When I initially applied for a survey internship with the Center for Career Planning, I expected to spend most of my work day on the phone and entering in data. However, as the summer is wrapping up I can now say that it has greatly surpassed my expectations. While John and I did spend time researching accounting companies, conducting phone surveys and entering data, the CCP staff made a great effort to ensure that we made strides in developing our respective careers.
I would highly recommend that students take the Strong Interest Inventory with a counselor here at the Center for Career Planning. I took the SII knowing that I had an interest in both Finance and Investing. The results not only helped confirm that but also gave insight on what kind of working environment I would be most successful in and what positions I might pursue.
Reading and discussing the book The 2-Hour Job Search by Steve Dalton was also a very significant part of this internship for me. Finding the right job can seem daunting, but this book explains how to use technology and your time in an efficient way to find employment. Steve Dalton is coming to campus this coming fall semester, and I urge students to read his book and hear Dalton speak when he comes to CNU.
I can’t thank the CNU Center for Career Planning enough for everything they’ve done to make this internship a rewarding experience. Before this summer, I took for granted all the hard work the CCP staff does to help CNU students start and continue their careers. Having seen all the effort it takes to put together career events and connect with employers to find job openings, it is now clear that our university is incredibly fortunate to have such a remarkable staff. Thank you CCP for a great summer!
My time here at the CNU Center for Career Planning has been rewarding and to be honest, life-changing. Before I became an intern I had no idea what I wanted to do. My future ideas have changed so much that I don’t think I could fit a list of them all on a sheet of paper. I had become a history major with only the enjoyment of the subject, not with the intention to use it in my career field.
My focus coming into this internship wasn’t just to help the Center for Career Planning during the summer season, but to also find my way. First I took the Strong Interest Inventory with the Libby Westley (Director) and gained a better understanding on what career areas relate to me most. I found out that I mostly associated with the Realistic theme; meaning I prefer to take an active hands-on approach involving construction, mechanical, or outdoor activities. I also discovered that I marked high in the management, sales, and culinary arts sector.
Libby and I then discussed my interests. I have always had a large amount of interest in Beer and Brewing Operations. From the large amount of home brewers I know to the brewery tours I have always found so fascinating, I have been influenced by the industry before but never thought of it as a career outlet. Libby pushed me to pursue this interest of mine to possibly become my line of work.
All of the career counselors helped me in one way or another. Discussions over the book The 2-Hour Job Search (which is an awesome book I’d like to add) with Andy Park and fellow intern Jack Slack helped me get my foot in the door by learning how to reach contacts and schedule informational interviews. Kelly Gooch provided me with contacts to reach out to and became an outlet for discussion for a topic we mutually find interesting. Finally, Sarah Hobgood and Polly Bradie were always interested to hear about my career development and provided support throughout the summer. Every one of the career counselors and employees of the CNU Center for Career Planning are great people and I can not thank them enough.
As a result I was able to schedule a multitude of informational interviews with breweries from Richmond to Norfolk. Also without their help I wouldn’t have received and accepted an offer to be a Brand Ambassador for Alewerks Brewing Company in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Overall my time here has been nothing but joyful and beneficial. I recommend everyone take a visit to Christopher Newport Hall Suite 305.
Summer is winding down and classes are only a couple weeks away, which means many students are leaving their summer jobs and internships to go back to school. Before the summer is over, however, students should consider requesting a reference from their employer.
For most employers, hiring an entry-level employee is a leap of faith. Without much of a workplace track record to judge by, employers are forced to depend on what fits on a piece of paper (a resume) and whatever can be gleaned from brief first impressions (interviews).
Is it any wonder that many entry-level job applicants from comparable schools and backgrounds are indistinguishable?
A few glowing job references can set a candidate apart from the crowd. Knowing that, how should a job seeker build out a killer roster of references? Here are seven key tips for putting together a top-notch reference list. These apply to first-time job seekers, but also to anyone who’s getting ready for the next move in their career.
1. Look for ways to cultivate your references. Check in regularly. Keep them up-to-date on your career successes. Talk to them about where you want to take your career. Not only will you build a base of supporters you can rely on for guidance, you will also have a group of people to turn to with confidence when you’re gunning for the job you want.
2. Get a sense of what your references are likely to say about you, especially your areas for improvement. This can be slightly tricky, but it’s doable. Ideally, your references are people you’ve gotten feedback from in the past, so you should have a feel for what they’ll say. To get clarity, it’s important to test your assumptions. It comes down to having a candid conversation with the people you’re planning to use as job references. Try to talk in a more casual, informal setting – at lunch or over a cup of coffee. Explain to them why you’d appreciate their help, and ask them to share their honest perspective on how they would talk about you during a reference check. Most times, references will be flattered by your request.
3. Don’t be afraid to serve as your own strongest advocate. It’s important to make sure that your professors, managers and other potential references know about your capabilities so that they can speak clearly with potential employers about you and your work. While this step is important, don’t be too aggressive when doing it.
4. Don’t hesitate to show off your strengths in the classroom and the workplace. Job references need to see what you can do, so they can tell prospective employers about it. Look for opportunities to demonstrate progress and smart work, so others can observe it. This doesn’t mean you should be a shameless self-promoter. It’s important to share how confident you are, but do so while acting with a sense of humility. Still, if no one knows what you can accomplish, no one can tell your future managers why they should hire you.
5. Let your references know that they might be called upon and have their current contact information. If your references are readily available when an employer asks for them, it indicates that you’ve informed and prepared them to take a call or an online request – all good signs that you’re someone who is focused, thorough and motivated.
6. In addition to professors, try to have some former managers as references, even if they’re from internships. Input from people who have seen you perform in the workplace counts for a lot. Professors are great – and you should use them – but employers are thinking about how you’re going to perform once you’re walking through their doors. Feedback from managers at internships, summer jobs, work study or any other kind of employment is key.
7. Be grateful – and show it. Your references are doing you a favor. They’re going out of their way to help you build your future. And they’re putting their own reputation and credibility on the line when they vouch for you. Be sure to thank them. A hand-written note or a warmly worded email can mean a lot. At the same time, these are folks whom you may want to ask for help again. Use the opportunity of thanking them to keep cultivating the relationship and to ask what you can do to help them in the future.
So, whether you’re a college senior or someone getting ready to look for that next job, don’t lose track of your references. Good references don’t just happen. Your reference roster has to be cared for, nurtured and maintained. High-quality job references can make the difference between getting that job or wondering why your phone isn’t ringing.
Article by Ray Bixler on March 11, 2016, 9:03 AM ET
Link to Article: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2016-03-11/new-grads-follow-7-steps-to-score-glowing-job-references
Christopher Newport University and the CNU Center for Career Planning hold no rights on this article.