Gusties tell it all
Stage 1: Freaking Out
Katie Batz ’13: Senior, Communication Studies major
I am currently in the “not really sure what I’m doing” phase of my job search. For a very long period of time I was not worried about it at all, just knew I’d get around to it at some point. But, as more and more of my friends are finding out what they are doing next year, the drive to find a job for next year has increased.
The drive did not come without a little bit of panic, however. For me, the whole process seemed so stressful. But, I decided to just start diving in. I signed up for the Job Fair and started looking at the emails from Cynthia Favre with a little more intention. I am planning on working in the Events and Hospitality Industry somewhere so I’ve been looking specifically at positions related to that. As soon as I started seeing positions that I could actually see myself in, the stress went away a little bit. I find it pretty thrilling to think that my next business card could say, “Katie Batz, Event Coordinator” and can’t help but think to myself, “I could do that!” I think it is so important to apply for jobs that you are excited about, not just things that will get you through. I feel more confident in my abilities to perform well in an application process when I know I have a passion for the position.
State 2: Applying
Applying for jobs can be a strenuous and tedious process, but with the right mindset and a few tips, the application process can be painless.
Following instructions is key to any application process—especially online. Although page after page fill-in-the-blanks may seem pointless and repetitive, remember that each employer is seeing this for the first time.
Another important tip to remember is to review before you submit—discrepencies will be noticed by employers. Fill in all the items that need an answer, even if it means contacting previous emplyers or searching elsewhere for the information.
Finally, don’t be lazy when applying for jobs. Spelling errors, writing “see attatched” and skimming the instructions are all common mistakes that should be avoided. Be truthful on your applications, but also give yourself credit—you worked hard to get where you are now.
Stage 3: Waiting
Kristina Fosse ’13: Senior, Sociology and Anthropology major
Currently, I am waiting to hear back from the Peace Corps about an official invitation to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer. For those unfamiliar with the application process, applying for the Peace Corps takes tremendous amounts of patience and flexibility. One year has already passed since I began my journey to become a Peace Corps volunteer.
I began the application last February, submitted it in March, and had my interview in May. It wasn’t until October that I was officially nominated to serve as a volunteer in the Education Sector, with a tentative departure date of July 2013. As of now, my application is at the Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C. where it is being screened for suitability and competitiveness. During the month of March, I should be hearing from my assigned Placement Officer about whether or not an official invitation is heading my way. An official invitation will tell me the specific country I will reside in for the next two years, my exact job title and description, as well as my final departure date.
Serving as a Peace Corps volunteer has been in the back of my mind for a number of years, but being here at Gustavus definitely pushed me to commit. If I am selected to serve as a volunteer my life will change drastically. Moving to a different country for 27 months, integrating myself into a new culture, learning a new language, and being separated from my family will be challenging.
Gustavus has so many resources for students looking for jobs or internships. The Center for Servant Leadership, GustieJobs, professors, and alumni can all provide assistance in your job/internship search. Personally, the Gustavus professors and staff members who have served as Peace Corps volunteers themselves have been incredibly helpful.
Stage 4: Interviewing
Rebecca Nelson ‘14: Junior, Public Accounting major
Even though I am an accounting major, accounting was something that I was never too interested in pursuing after college.
I knew that getting an internship for this summer would be one way that I could start exploring many of my different options after graduation. To do this I started networking with some business professionals that I have had the opportunity to meet while here at Gustavus.
My resume was forwarded to the right people at Thrivent, and before I knew it, they were calling me asking when I could come in to interview. I knew that the people I interviewed with were going to make their decision in the next two days, so I immediately sent out cards thanking them for the opportunity to interview with them.Two days later I received a call from HR offering me the position, and I cannot wait to start my internship this summer!
Stage 5: Got the job!
Hannah Forster ’13: Senior, Elementary Education major
I’m in the “got the dream job!” stage. I’ve wanted to join Teach for America since freshman year and am so thrilled that I’ve been accepted! It was a long, intense process including a preliminary application, online testing, and a final interview in Minneapolis. Now that I’ve been accepted, I am preparing to move to the Mississippi Delta to teach in one of the lowest achieving schools in the nation for the next two years. This was also my dream location. I’m excited to go and immerse myself in a completely different culture/lifestyle in a different part of the country. Teach for America is an organization connected with AmeriCorps that trains the strongest leaders, mostly from universities across the country, to be achievement-oriented teachers and to teach towards closing the achievement gap in the United States. The organization trains these people for teaching-through-leadership and then places them in the lowest achieving schools across the country. The goal is to have strong leaders in the schools, fighting for educational equality. As an education major, this is one of my biggest passions, and I am so incredibly excited to be joining the Corp.
My advice: Be patient. Don’t be concerned if your friends have it all figured out and you’re just not quite sure yet. Everybody’s timeline is different. Open your eyes to the possibilities! This is a great time in your life to get away and experience something completely new and challenging before settling down into a long term position/career.
Have a plan B. I had to wait for over a month to hear back from Teach for America after my final interview. I chose not to let this wait stress me out—instead, I decided to be proactive and start exploring other options that would help me achieve my goals and do what I’m passionate about.