Friday, January 9, 2009

A Notable College Career

How can one lead a successful college career, that leads to a successful job hunt?  The best way to demonstrate is through stories of actual students.  A profile of one of my favorite students is as follows, with her name protected.

This young lady entered college like most students, having no idea what she wanted to do in life. She entered the Department of Agricultural Economics, and soon made many friends and did well in school.  She considered going into finance, human resources, even marriage counseling. After visiting a graduate school in marriage counseling and realizing it wasn't "her thing", she settled on an agribusiness degree with a finance and a human resources management minor.

During her junior year, she decided she should try and get an internship, but where do you look? It is easy, she says, just go to the program and start searching.  In fact, it seems most students find their internships and jobs through this program.  The young lady featured in this posting stresses the importance of really searching through the database of employers and jobs.  Don't settle for a quick scan.

She ended up taking an internship with Conoco Phillips, and made sure she gave 100% every day.  Conoco Phillips was impressed with her diligence, and just weeks after her internship ended they offerred her a job.  She thoroughly enjoyed her internship; the challenges it allowed her to overcome helped give her life purpose and she enjoyed the people at Conoco.  So she took the job.  

To protect the hiring practices of Conoco Phillips, I will not tell you the offer she received, but it is probably the best offer I have ever seen an undergraduate receive.  It didn't surprise me she got such a good offer though, this young lady is remarkable, and the internship allowed her to demonstrate her work ethic to Conoco.

She had other accomplishments of course: high grades, awards, and officer positions in student organizations.  However, it was ultimately the internship, and her performance in the internship, that got her the job.  Also, she ran operated a private business of boarding and breeding a certain breed of dog.  That experience with business perked their interest in this student.  I once asked her what item about her transcript or resume they showed the most interest in discussing, and it was this private dog business.

I have conducted surveys of thousands of employers and they consistently tell me that an internship is more important than high grades, awards, and officer positions in clubs.  The most important accomplishment to obtain in college is an undergrad -- without a doubt.  Moreover, when you get the internship, work your ass off and make friends, because it will establish your reputation and follow you the rest of your life.

Blog Archive