Thursday, October 17, 2013

Overcoming Common Hurdles

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the RTVF Internship Workshop. The turnout for the workshop was great with at least 60 students in attendance. Seeing students so eager to gain internship experience is always a positive for any career counselor. Although Professor Morrow, Internship Coordinator for the RTVF Department, and the School of Communication give students a lot of the resources they need to get started, I definitely saw an opportunity for The Career Center to act as a complimentary resource in the process. When I was thinking about what I wanted to emphasize during the workshop, I tried to identify some of the most common hurdles that students face throughout the internship and job search process. When helping students through the internship process in the past, I have noticed that they struggle the most in two areas: communicating their skills, experiences, and accomplishments and interviewing.

Knowing how to effectively communicate your skills as they relate to the job or internship is key. Whether it is through your resume, cover letter, or an interview, you need to have an understanding of all the things you did, how you did it, why you did it, and what the results were.

How can The Career Center help?

Identifying and Communicating Your Skills: As career counselors, we are here to guide and help you. We do basic resume and cover letter critiques, but we can also help you to identify your skills and show you how to clearly state them on paper or in an interview. Setting up an appointment to simply “talk-out” or brainstorm your past experiences is a great place to start if you feel you are lacking in this area. In addition to counseling appointments, we also have our Career Planning Handbook which has a ton of information about resumes, cover letters, and interviewing techniques. 

Interviewing: The interview process can be intimidating and overwhelming. Even if you feel you are a strong interviewer, it is not a bad idea to come in at least once for a mock interview with a career counselor. Not only does practice make perfect, but a career counselor can also provide you with valuable feedback about what you did well and what you could improve on. Doing mock interviews can also boost your confidence since it is a chance to really polish your answers to those tough interview questions. Whether you are an interview ninja or just starting out, mock interviews are for everyone and I guarantee you will learn something new! 

Kaitlyn Riley, Assistant Director 

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