Students participating in the Career and Internship Fair                   Photo by Indigo Halverson

Students participating in the Career and Internship Fair                   Photo by Indigo Halverson

 Patrice Gomez and Indigo Halverson

What am I going to do with this degree? What will I do once I graduate? Where am I going to find a job? Last week, students who were contemplating these thoughts had the opportunity to attend events through Straight Outta College Week.

Straight Outta College week is a program which allows students to speak with professionals and improve their skills on how to prepare for jobs through resume building and connections for future careers. Straight Outta College is a series of engaging and interactive career development workshops and a career internship fair. “Present students the opportunity to develop a competitive edge in internship and job processes" said Assistant Dean of the Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development, Debra Pratt.

The first workshop hosted was "How to Crossfit your Resume" where guest speakers from both profit and non-profit organizations taught students the do’s and don'ts of applying to jobs and organizations. In addition, they also got to look at a few students resumes and give helpful feedback. "After the workshop I feel more confident about my resume," said senior Siri Wilder. "I know that I now have the knowledge necessary to make it better. I think the workshop helps students understand about the professional world and how to navigate it."

At the workshop, students spoke with professionals about font choice, and cautioned students in using Times New Roman because it is generic and therefore will not help you stand out. The presenters also expressed the need to make sure your resume is devoid of typos, and emphasized condensing your work experience to the most relevant information. When it comes to page numbers, a good rule of thumb is one page per ten years of work experience, avoiding multiple pages, which can read like a novel to potential employers rather than a brief summary. One of the most important aspects of the first workshop was being able to highlight the skill set you gained from each job, rather than focus on the importance of the job itself, especially because some jobs may not be a direct link to the job you want, but still produce important skills.

The second day of the program was focused on how to present yourself to potential employers through a “30-second commercial”, or your “elevator pitch.” This speech is designed to give the best first impression you can, especially after you create a new and improved resume. The goal is to amaze potential employers, look confident, smile, introduce yourself, ask how the employer is doing, give a firm handshake, and give a 30 second pitch about your greatest qualities.

You should have knowledge about the company prior to an interview or mixer. This allows you to go in and say, “Hi, My name is [insert name]. How are you today? I am excited about your company because of x, y, and z, I myself have x amount of years doing [insert blank].” Tell the employer as much as you can, this allows the employer to tailor the conversation to a specific job you might be interested in, rather than trying to fill awkward silences. If the employer takes your resume, follow up with them. It is super important if you are serious about a job to continue to establish contact between yourself and the company. All of the newly acquired resume and interview skills were put to the test on the third day of the program, the job fair. The job fair was full of potential employers, meeting and interviewing students who were amped, prepared, and ready to get a job.

The career week ended with a big finale as students had the opportunity to apply those skills at the Career and Internship Fair the following day. This was a chance for fellow students to really stand out for future positions in jobs and internships. It didn't stop there as students who RSVP toward Nike Headquarters and the Shout Factory. These two trips showed the behind the scenes of working in both locations.

The Career Center gave great assistance for students and made them feel more comfortable and understand what it takes to go after the job. "It's never too early to apply for a job and explore your options," said first-year Amy Trinh. "Straight Outta College week events were informative and motivational and I'm so glad I was able to attend them."