Success Story: Brandon Reed
Brandon ReedManagement Information Systems
2013 Graduate, Colorado
What services did you use with CPD?
I participated in mock interviews and had several résumé reviews. I also used many of the provided premium resources to help with general questions throughout my internship search.
How were those services helpful to you?
I think more than anything those services allowed me to take some of the unknown out of the internship search. Much of the time you hear differing opinions from professors about the way things really are when you actually begin searching for internships. Tools like the Career Insider allow you to see for yourself who is hiring and what they are looking for, while others such as Interview Stream allow you to smooth out the presentation of yourself and your skill sets so that you are able to accurately present your value when the time comes to do it for real!
What did you do in your internship or job search that worked well for you?
The reason I was able to participate in internships with such amazing and respected companies such as ESPN and the Walt Disney Company was two parted. First, I networked like it was my full time job. Secondly, I was eager and willing to learn. I utilized the resources available to me through the relationships I developed at CPD to reach out to people in my field of interest. Once connected, I made sure that they understood I was a sponge for information and was willing to hear whatever they had to say. There is value in on-the-job experience that can only be obtained…on the job! After all, that’s why you’re searching for an internship! So I listened to the people I got connected to and learned from them what I could. If they had the ability to pass me on to someone else who could be of help in my internship search, then great! But I never pressed that issue and made sure that the people who took the time to answer my emails felt that the time they were giving me was important and appreciated. From my limited professional experience, I have found the most important factor relating directly to being hired is lasting relationships with mutual respect. I did my best to create as many of those as I could while I had the resources of Baylor CPD available to me.
I would also add one more thing: stay organized! When you network on a large scale and make relationships across many different areas of work, it’s important to keep all that information in order. After each person I met or spoke with I would write down their name, company, title, contact information, and then a paragraph summary of what we talked about. That allows you to look back on your conversation and not only learn from it, but to refer back to it in later conversation so that your contact knows that you truly heard him or her and were interested in what they had to say.
What do you wish you had done differently in your search?
I have a common regret in that I simply wish I had started earlier doing internships. I didn’t have the opportunity to because I was a student-athlete and had demands on my time during summers that restricted my ability to intern. However, had I done internships for a few more years I really think I would have been better prepared to enter into a career straight out of school.
What advice would you give fellow students about their internship or job search?
Start your search early. Even if you can’t intern until the summer before your senior year, make sure that when the time comes you begin your search early on. This goes for any field of study and career path. Be the first résumé on the recruiter’s desk the day the internship opens up. Apply to as many internships as you can find that you are qualified for, and then allow yourself the rest of the year to interview and search with much less stress than if you had waited until the last minute. If you plan correctly and ahead of time, you will end up in a role that both you and your employer will gain more from.
What are your overall thoughts about Career & Professional Development?
The people in the Office of Career & Professional Development at Baylor truly do, in my personal experience, care genuinely about your success. Success looks very different from student to student, and everyone within CPD is willing to work with you and your specific interests and skill set to prepare you to land the internship that best suits you. They do a great job of providing you the tools you need to be successful, without handing you a position you didn’t work hard to get yourself. Baylor Career & Professional Development was one of the most important parts of my college experience and I recommend their services to everyone.