Friday, October 18, 2013

Think your Student Worker Position is "Just a Job?" Think Again!

When I started working at The Career Center right at the beginning of my freshman year at Hofstra three years ago, I thought it was going to be just a job where I answered phones, made appointments and maybe got a little extra help with my future job search.  I never would have imagined turning it into a position that utilized all of the knowledge and skills that I learned in my college classes.

My initial duties at the Career Center were answering phones, making appointments and general front desk tasks.  But as I began to understand the office and the benefits of the Career Center more, I became a personal advocate for the Career Center among my fellow students. I was always telling my friends on campus how important it was to visit and to prepare for the future. I felt so strongly about it that I even made my final speech in my public speaking class all about the services of the Career Center. Since I was so invested in promoting the Career Center, I began offering my suggestions and opinions on how to get students to use our services.   I realized that many people didn’t know much about what services the Career Center provided, thus the first step was going to be to create awareness. Since I am a Public Relations major with a minor in Marketing, most of what we learn in class is how to create awareness and how to call the public to action; which in this case would just mean how to get students to come to our office.

So this past summer, right before starting my senior year, I was asked to become a part of the marketing team for the office. All summer we brainstormed to find different ways to promote the office on campus, which involved me being the voice of the students and explaining what probably would or wouldn’t be successful.  We have implemented some of the ideas that we came up with and it’s awesome being able to see them come to life.  At the moment, I’m definitely putting my PR skills to use by creating and distributing all promotional materials and reaching out to the proper outlets on campus at Hofstra to get the word out.  

I knew that when I started working at the Career Center that it would be necessary for me to have a perfect résumé and proper interview skills but I never thought I would be lucky enough to have my front desk job turn into one of the most beneficial experiences of my college career. I would like for everyone to take from my story and see that even if you’re working in a position that isn’t related to your future profession, you should try to apply any skills you have to offer.  Because even if you feel like you’re “just a student” without a lot of professional experience, everybody has something different to offer and people will be more likely to value your opinion than you think – and that could be what turns an ordinary experience into a remarkable one!
Amanda Elshiekh, Undergraduate Assistant 

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