Success Story: Frank Dickenson
2012 Graduate, Robinson
What services did you use with CPD?
I mainly used the HireABear service to search for jobs as well as going to networking and career fair events. Coupled with those events and services, I used the online tools such as Interview Stream to help prepare for my interviews. I also used the career counseling service to narrow down my search to what I was compatible with.
How were those services helpful to you?
The HireABear and career fair services put me in contact with multiple companies that I wouldn’t have been able to contact or know about in terms of my job search. I wouldn’t have gotten the amount of interviews or offers from companies had I not utilized these services. I used the Interview Stream service offered through CPD’s website to help myself prepare for interviews. The bank of possible questions provided proved to be extremely helpful in my mental preparation for interviews by giving me questions I wouldn’t have thought of myself. The career counseling helped pinpoint the best field of work for me to go into and gave me that boost of confidence that I was headed in the right direction with my career search.
What did you do in your internship or job search that worked well for you?
The strategy that worked best for me in my search was to find all of the companies that were at the career fairs prior to attending the event and do a little initial research so that I knew: A) if the company would be a fit for me and my aspirations and B) so that when I talked with the companies at the actual event I was able to ask questions about how the company structure worked, what the job they were hiring for entailed and other questions to make sure it would work for me as well as showing the company that I was interested in a career with them instead of wasting time finding out general information about the company that could be found online. I also practiced an "elevator speech" prior to the event so that I could capture the interest of the recruiters and sound professional instead of fumbling for information about myself.
After I talked with each company I would step away and make notes on who I talked to as well as what further actions I needed to take to continue applying with that company.
When I got home from each event I would e-mail the recruiters I talked to that day and thank them for their time. I would also attach an electronic copy of my résumé to the e-mail so that I was one of the last prospects they thought of that day and so that they would have a digital copy of my résumé to look at.
When I had an interview I prepared for it just as I would any test. I found out as much information about the company and job as I could and created a list of questions to take with me to the interview.
After almost every interview that I had I made sure to send a thank you email to the recruiter or if possible a thank you card in the mail.
What do you wish you had done differently in your search?
My one regret with my job search is that I started it in December of my senior year (I graduated in August). I wish I had been proactive my junior year and before by building relationships with companies and recruiters. I also wish that I had done a formal internship, although the company I ran through college served to fill that gap on my résumé.
What advice would you give fellow students about their internship or job search?
Start it as soon as you can. I would even encourage freshmen and sophomores to attend the job fairs, other networking events, and career development events such as etiquette dinners, etc. to get them to practice talking to recruiters and build relationships with people that can aid in their search. Once you hit your junior year, I would say it is essential to start your job search and networking.
I would also advise others to visit Career & Professional Development and build a relationship with at least one counselor so when you have questions about the job search process or interviewing you have someone to go to.
And last, but certainly not least, ALWAYS have an updated and professional résumé prepared. Have multiple sources look over it and correct it.
What are your overall thoughts about Career & Professional Development?
It is a vital part of making the jump from student to the real working world. I wouldn’t have found the job I found without their help. I also feel that most students don’t realize what an asset it is, either out of laziness or because they haven’t stopped by, and talked with the department. The department in my last few years seemed to be doing a lot better at getting in front of the general student population.