I used to be afraid of what life would be like after I graduated college. I had no idea if I would end up with the skills and confidence needed to land a job or internship in my prospective career field. I didn’t know if I would be able to find jobs or make it past the interview stage. But now I’m not nearly as fearful, because my professors have been showing me that they want to prepare me for the competitive professional world.
The professors in my major (public relations) have told me that they care about setting me up for success. I believe all of the professors, across all of Biola’s majors, have this same desire.
To give you an idea of how much Biola’s professors care about career preparation, I’ll tell you about how my major has been helping me.
Career Readiness Class: There is a mandatory class in my major called “Career Readiness.” It was only one credit, yet it was an invaluable experience! I had time to learn about and work on professional development.
Instead of struggling for several days to create a resume, for example, I was given useful resources that taught me how to make a resume that would stand out. Then I was required to make one for an assignment! I appreciate this, because it prevented me from procrastinating on something that can be difficult and intimidating.
Similarly, the next week I was taught how to create a professional and effective cover letter. Being able to create individualized cover letters proved to be useful when I was applying for multiple internships over Christmas break!
The Career Advising Center on campus also helped me during that class. After creating my first drafts of the resume and cover letter, I brought them to an advisor who helped me revise them.
I was also required to create a LinkedIn account (a social network for professionals, oriented around business and employment). To be honest, I think I would have been too intimidated to join LinkedIn, if it hadn’t been an assignment for my class. However, I’m so glad I was encouraged to join! The class taught me how to leverage my account, and now I see that LinkedIn is great tool. (Some of my professors have already written extremely kind “recommendations” about me, and those recommendations will stay posted on my account for future employers to view!)
I also learned about how to prepare for and have a successful job interview. I practiced interviewing by doing a mock interview for my professor. It was hard, but it served me well! When I had my first big interview for an internship a few weeks ago, I felt a lot more confident than I would have, previously.
In that class, I also learned about professional business networking, as well as how to use job websites to find job postings relative to my major. Both of these lessons made me feel even more confident in my internship search.
Two other classes also better prepared me for my future in the professional world. In my online journalism class (Intro to Convergence), I began creating a portfolio website. My professor guided us through the process slowly, which helped immensely.
Finally, in my Writing for Public Relations class, I had a whole semester to build a portfolio that showcases my professional writing skills. I got to take this with me to an interview, and my potential employers were thrilled to see it!
All of these things helped me feel more comfortable during my internship search, landed me an internship, and have given me hope for the future!