The transition from high school to college can be very difficult. The pressure is now on you. There is no more following the crowd or waiting until the period before to study for your test. When I first entered Mercy College in September, I believed I would be able to breeze through everything because that’s how things were for me in high school. However, I quickly learned that I had entered a new chapter in my life. I would have to learn how to manage my time, pick a career path, and most importantly gain professional skills I did not possess.
Luckily for us students, we have the Career and Professional Development team. I had the wonderful opportunity to be a student worker for this department my first semester of college. Through this opportunity, I was able to see and witness the broad range of resources our CPD team offers students. I was not aware of the work and effort our career coaches go through to make sure their students are career ready. They take the time to sit and go through our resumes and provide us feedback until they are perfect. They conduct mock interviews to ensure we are prepared and not caught off guard at an interview.
As students, I urge that we take full advantage of the resources we have at hand because the opportunities can be endless. I believe I am the perfect example to show that when you take advantage of everything presented to you, good things will come.
As a freshman, I got the opportunity to intern at a mid-size accounting firm, Marks Paneth. This opportunity arose because of my connection to the CPD team. I would periodically search for internships on Career Maverick, until I came across this accounting internship. I sat with my career coach, Gina, who works with business students, and got the career guidance I needed to submit my application. After receiving the great news that I had moved on to the interview stage, Gina and I ran through about 5 mock interviews where she helped me perfect my answers and brainstorm ideas for any challenging questions that might come up. If it were not for the CPD team I would have not been able to possess the professional skills that have gotten me to where I am today.
CPD offers various events to help students explore careers. For example, in October they hosted a Speed Networking event where more than 30 companies were present. This event gave us the ability to network with professionals in our desired career paths. Through this event I got the chance to meet professionals from Deloitte. I was able to present them my elevator pitch and keep them engaged throughout the process. This connection resulted in a summer internship program which I will be a part of in the upcoming months.
As a freshman concluding my first year, the biggest advice I have to give is to get involved. Stay active in your clubs and make sure to value every connection presented to you because you never know where a connection may lead. Networking is key!