, I kind of have a problem. No, it’s not with spending money. (That’s the easy part!) I just can’t seem to keep money in my bank account long enough for me to bat an eye!
BUT, that’s why I’m SO lucky that I have lots of campus jobs here at The Woods. This university offers students so many opportunities to make some extra money without having to search for employment in the Fulton community.
I am lucky enough to currently have four campus jobs: work study in the Office of Student Life, Phonathon, Telecounseling and working for the Office of Admissions as a University Ambassador. All together, these jobs equal out to be around eleven hours per week. (Not bad, huh?)
Every student on campus is eligible for a certain number of work study hours according to their FAFSA (that nasty little government form that everyone has to fill out annually). There are LOTS of work study opportunities on campus. You can work anywhere from athletics to the barn to local elementary schools to the mail room.
When I first signed up for work study, I decided to work for Debbie Schick in the Office of Student Life. Debbie is the campus “momma,” someone everyone goes to for help and advice about EVERYTHING. She is also in charge of the LEAD program. If students need replacement ID cards or have questions about their points, they can ask Debbie.
When I go to work, I usually cover Debbie’s lunch hour. I file papers, answer the phone, print new IDs, etc. The fun thing about working in the Office of Student life is that I’m not just working for Debbie. That department also includes Residential Life, Career Services, Faith, Counseling and Health Services and Multicultural Affairs, so I have LOTS of “bosses!” It’s so much fun.
This is my third year working as a Phonathon caller. At this amazing job, I call graduates of WWU, chat with them about their collegiate experience, and ask them if they’d like to make a monetary donation to the university. It is SO much fun; talking to women who graduated in the 1940s is one of the best parts because they have some VERY interesting stories from “back in their day.”
Telecounseling is another campus job that is pretty similar to Phonathon, except I call prospective students, not graduates. You have probably gotten a phone call or two from us before (hopefully you didn’t hang up!) I love chatting with students who are interested in The Woods and telling them all about why I love this school so much. I also answer questions they have about college life and invite them to attend campus events we have throughout the semester.
One of my favorite weekly jobs is working as a University Ambassador. Along with working in the Admissions Office twice a week giving campus tours to prospective students and their families, I also get to help with campus events such as Discovery Days and WWU 101! Plus, I get to write this blog! What could be better?
Along with the four jobs that I have right now, I’ve also had a couple other jobs that are more “seasonal.” One of them is being a Peer Mentor during Orientation Week. During that first week, I do different things like work the registration table, help students move in, attend orientation events, introduce students to each other, and help students navigate campus. It’s really fun and a GREAT way to get to know my newest peers!
“Working” as a Freshman Advantage mentor during the summer is probably one of THE BEST jobs I have ever had. The reason I put “working” in quotes is because it honestly didn’t even feel like a job! I basically got to hang out with a bunch of awesome students and mentors all day, plan fun events and enforce the rules of Residential Life. Freshman Advantage is one of the most amazing programs William Woods has to offer, and I strongly encourage you to look into it. (Don’t worry, you’ll learn more about this program in a future post!)
One job that I’ve never had personally but a lot of my friends have is a Community Advisor, or CA. This job includes promoting a sense of community among residents, coordinating CA events, and making sure residents are following the rules of the university.
I know I say this a lot, but I am so blessed to go to a university where I have so many opportunities at my fingertips. Where else could I gain the experience of six jobs in four years, not to mention the networking opportunities and the FUN!
If you’re looking for a place to spend your college years where you don’t have to work a crazy amount of hours but just want to make some extra spending money, then William Woods University is the place for you. If you’re looking for a place to spend your college years where you have the opportunity to try a new job in a safe environment, then William Woods University is the place for you. If you’re looking for a place to spend your college years where you can build your resume to pages and pages of greatness, then WILLIAM WOODS UNIVERSITY IS THE PLACE FOR YOU!
Hopefully with these next few months in front of me, and plenty of work ahead, I can save my money and prove to myself that I can be successful with my “resolution.” I think I have a pretty good chance, don’t you?
Anyway, I’d better get back to enjoying my last week of Christmas break while I can! I hope your new semester of classes has been going well and you stay true to your resolutions! (If you need a little encouragement, just holler!) Good luck!
Smiles and sunshine!