Success Stories: Thomas
How have you benefited from using the Career Center services?
Going to the Career Center was the smartest decision I made sophomore year. I started going during a time of urgency, after seeing little results from months of applying to internships. The most valuable lesson I learned from the Career Center was networking and how to utilize contacts. The Career Center connected me with contacts in Atlanta (where I was looking to work) and gave me direction on who to reach out to. They advised me on tips and tricks on how to network and follow-up with people to get leads to jobs or other contacts. Additionally, the Career Center improved my job search and communication skills over LinkedIn. Networking and applying to internships is an art of its own. There are many specific ways to successfully connect with people over LinkedIn, get your foot in the door at a company, or put the right key words on your profile or application to be noticed. The networking, business writing, and persistent skills I learned throughout my internship search with the Career Center will benefit me all the way through landing my first full-time job.
How did working with the Career Center impact your internship/job search?
Simply stated, I applied to internships for four months, receiving only one interview. After going to the Career Center hopelessly towards the end of the semester, I was offered a summer internship in 3 weeks. Mr. Michael Wollman at the Career Center showed me strategies in landing an interview, getting HR’s attention, and finally, earning a job. There are key tricks when applying to jobs that business classes will not teach you. The Career Center adds a key component to a business education – how to land a job. These are not skills you can learn in a textbook. It requires work, trial and error, and persistence. Mr. Wollman continued to encourage me and pursue different opportunities that eventually led to my internship offer at Cox Media Group. Now, as an intern at CMG, I have continued applying these lessons by networking with people at Cox and maximizing this internship experience as I know it will help me land my next position.
What was the most helpful advice given to you by the Career Center?
LinkedIn is a powerful tool that must be utilized. Before the Career Center, I had a basic profile, in which I connected with fellow classmates. However, the Career Center showed me how LinkedIn can be used for every stage of your job search. LinkedIn assists in finding open positions and opportunities. More importantly, LinkedIn can be your foot in the door after applying. I was advised to research and find talent recruiters or hiring managers for the companies I applied to and shoot a quick note mentioning I applied and my interest in the position. Once receiving an interview, I used LinkedIn to research my interviewers and their work. Finally, after the interview I connected on LinkedIn and sent a “thank you” message to my interviewers. LinkedIn gives you access to nearly everyone and everything in the business realm and can really help others recognize you and become familiar with your name. LinkedIn is a way to add a face to the endless stack of applications.
What challenges were you facing and how did the Career Center help you solve them or motivate you to solve them?
I am a timely, organized person, so I was not late to the game in applying to internships. The problem was, I did not know how to apply to internships. I was filling out online applications to endless companies from January to April. But as the semester ran out and I saw no results, I went to the Career Center for a final effort on scoring an internship. After two meetings with Mr. Wollman, I realized I was wasting my time for months. Of course, I still needed to fill out applications; however, that was only the first step of the application process. Like driving a car, I knew how to turn the ignition, but I was clueless on how to steer and accelerate. The Career Center filled the gaps in showing me how to market myself, write a more condensed cover letter, and most importantly, how to utilize contacts through TCU. Additionally, Mr. Wollman went above and beyond in helping me earn a job. He did not wait until I was in office to pitch some simple tips at me. He constantly helped me by researching positions and shooting me weekly emails, finding new connections, and meeting with me at a moments notice. The Career Consultants at the Career Center do not just help you for the 30 minutes you are in their office. They are like agents, constantly fighting for you until you receive that offer.
What advice would you give others facing the same challenges you did?
Go now and go early. While my summer internship still worked out for me, I wish I had not wasted my time for all those months before visiting the Career Center. My job search would have been more much efficient and easier if I visited the Career Center in January. There are so many skills and so much advice that you can only learn at the Career Center. Before panicking and feeling hopeless, meet with an advisor at the Career Center. They will encourage you and lead you a direction towards success. Further, do not wait to visit until you start your job search. Just go now and get advice before you even begin the search. I learned so many lessons that I will use for the rest of my professional career. Learn those lessons now. The earlier you learn, the more you can improve and master the job search skills for later opportunities.
Were there any specific events you went to that were beneficial? If so which one and why was it helpful?
The personal, in-office meetings were very helpful.