Friday, September 2, 2011

Moving On

Today is a sad day for Career Services; we're saying goodbye to Rachel, our PR and Employer Development Assistant today. For those of us who have recently graduated or will be this year, I'm sure we all feel a little anxiety. I interviewed Rachel to see where she stands now that it's time to find a full-time job.
After working as a PR Assistant with us at Career Services do you feel you've gained enough experience to offer your skills to another company in confidence?
 I feel like I will never have enough experience to work somewhere else! Every company has their own way of doing things. Even though I may know how to write a media release for Brock, for example, the next organization I work at may be different. I am trying to be as optimistic as I can about the future. Starting a new job is just the next step in my education. I am confident in the skills that I have and enjoy a challenge. Although I am sad to leave this position, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.

What advice would you give to senior students who need a money-making job but also require further experience in their field?
Unfortunately, you have to be realistic. Today, you are going to be very hard pressed to find an employer willing to pay top dollar for a new graduate with no experience. You really only have two options: do an unpaid internship for a month or two to get experience while job searching, or work an unrelated job to make money and volunteer on the side. I did the internship route here at Career Services and ended up being hired for the summer. I had to work my butt off for a month for free, but now I have a portfolio full of material that I can show a potential employer on my next job interview. Don’t expect to be hired right after you are done school either. Stats show that new grads on average take about six months before they land their first job. Volunteering or doing an unpaid internship while you look for a job is definitely the way to go in my opinion.

What are your career plans for the upcoming 2 years?
Right now I am applying to jobs in the Niagara Region. I know eventually if I want to start making the big bucks, I will have to move to a major city like Toronto or Ottawa to find work. I do enjoy working in the Public Relations field, but if the opportunity arose for me to work in Marketing, I think I would enjoy that also.

How do you feel now that the pressure is on to find a full-time job? Are you well-prepared? Are you scared?
It is very overwhelming. I am always updating my portfolio with new material to ensure that it is up to date and I am trying to apply for at least one or two jobs a week. I would be kidding myself if I said I wasn’t scared.  I know I will find something eventually, I just hate waiting.

As a former Career Assistant, what is something Career Services offers to Brock students that isn’t utilized to its potential?
Career Services offers a wide variety of workshops that are extremely beneficial to students ranging from Career Planning to Job Search Strategies. It would be great to see more students signing up for workshops and learning about these valuable topics which can not only be used to help find employment, but can also be tracked on your Experience Plus Profile.
We'll definitely be missing Rachel in the office and her mad-PR skills with the Career & Post-Grad Expo. She'll be around a bit longer to train the student staff and tie up some odds and ends. We'll both be at the Shop for Jobs event on September 13th to assist students and employers throughout the day.
We extend our best wishes to Rachel during her transition into the working world and know she'll shine in any position. You can find Rachel on Linked In here.

- Samantha

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