My time as a Liberal Arts & Business (LA&B) Student Advisor went by too fast, but even if I’m not technically employed by the ICC, I am blessed with this opportunity to explore everything they have to offer (this from an undergraduate who is continually looking for more work experience, of course). I may not be advising students on a one-to-one basis anymore, but nonetheless, I’d like to share some insight from my time last year:
Student Advisors need their resumes and cover letters checked over, too.
Before you question my credibility, let me speak: preparing a resume and cover letter takes a lot of work. And as with any written document you’ve been working on (such as another resume, research paper, or essay), whose eyes have seen it for the past few hours? You. The writer may understand it, but another reader and the rest of the world may not.
So after working on your resume & cover letter for the past hour or two (yes, it does take that long or even more to produce a quality document), you’ll need a fresh set of eyes – that’s what a Student Advisor or Program Coordinator is for Sometimes when we’re the ones in search of constructive criticism, we go to professors, coordinators, and even each other! However, when I am unable to seek another’s advice, I rely on my ICC training and look at my own through the eyes of an employer; after thoroughly reading the job description, I know what the hiring manager is looking for, and that has helped me immensely.
Scared of going to career fairs? ME TOO!
If you’ve ever sought my advice on what to do at a career fair, I’ve told you what to expect, how to prepare and suggestions for attire. When I’m there and try to take my own advice, I freeze up. I have attended the career fairs on campus since my freshmen year, and you’d think that by my fourth year, I would have gotten used to them. I’m dressed professionally, have multiple copies of my resume, and know what I’m about to say, but there’s just something about 100+ employers and 500+ students swarming around the Pavilion that makes me nervous.
The Career Resource Manual is amazing, to say the least.
Every year, the ICC prints hundreds of these manuals, and I wish more students knew about this invaluable resource! If you didn’t read my corny blog post, let me summarize it for you here: the Career Resource Manual has almost everything you need to know for trying to find an internship or job. Don’t know how to start a resume and need a visual? Page 19. Need an example for a cover letter? Page 34. Have a job interview and want to know what questions they might ask? Page 45.
And if my love of this manual/dorkiness still isn’t that apparent, I just don’t know what else to tell you.
Be conscious of disclosing information that might hurt you in the job process.
Applying for jobs and talking to managers and supervisors can be a bit intimidating. However, the minute you meet someone on “your level (such as position or age)”, don’t get so “chummy” to the point that you’re disclosing information that could weigh against you. For example, some advisors assist with the hiring process of the following year’s student advisors. For my team, we reviewed resumes and applications, and even assisted with interviewing. One student emailed me and disclosed that “I have an old recommendation letter [that was obviously meant for another program]; can I use that for the application?”
Sorry, you can’t “reuse” recommendation letters, and it makes it a little worse that you told me so bluntly. Unfortunately, that student did not realize that my input mattered on the selection process.
That’s why it is incredibly important to monitor what you disclose. Same with what you put up online (hint: Facebook. If you’re not getting hired, it could be because when an employer googles your name, they see your Facebook profile picture of your “epic” kegstand)!
It’s basic social psychology – in order to forget something, your mind has to keep reminding itself of what it is, so in essence, you’re not forgetting it at all (I guess I did learn something in PSC151! Thank you, Professor Sherman).
Employers try to be as objective as possible, but disclosing certain information just sticks out in their minds and may ultimately hurt you.
Forget your major (for a second)
Vanessa Webster, Ariela Iringan, Suzanne Grey. These UC Davis alum are successful individuals who are actually working in fields completely different from their major! Webster, a Comparative Literature major, values the analytical skills she developed during her undergraduate and uses that toward her role as CEO of a high-end clothing line. Iringan is one of the many Psychology majors who works in business; she is currently an HR capitol consulting manager with Deloitte & Touche who handles mergers and acquisitions. Grey, an International Relations major, loved what she learned during college, but has a newfound passion of the medical industry; she is President of a successful medical manufacturer, MedDev Corporation.
You’ve heard this information before (as stated by Nohemy Chavez) and you’ll hear it again: Don’t stress, and forget about your major (for just a second).
If you’re trying to figure out what to do after college or looking for an entry-level position, don’t freak out. During the very first few days of training, I learned that approximately 80% of college grads work in a field unrelated to their major. Your first job out of college may not be what you ultimately want to do (also called an “interim” or “temporary” job), but that’s okay! You’re just building up those transferrable skills and figuring out what you do and don’t want to do. There is no certain mapped-out road to success, and your major shouldn’t dictate or restrict what you’ll do in the real world.
It is okay if you are doing something (seemingly) unrelated to your major; everyone else is doing it! And anyone who thinks otherwise should come into the ICC and talk with us. Now, if you’re in engineering or pre-med, that’s a bit different…
Working for the ICC? Best decision ever.
When I applied for this job, I was just looking for a part-time on-campus position that would help me earn some money. I was intimidated by the job requirements and the interviewing process, but I took a chance anyway. I would’ve never thought I would learn so much more than just interpersonal skills; I met an amazing team of people and have extensively built up my network and work experience. I have never worked at a place that has encouraged me so much to grow and excel, and even if this economy is in a slump, I feel prepared to find a job in part to everything I learned at the ICC.
This is one of those jobs that makes me want to come in early, work late, or even dedicate my weekend to it.
I hope these tidbits of my experience last year have given you insight into your future and a peace of mind.