Hi there! My name is Michael Acutt, part of the graduating class of 2010 and I'm currently working as a financial analyst for Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond, VA. I had interned with the same company during the summer between my Junior and Senior years and it is for that reason alone that I was able to find employment in an economy that left many of my fellow classmates and friends without a job secured upon graduation. And that is the one key message I could give to a current student: get into as many quality internships as you can throughout your 4 years in college, whether or not you are a Junior. In an economy where job competition is fierce among potential candidates in terms of academic success and extracurricular involvement, networking, forging close relationships with alumni, and gaining work experience are the keys to getting your foot in the door to the career that you want. So take advantage of the Career Services department by attending career symposia, joining the Access CEO program and remember to never miss a job fair.
Work experience and internships are essential not only to getting a head start in the career of your dreams but also a reliable barometer of what lines of work are not meant for you. I was an accounting and economics double major and so I knew that my future belonged in the financial world, but as to what specific area I was unsure. I interned at an accounting firm and hated it, but was thankful that I did not waste more time pursuing a career that I thought was right for me.
My advice is to be proactive in terms of a job search, but remain focused on schoolwork and plan to take constructive courses that will help you in your future job, instead of relying on “easy A’s” that will hold no weight in the real world. Find the balance between work and play; enjoy your last 2 years in college because it will be over before you know it. But always plan ahead and set yourself up for success in finding that dream job or getting into your first-choice graduate school by taking initiative and being self-reliant. Those are qualities that, although they won’t show up in italics on your resume, will speak volumes to your colleagues in the real world and translate to professional success.
Basics of Career and Personal Development