Success Stories: Brian
How have you benefited from using the Career Center services?
I benefited most from my College of Science & Engineering Career Consultant, Gabriela, offered by the Career Center. As a Biochemistry student, we do not have explicit courses for tailoring resumes and developing interview tact unlike other undergraduate majors. Likewise, while we receive an incredible education in the sciences, it is through the Career Center where we have the opportunity to receive invaluable feedback and insight into what makes a competitive candidate.
How did working with the Career Center impact your internship/job search?
I do not believe I would have even been considered for the incredible opportunity I was awarded without the Career Center. Of course, it was my experiences and strengths I have gained while here at TCU that qualified me, but the Career Center equipped me with the tools I needed to communicate such strengths. My Career Consultant first helped me understand what opportunities were available to me and helped me discover for myself what really interested me. She reviewed each application essay, each cover letter, and each resume carefully; helping me understand how to best communicate my experiences with what specific employers look for. And beyond the assistance with the internship search and application materials, the Career Center was also instrumental in managing the minor details. Gabriela would remind me throughout the process, for example: to hand deliver printed copies, to email contacts at specific points, and to proactively prepare for offer timelines/priorities (i.e. what to do if I heard back from one but wanted to wait to hear back from a second). Ultimately, I believe working with the Career Center helped me understand what type of opportunity I was looking for and helped me become a stand-out applicant.
What was the most helpful advice given to you by the Career Center?
Through this process, I learned that if you are investing in something you want, go all out and do so completely. I only applied to a few opportunities (which made me and those around me quite nervous), but the Career Center showed me how to invest fully and manage every detail to make my application profile as competitive as possible.
What challenges were you facing and how did the Career Center help you solve them or motivate you to solve them?
The first interview I had was a phone screen. I was confident in all the materials I submitted, but when the questions started rolling, the nerves started building up. During the call the stress of wanting the highly competitive internship combined with inexperience in the interview process, started making me question myself instead of having a relaxing, organic conversation. After the call, I panicked believing I put all this work just to fail the phone screen. I began drafting emails to the interviewer, thinking up explanations for my jumbled answers and nervous twitches. I quickly sent Gabriela the email drafts. She replied promptly, urging me to stop, breathe, and NOT send those emails. With considerable reluctance, I did not send the emails and sure enough, a few weeks later, I was called for the second interview. The Career Center was there for me when I got stuck in my own thoughts, something I am incredibly thankful for looking back.
What advice would you give others facing the same challenges you did?
Visit early and get connected with the CareerConsultants, especially for students in the College of Science & Engineering. I think we get so tunneled in all of our interesting research and textbooks that we forget how important networking and soft skills are. The Career Center is really that opportunity and resource for us and for how much it is advertised, for some reason many of us still wait until Junior year—which makes for crammed and stressful process!