Monday, February 8, 2016

If at first you don't succeed, go to Career Services, and try again

by Ashley Lorah '16 - Career Assistant

When I took a tour of Ashland University as a junior in high school, I was struck by the glamorous, up-to-date and all-inclusive amenities the Recreation Center offered. After applying to Ashland and getting accepted, I visited the summer before my freshman year for an orientation event. While there, I heard about the opportunity to work at the Recreation Center and jumped on it immediately. I handed in some haphazardly answered application questions and a resume I created from a template on Microsoft Word. I went into the group interview relaxed and answered each question quickly. I felt comfortable enough with the application process so was surprised to hear I did not receive a job offer.

            In November of my first semester, I applied again for the spring semester thinking they must have just forgot about me, or I slipped through unnoticed during the last hiring process. I answered the application questions similarly and proceeded through the group interview mostly in the same way. Once again though I did not receive a job offer. Even though I felt a little humiliated, discouraged and frustrated, I felt determined to succeed. My desire to work at the Rec and willpower led me to the Career Services Center for a drastic professional transformation.

            I began with my poorly constructed resume. With the help of a Career Assistant, my once template-made resume changed into a beautifully-aligned and well-worded professional resume. I also learned proper business-professional and business-casual attire. I reviewed the Interviewing Guide Career Services offers, complete with sample questions, information about the STAR model, and what to do after an interview. I learned to ask for feedback from interviewers about what I needed to improve on and took that information to a mock interview with a Career Specialist, where they pretend to be interviewing you for the job you are preparing for, while videotaping you. Although being recorded through the mock interview was a bit awkward, it gave me a glimpse into little quirks or habits I subconsciously perform that might distract interviewers from my answer or make me appear unprofessional. I was able to hear my tone and volume, see my body language, and review my answers. With the Career Specialists guidance, my whole outlook on interviewing changed for good. Rather than see the base-level Rec position as just a source of income, I learned to respect the interview as I would for a full-time position someday.

            After totally transforming my outlook, application and interviewing process, I was finally offered a job as an Equipment Checkout Supervisor at the Recreational Center thanks to the Career Services Center. After a year working, I was encouraged to apply as a Facility Manager, one step above my Equipment Checkout Supervisor position. I knew that I could not achieve success without the help of the Career Center, so I went through the same process: resume review, mock interview, and Interviewing Guide. Needless to say, I felt very comfortable and prepared for the real interview and was offered a position as a Facility Manager. Not only has the Career Services Center helped me prepare for a position at the Recreational Center but it has equipped me with transferable professional skills that will guide me through the rest of my life.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Maggie Andrews, January 2016 Intern of the Month

Maggie is a sophomore majoring in creative writing, public relations & strategic communication with a minor in Spanish.  This past summer she interned with Jones’ Potato Chip Company as their communications and marketing intern.  During her internship, Maggie established communication channels between the Jones' Potato Chip Company and Ashland University which ultimately lead to product availability in the Eagles' Nest dining facility and sport concessions.  In addition, Maggie worked with vendors for Jones’ throughout the state of Ohio as well as multiple local businesses and stores.  She was able to utilize her strong social media skills to develop a social media guide for their Twitter and Facebook accounts.  Maggie composed a portfolio of communication strategies, as well as job descriptions for the company, which the company plans to use for future interns and full time professionals.  While this list is not exhaustive of all the amazing things Maggie created and completes for Jones’ it is clear that her work was incredibly valued and appreciated!

One of Maggie’s highlights was writing an article for the Manufacturing Coalition Newsletter about the Jones' Company.  According to Maggie, “This internship helped prepare me for my future career by giving me an inside look into the business side of communications and marketing.  It was a hands-on experience and the company really gave me freedom to explore different aspects of the position.  I'm a creative writing major, as well as a PR major, so it was nice when the company made sure to give me writing projects on top of communication/marketing projects.  I was able to gain experience for both of my majors during the internship.  I will be able to take this experience with me to my future career”. 

Here is some wise advice from Maggie about her experience, “Always challenge yourself in your classes. I received my internship opportunity through the success of a class project. . . Everything I learned from my internship, I will carry with me in all my future career endeavors.”