Student Perspective: Chasing Job Search Rabbits

For a few weeks, I felt like there were no leads for any career in my ever-approaching future, and there were too many questions from concerned parents. I felt myself becoming frustrated the longer I do not have concrete answers for the inevitable "How's the job front looking?" from my Dad. Seeking to make my parents proud is motivation enough for job searching with vigor, however, it is not a reason to settle for something less than success.

Lately I have been following a rabbit trail that has led to an interview of sorts. When does an employer says "I'd like to meet with you." does that qualify for an interview or a more casual information-gathering session? That has been a common theme for me recently...

As a Spanish major, I recently attended a Hispanic Interest Coalition of AL (HICA) information session for extra credit. What was an assignment turned into a true interest the more I heard about the organization and their mission to bridge the gap between the Latino and local community. I asked questions during the presentation, talked to the presenter after, received her business card, and sent a follow-up email with a resume attached. At the end of the session, two other teachers approached me. One suggested I talk with a certain professor with a background in medical Spanish translation. The other needs a part time intern for translating Spanish educational fliers. Can you say resume builder?!

The presenter emailed back with her suggestions for my career path in Birmingham, and sent me the email of a guy trying to revive a translators association. He gave me the group's email and a hispanic philanthropic lawyer looking for an office assistant. I emailed the lawyer my credentials and he called me that afternoon to meet with him in Birmingham!

Who knows where a rabbit trail may lead, but there is much to say about showing up for class credit or not. Here are some tips that I learned from my rabbit trail experience: 
  • Pursue the presentations or events that may interest you. (check out the CDS webinars, for example)
  • Don't be shy; talk to presenters directly about their jobs and their company.
  • Be timely with follow-up or interest emails, include all resumes and information.
  • Follow through and don't give up the search. Follow each trail to its end. If you do not like where you end up, hop on another trail and see where it takes you.

Margaret Kloess '10

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