Alumni News

July 18, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Young Alumni on Jobs: ‘Get Your Face Out There’

By Austin Rivers ’17

A recent graduate had specific advice for Ohio University students: Even when you don’t know what you want to do for a career, you should work to “get your face out there; get your name out there.”

Natasha Lorenz ’14, was one of half a dozen young alumni returning to campus for a career panel with Sociology students.

A police officer, Lorenz stated that her networking experience allowed her to build a relationship with those already in her career field. Lorenz said even before she was sure she wanted to become a police officer she had built a relationship with the Athens county officers, and had gone on several ridealongs with Athens Police Department during her undergraduate years.

Lorenz and her fellow young alumni discussed a variety of topics, including post-graduate life and and the career paths they took based upon their degrees. The panel can be viewed online.

During the Q&A session, students were able to ask the alumni several key questions about what it took for them to get the career they have. The panel responded with several simple truisms for being successful after finishing college and graduate school that can be applied to any student.

‘It’s All About Who You Know’

The panel agreed networking was one of the most valuable tool for when looking for a career.

“You’ve all heard it a thousand times,” said Amy Slaven ’13. “It’s all about who you know.” Slaven said she found her job through a chance connection with her aunt’s best friend, which allowed her to get her foot in the door.

While everyone is not as fortuitous to find such a familial-based opportunity, what is important to take away is networking resources can be found from almost anyone you know. You just have to look for them.

Experience Is Great Asset When Applying for Job

Another point discussed by the panel is the value of having prior experience in a field. Experience is one of the greatest assets when applying for a job, and can be required by most businesses.

Staci Vaughan ’15 said that after graduation the job positions she applied for often wanted three to five years of some sort of work experience in the field.

As expected, experience can best be found through internships.

Cam Bailey ’15 said his experience with corrections internships gave him a wealth of knowledge that put him ahead of his coworkers on his new job.

“Getting experience in your undergrad while taking classes is a huge thing,” Bailey said. “This experience not only makes you a more appealing as a potential employee, but also shows your employer you have the drive for succeeding in your career field.”

Volunteering, Like Internships, Shows Drive to Succeed

The final point discussed by the panel was volunteering. Volunteering, like internships, shows employers you have the drive to succeed, and are willing to do so for the sake of helping others.

Many noted that Americorps is one of the best interning resources for gaining both career and volunteering experience. Americorps is civil society program that matches students with volunteering opportunities across the country. Students can look through thousands of volunteering postings and find one that matches their interests.

In addition to the experience, Vaughan said there are several others benefits to working with Americorps, such as not having to make a student loan payment for a year after graduation. Vaughan says Americorps is paying all of her loan interests, that her loans will be cut in half, and that her health insurance is covered fully through the Americorps program.

It is important to remember that in going after the career you want, you must do everything to build your credentials. The members of the alumni panel demonstrate that if you stay dedicated to finding career opportunities, they will come your way.

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