The school year is winding down, which means seniors and juniors are on the hunt for jobs and internships. Seniors are biting their nails trying to find a job after graduation, while juniors are sending out résumés for anyone accepting interns.
To ease the stress of the search, Associate Director of Alumni and Parent Relations Austin Ashe planned an evening of discussion between alumni and students, which was held on Tuesday, March 23. The “Alumni Table-Talk” event for communications students was a roundtable event where students could get worries and questions off their chest about everything from interning woes to career choices.
Ashe invited five alumni from various fields to answer the 15 or so anxious students ready to ask the tough questions. Each alumnus stated his or her lengthy rap sheet of internships and jobs to a room of very interested students.
“Do not expect to stay at one job,” Jocelyne Hudson-Brown ’05 said.
The conversation quickly transformed from a structure of questions Ashe had organized into a free-for-all of advice from each alumnus.
“Let’s face it: You’ll never have your dream job right out of school,” Jamie McCarty ’04 said. “But, if you have a job within your field, you’ll network. I set goals daily, monthly and yearly. Just be mindful to work your way up.”
Glenn Giangrande ’03 agreed.
“Put your head down and focus for the first couple of years,” he said. “But, keep the big picture in mind.”
Raymond Hernandez ‘04, who works as a communications specialist for Pratt & Whitney, also warned students about what to expect when taking their first jobs.
“A job is a job sometimes. You’re probably going to be working for something you’ve never heard of at some point in your career,” Hernandez said.
“Someone told me I need ‘KASH’ and I didn’t know what he meant until they explained it to me. ‘K’ is for knowledge; know what is going on in the industry. ‘A’ is for attitude; love what you do in your internship even if it’s not the best tasks. ‘S’ is skills; have traits that you need, and remember that you don’t know it all. ‘H’ is for hard work; you need a bit of luck, but if you put in the hard work you won’t be overlooked.”
Senior public relations major Jessica Hickernell said the event was beneficial to her job search.
“I think that it was great that the panel discussed the hardships of establishing a successful career because I think that many students have an idealistic view of what life after college will be and it isn’t usually the way they envision it,” she said.
The overall theme of the night was that as communications students graduate in the next couple of years, they should be aware that the real work has yet to come.