Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thinking about jobs...

We are getting into Spring, which I think arrives officially in a few more days. Spring for college seniors means thinking about jobs. I spend more than a couple of minutes in a variety of classes talking with students about the work world and how they should prepare early for finding a job. One of the not-so-happy observations I share with them is my idea that 'finding a job is likely the hardest job you will ever have.' That was true for me as I worked to find my current jobs and I know it is true for friends of mine who have recently been downsized out of their jobs.In fact, one of those friends wrote me the other day that she had over the last few weeks sent out more than 20 applications for jobs and had no word back from any organization. She is good. She has made significant differences for the organizations for which she has worked. Finding this next job is a real JOB.

So, what about Coker students. They are the reason I have been thinking about the topic. Yesterday a Recruiting Supervisor from Enterprise was on campus. They are one of the organizations I recommend our students look at closely. Enterprise has hired some Coker students, and some communication majors, so I have had feedback on them.
They provide good training once a person is hired. The require an extremely strong work ethic once a person is hired. From what former students tell me, the company offers challenge and rewards performance. I also know, because of some who did not get the offer, that their interview process is worth the application. They have a series of increasingly difficult interviews and students can learn a lot in that process. So, yesterday, one of our juniors talked with the Recruiting Supervisor about internship possibilities for this summer. That student is a strong student and if she gets the internship she will contribute to the success of Enterprise and Enterprise will contribute to her continued growth.

Part of the reason for thinking about jobs this week has to do with internships. We require an internship for the Coker communication major. We think real-world experience is important and the continuing feedback from students is that the internships make a difference in their lives. Students have to work to find their internships and have to work to get their internships. Part of our job is to help that process. Last night,for example, I was helping a student think about an effective cover letter to the prospective employer to enhance her chances for the internship.

As I walked home the other evening another student, who was in the National Guard while at Coker, stopped me to say hello as she greeted students coming to the dance studio where she teaches once a week. That student was telling me about hitting a crossroads. She had not heard from her grad school applications (Social Work) and so she signed on for Active Duty in the Army. The next day she was accepted to her first-choice grad school -- a day late. But she didn't question her decision. A few days later she was accepted to the University of South Carolina School of Social Work and she is pursuing the Masters Degree, getting ready for a promotion and hoping to move toward Officer Candidate School, so she can eventually be an Army Social Worker.

I was also thinking about jobs because some of the students are now getting word on their graduate school applications. Just heard through Facebook about a student who graduated last year and who has been doing Sports Information in a year-long internship that he was accepted to the University of West Virginia in a program he was eager to attend. Another student got into Boston University and a third has an assistantship from Virginia Tech. Another has been accepted to several of the law schools to which she has applied.

Spring is just about here and graduation is only about seven weeks away. So, there will be a great deal of thinking about jobs and after-school plans over the next few weeks.


  1. Congrats Lindsay and Cassidy for getting an assistantship and into multiple law schools...Keep the Coker communications department and community proud!!!

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