Advice from professionals — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week
Last week, the Fulton Schools Career Center partnered with the Graphic Information (GIT) Technology Program and the student chapter of AIGA — the Professional Association for Design — to host a panel and mixer for GIT students. Panelists gave advice specific to GIT majors, and advice relevant to all college students seeking internships and jobs after graduation.
The panelists represented a variety of organizations and roles: Anie Miles, animation/multimedia developer at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business; Will Mejia, marketing director at meltmedia; Sam Stone, senior designer at Blackbaud; and Steven Meyer, design manager at Infusionsoft. Christina Carrasquilla, a GIT faculty member, facilitated the panel.
Prior to the start of the panel, there was a table with index cards so that students could submit their questions. Professor Carrasquilla reviewed and grouped the cards in order to formulate questions that addressed the students’ concerns.
Many of the questions were specific to GIT: portfolios and résumés – what should be included and how they differ. Panelists discussed the many software packages currently being used across all the areas of the industry.
In addition to the specific GIT topics, the panelists gave excellent advice relevant to all college students seeking internships and soon-to-be graduates seeking jobs. This technique was mentioned in a discussion about portfolios. I think it would be a great way to look at engineering and technical résumés as well. Ask yourself this question: “Would I hire myself?” The successful job seeker is able to put him/herself into the shoes of an employer.
Be specific about your role when talking about group projects. This can be a challenge. Students will often talk about “the project” or begin most sentences with “We.” The employer is evaluating your role, your contributions as well as how you interact with others.
Talk to people working in the field. Find out what you need to know to start working now. Are there skills that you can pick up that will make you more marketable?
Tailor your résumé to the needs of each position to which you are applying. Do some detective work to hunt down the name of the hiring manager to personalize your cover letter.
Finally, there was the topic of networking. I cannot overemphasize how important this is, and will be, throughout all of your career. Start networking now! Attend events that are put on by your school, professional associations, student organizations and the career center. Get to know your classmates. Use LinkedIn effectively. Be specific about stating your goals and selecting the words you put in your profile. Make connections. Work hard to establish a good reputation. Have fun getting to know others and having them get to know you.
Joyce Donahue is a Certified Career Counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center.