Impact Your Future

By Sally Richards

Summer’s over!  Back at school.Picture1

Did you use your summer vacay to help enhance your resume?  It’s fantastic if you spent the summer participating in an internship or work experience.  Internships are a great way to gain practical work experience, make contacts and network with people who can help with your job search after you graduate.   If not, there are a variety of things you can do to help make yourself more marketable and lead you down the path of success.

What’s different about coming back to school this year?  You know that you need to figure out what steps to take to increase your potential, and you know you need to put in the effort to open up opportunities  whether you’re interested in a co-op, internship, or entry-level position with Company ABC or Company XYZ.  Now that you’re back on campus, you need to figure out what steps you can take to increase your potential and make this school year the year that will impact the course of your future career!

  • Figure out your strategy.  Have a plan and a back-up plan.  Be flexible.
  • Study, study, study.  Good grades are an indicator that you have learned skills to help you complete projects in the work place.
  • Join a club or two. Be an involved member of the group, not just a member on paper.  Contribute to the organization and hold a leadership role.
  • Network with faculty, company representatives at conferences or members of professional organizations.   Ask how they got their start in industry and what they like about their position. Most professionals enjoy telling their stories.  Follow up with them periodically. Send LinkedIn requests to those with whom you are communicating.
  • Participate in one of your academic department’s  or extracurricular club’s team projects. Recognition/awards in competitions and the work you’re accomplishing in a team towards a goal or completion will be valuable experience to an employer as he or she evaluates your potential and knowledge.  It will also give you some real world experience to talk about when interviewing for a position.
  • Use the Career Services resources available to you.
  • Attend career-related events.  Check out the EagleHire Network calendar for events on the residential campuses.
  • Understand what it will take to participate in the Co-op/Intern Program and find out how you can earn credit if you do a relevant work experience. Work and learn from professionals in the field in addition to your academic curriculum by doing an internship.
  • Attend the Industry/Career Expos on the Prescott (Thursday, October 3) and Daytona Beach (Wednesday, October 9) campuses. Research companies and plan to talk to those organizations doing the kind of work in which you are interested.  Dress professionally for these events.

Employers are far more apt to offer opportunities to proactive job seekers.  Be that student who takes initiative, has a good attitude and is prepared for his or her job search. Seek out advice, resources and programs available to you.  Show that you are the motivated candidate.  IMPACT YOUR OWN FUTURE.

Sally Richards has 30 years of experience in higher education with a proven track record in Career Services. Sally started her career with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Aeronautical Engineering Department.  Currently as the Career Services Cooperative Education/Internship Program Manager, she manages and facilitates operations of the Co-op/Intern Program for the team of Program Managers and ensures adherence of Co-op policies and procedures while overseeing resolution for co-op situations. Her credentials include aviation/airline industry experience in flight recruiting, maintenance planning and passenger service with two major airlines and one regional carrier, as well as studies at Kent State University in Ohio.

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