The Career Coach’s have been in our role now for a little over 8 months, and we are hoping that the majority of you have already stopped in to meet your Coach (if you haven’t, we are waiting to meet you!). Whether you came in voluntarily for career advice/guidance, or you came in because you were required to for GEB3003 (Career Research & Planning), we hope you have found our services beneficial! For the GEB3003 course, over the span of 6 weeks, the 7 of us can proudly say we collectively met with about 1,000 Business students for the Career Coach assignment portion of the course (yes, we are tired!). Each of those meetings were somewhere around an hour and were focused on getting to know each student individually and helping them begin (or deepen) their career search.

I can’t speak for all the Career Coach’s, but I can say that for me, these 6 weeks were, by far, my favorite time spent in this role so far. Individually, I met around 150 amazing Accounting students. The majority of these students are just entering their Accounting classes, and have no Accounting experience at this point. We discussed things like informational interviews, LinkedIN, how to build a network, and how to tell their story. Most of the students left my office grateful, but I could also tell they were overwhelmed. We covered A LOT of information in each meeting. For me, this is my passion and what I love, so I could talk about career searches for 8 hours straight. But for our students, this is additional work for you! On top of your courses, your part time (or full time!) jobs, and everything else going on in your life! So where do you go from here after these meetings? How do we make sure you are truly benefitting from these meetings?

I have had several students schedule follow up meetings with me to go over their resume, complete a mock interview, or deepen their individualized career search strategy. While it’s been so great to see the students again and continue to strengthen our relationship, I can’t help but be a little disappointed when I have a student come in and tell me they haven’t done anything since our first meeting. I can sit in my office and tell you all day long how to manipulate your resume, how to appropriately email someone on LinkedIN, and how to search for jobs, but it is up to YOU as the student to take action. I wasn’t hired to hold your hand and reach out to people for you, or give you a list of phone numbers from my own network. I was hired to help you learn life long, career search strategies. So how can we all work in partnership to make sure you get the most of your interaction with our office? Here are a couple of my thoughts 🙂

  1. Go back and review your notes you were sent by your Career Coach. You all should have received notes from the meeting to your knights email account. Print them out, and use them to make an action plan or a list of “to do’s” from the meeting
  2. Review the folder you received during your meeting. This folder was created individually for you and the major you are in. There are notes in there about the curriculum, networking opportunities, Career Services events, career resources, and employer information. We put these together for you as a starting off point. Use this folder throughout the rest of your time here as a “Career Folder”, and keep it up to date with information you receive from job fairs, networking events, and Career Services.
  3. Create an Action Plan. Break down your goals in to buckets – LinkedIN, Informational Interviews, Networking events, etc. Then for each bucket, write down what was discussed in your meeting. Do you need a new profile picture for LinkedIN? Do you need to reach out to someone who works in your major? Do you need to make a connection with a UCF alum? Do you need to sign up to attend a Career Services event? Put these individual action items under each bucket. It will help clear your head, and keep yourself organized on what you still need to do.
  4. Break it down in to small goals. Let’s say your goal is to build your LinkedIN presence. Put together a timeline. One week, update your profile picture. The next week, update your job and education experience. The next week, begin focusing on connecting with people. You can break that down even further and set a goal to connect with 5 new individuals that will be a mutually beneficial contact each week. Or maybe your Career Coach meeting focused on conducting informational interviews to find out what branch of Marketing you want to go in to or what type of Accountant you want to be. Set yourself a goal to reach out to one person per month whose currently working in the field you’re exploring. It doesn’t sound that scary now, does it?
  5. Now take action! Every member of the College of Business will tell you that we do things differently here. We are forcing you to step outside of your comfort zone (even my wonderful introverted Accounting students!) Now is the time to take the risk. As a student, you have the flexibility to mess up because you are a student and the real world knows you are still learning and finding yourself. Your dream job will not land in your lap. You need to go out there and find it, and we are providing you with every tool possible to do so. It’s one thing to put together a perfect plan, but it’s another to actually work through that plan step by step and make your life happen!

We look forward to hearing about how your job search strategies are going, so please make sure you keep in touch with your Career Coach. The absolute MOST satisfying part of my job is when I receive an email from a student letting me know they have either figured out what they want to do, or they received a job offer because of help I gave them (I just got one this morning and it made me tear up!). So that is your new goal – make your Career Coach proud!! And if you want, once you do get that job offer and start making the big bucks, feel free to thank your Career Coach for their help with some chocolate or baked goods 🙂

lindsay-bridges2

Lindsay Bridges

Accounting Career Coach

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