In today’s faltering economy, the reality of limited job availability haunts students as they prepare to leave the somewhat sheltered college life.
However, Friday’s “The Inside Track” information session, hosted by UM’s School of Business Administration, provided a different, more optimistic and empowering perspective on the bleak job situation.
The presentation, led by faculty and students of the business school and representatives from Toppel Career Center, addressed tips for procuring internships as college students and for paving the way to a successful professional career.
“You have to be able to effectively compete,” said Jacqueline Johnson, the senior business consultant for Toppel Career Center. She emphasized that while the number of positions available in companies has decreased, there are still opportunities for educated, experienced and talented people.
Fortunately for University of Miami students, opportunities abound to advance experiences and refine skills necessary to obtain internships and jobs; the key is to take advantage of them.
Networking is one of the most important things a student can do when looking for an internship or a job, because it helps build contacts that can help open future opportunities.
“Every opportunity I’ve had was from networking,” said David Hunter, a senior who has held four internships since he was 13 years old. “It’s the best thing you can do.”
Johnson asserted that the key to networking is using the tools and people around you as resources. Toppel Career Center offers help to all UM students in resume building, refining interviewing skills and guiding students to take personal responsibility and initiative to be competitive and assertive in the global market.
Christian Garcia, Toppel’s director, offered a list of tips to help students when looking for jobs.
“Always maintain professionalism,” Garcia said.
He went on to stress the importance of being prepared when meeting with potential employers, representing oneself well and exhibiting ethical behavior. It is also important to know about the industry, as recruiters will remember one’s knowledge and enthusiasm.
“Companies want talent—people who are going to immediately impact their business,” Johnson said.
She suggested that to gain experience, build up strengths and skills and to become better prepared to find an internship or job, students should take advantage of all the resources the university offers.
“Use the people who know this game,” said Ellen McPhillip, assistant dean of the School of Business.
This event pooled the knowledge of the experts in the area of getting internships and jobs, and left students with the information necessary to advance career opportunities.
For more information:
• Visit Toppel Career Center
• Set up a CaneZone account to make your resume available to businesses looking for interns
• Attend the Fall Career Expo at the BankUnited Center on Wednesday starting at 11 a.m.