By Ashley Parmer
Editor in Chief
Earlier this month, I attended a weekend conference in St. Louis, Missouri that allowed students to interview for major companies while networking with young professionals and CEOs.
After submitting a resume two years ago (which I’d forgotten about), I was given an interview. From this interview, I was chosen as one of five students to represent TSU at the InSight St. Louis Conference. The purpose of this all-expense paid trip was to attract African Americans students from HBCUs to St. Louis upon graduation.
After spending the weekend among talented cohorts from other HBCUs and interviewing with Wells Fargo, I started questioning the readiness of TSU students for jobs.
How prepared are we for interviewing for our careers?
No matter our classification, we all know that dream job we would like to have. Are we taking those steps necessary to get there? How often do we utilize the resources given to us, such as attending career fairs, visiting the Career Center and attending professional development seminars?
As students who attend an HBCU, we can be valuable assets to companies that focus on diversity and inclusion. But we have to show ourselves as marketable young professionals. We must create a brand for ourselves.
In order to succeed in the game of life, at least in finding a career, we must be proactive. There are some things you can do starting today that can put you on the right track for your future.
Revise your Resume- Most of the time, companies are introduced to your by your resume. Visit the Career Center in the student center for help with tailoring your resume.
Look for Internships-Internships shows that you have professional experience under your belt. There are many websites that can aid you in finding the internship that fits your interests and major.
Set up a Mock Interview- A mock interview is great practice to hone in on your skills and determine your problem areas. The Career Center offers times for you to have a mock interview. They also have events where other companies conduct mock interviews.
Dress for Success- When interviewing, companies get their first impression of you starting from 12 feet away. Make sure you have a professional appearance. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
Network-It’s been said many times: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Recently, I’ve learned that it’s not always who you know, it’s who knows you. When you network, make sure you stay in contact with those you meet. By staying in contact with them, they may think of you when new opportunities become available.
Many students come to college for an education that will land them a great job and lead them to a prosperous career. But education alone cannot always make that dream a reality. Who we are, how we represent ourselves, and what we have to offer determines if we are hired. Do you have the skills to get hired?