Bobcats in the Field: A Snapshot of Carson Gregors’ Internship Experience at Navicent Health

carson gregorsAs the Public Relations Intern at The Medical Center, Navicent Health, I met a variety of people and used written and visual platforms to capture their stories.  Most days I walked around the hospital in a bright red lab coat with a camera hanging around my neck and a notepad in my pocket.

Two aspects of this internship made it a fertile ground of growth for any individual seeking to gain experience in the field of mass communication:

  1. The Who: My supervisor, Megan Allen, was the best, and while I’m sure many interns claim that title for their bosses, I can prove mine actually was the best. On my very first day, she took me along for interviews and meetings–patiently explaining things and answering my questions. Throughout the first week, she helped me discern how to use my skill set within the department in a way that I could both enjoy and learn from. Megan helped me grow as a mass communication professional instead of just treating me like an intern. By giving me the freedom to work on my own projects while critiquing and praising my work, she made my internship a valuable part of my post college journey and gave me a model to aspire to.
  2. The What: I have a passion for storytelling. My primary job at Navicent Health was to find and capture the stories of our staff, patients and volunteers. During my internship I created a network of contacts of staff who worked in the medical areas of the hospital. Those contacts helped me locate individuals interested in sharing their stories and experiences with our department. The journalism training I received while studying at Georgia College prepared me for this.  After finding the contact info for an individual I wanted to speak with, I scheduled a time to interview him or her. Then, I either filmed the interview for a video or wrote an  article to accompany a photograph of the person. I enjoyed this job for two reasons. When interviewing a staff or volunteer, I was able to encourage them and reinforce that what they do matters. When interviewing a patient, I was given the honor of sharing in his or her pain and joy. I noticed that there was generally a combination of sadness and happiness when patients shared about their health journey, but they also were eager to thank the personnel who cared for them.

Mass communication, when done right, can be a force that brings people together. I got excited every time one of my videos was published on our social media.  Interning at Navicent Health gave me a variety of experiences and a new network of contacts. I feel like the work I did helped the public understand that hospitals weren’t always scary places. Navicent Health is a place where compassion and care meet, and I enjoyed helping share that message.

I loved what I did at Navicent Health. I saw my internship as a way to encourage and care for people in a unique way. I found out about this internship opportunity through emails sent out by Dr. Land, and  then contacted the Georgia College Career Center to process my internship paperwork. I recommend that all students visit the Career Center for help with their internship and career related needs.

Advertisements

Bobcats In The Field: Graduate Gives 5 Tips for Navigating the Interview & Job Acceptance Process-Keep Your Seat Belts Fastened!

I hope you didn’t unfasten your seat belts!  Sara Stanton is back to finish navigating us through her job search process with 5 helpful tips on interviewing, juggling  job offers and researching company culture.   Sara, now a recent graduate of the Rhetoric program here at Georgia College, recounts how she juggled multiple job offers and landed her job with Altitude Business Group (Family Heritage Insurance) in Denver, Colorado.  Fasten your seat belts!

My Interview Process 

I probably applied for about fifteen jobs (side note: from what I’ve heard, this is very low, but because I gave myself so much time, I was very picky about what I applied for…not to mention, cover letters are very tedious…), so I went through the full interview process with 2 jobs.  The first job was a Director of The Fund for Equality (Human Rights Campaign) Denver; this interview process was pretty typical. It look a little over a month. First, I had a screening interview over the phone with another director. From my experience, phone screens are really in place so they can tell you more details about the position of the job, make sure you’re serious about the position, and answer any questions you may have about the interview process or position. The key here is to be enthusiastic; remember you’re on the phone, so you’ve got to pay attention to the way you sound (it helps to smile). From there, I had a phone interview with an executive member of the organization; this was definitely more traditional. They asked me personality questions, scenario-questions, and I had the opportunity to ask them questions too.

Tip # 1– ALWAYS ask questions! I had a list of 5-6 questions to ask the interviewer about the job/company/etc. It tells them that you aren’t just interested, but you’re eager, you’re curious, you’ve done your research, and you care about the company. Lastly, I had a Skype interview with the gal who would be my direct boss. She asked me more job-specific questions (so, scenarios that only a director would have to deal with/be part of), and then clarified the nitty-gritty details of the position (like salary). Again, ask questions if you are given the opportunity.

Tip #2 – If you have a video interview, make sure you are in an appropriate location! Don’t have your bed in the background and make sure there is are no distracting noises.  After this interview, they called me a few days later and offered me the position; I asked for an extension to accept or decline, so I had two weeks to give them my final answer. I worked part-time for this organization during all of December break in order to, one, get my foot in the door, and two, see if it was the right fit for me! This was extremely beneficial in the interview process because I could give examples that came straight from my experience working in the company, and they had insight into who I was, how I worked with others, and how dedicated I was to the organization.

Tip #3 – If you have ANY opportunity to volunteer, intern or work part-time with a company you’re interested in, I would highly recommend doing it! It helped me to make my final decision when accepting a job.  The second job was a Sales  representative for Altitude Business Group (Family Heritage Insurance) Denver; This interview process was a little less traditional; it only took two weeks. I applied for this job on a Sunday and got a call to have a phone screen, which we ended up doing on the spot, on Monday afternoon. After the phone screen, which was similar to the one I mentioned above, I had an interview with the President of the company about a week later. Before this interview, I had to watch a 40 minute video about the company, the job, and lots of nitty-gritty details about everything! After watching the video, I had to fill out a pretty detailed questionnaire/worksheet of basic interview questions to send back to the President before we spoke; my answers were then used as part of my phone interview with the President! The really cool thing about this was that the video and worksheet required me to really think about myself, the position, the company, and why I would be a great fit/how I would succeed/where I would struggle/etc. It was very helpful when the real interview happened! The phone interview with the President lasted for about an hour and fifteen minutes; we discussed most of the questions I had answered on the worksheet, and then any questions I had about any details that had been covered in the video or during the interview. The President called me back the next day to offer me the position, and I accepted!

 

Job Acceptance Advice

Tip #4 – Do NOT feel like you have to accept your first job offer just because you don’t have anything else on the table at the moment!  A little more info about job acceptance…so I actually had to juggle these offers at the same time. I was offered the job with The Fund for Equality right before I applied to work for Altitude Business Group (ABG). Because I had worked for The Fund during December break, I knew that it was a job I could absolutely do, but I also knew that it would be a very stressful, very time consuming position for very little pay. I kept it in the cards in case nothing else came along, but when an opportunity arose to interview for another position, I asked for an extension to accept or decline my offer. I ended up getting a job offer from ABG on the final day of my extension with The Fund for Equality. I bring all of this up to say  It is SO important to listen to your gut- if you aren’t that excited about an opportunity, it is okay to say no. You gained interview experience, negotiation experience, and you’re giving yourself an opportunity to find something better suited for you!

Company Culture

Tip #5 – I highly recommend checking out the “About Us” section before applying to work anywhere! Something that I kept in mind throughout all of my job searching was that I wanted to work for a company or organization that aligned with my values. Basically every place you apply for will have an “About Us” section on their website, and within that section, they’ll most likely state their company’s mission statement and/or core values. A lot of times, we are so pressured to get on with the job search and find something as soon as possible, but we have to remember that these companies are made up of the people we will be surrounding ourselves with every day, and we want to make sure we are right for them and they are right for us! I accepted the job that I did because from the information about company values and through speaking with recruiters and the President, I could tell (and was told) that I would mesh really well with everyone I was going to be working with. You want to represent a company that could also represent you and who you are!

Contact  the Career Center for all of your job search and interview needs.  Appointments are available all summer!

Bobcats In The Field: Fasten Your Seat Belts and Take A Ride On This Student’s Job Search Roller Coaster!

Think the job search process is easy? For some that may be so, but for others like Sara Stanton, the process isn’t always cut and dry.  Sara, a graduating Rhetoric student here at Georgia College, recounts how she landed her job with Altitude Business Group (Family Heritage Insurance) in Denver, Colorado. Not only will you see that major doesn’t always equal career, but  she has some pretty great advice. Fasten your seat belts!

How was your job search experience?

I’m sure you’d all love for me to answer this with, “it was awesome!!” but we should be realistic here- the job search is not all fun and games! It was definitely a roller coaster of emotions. In terms of the not-so-great, sometimes it was frustrating to go through hundreds of jobs online that seemed to all want years of experience. Oh, and don’t even get me started on cover letters! However, there were always a lot of exciting moments- I loved when I would come across a really cool position or get stoked about the potential to work for a particular company or organization. I would always call my parents or friends to tell them about opportunities that I was pumped about, and then they would be excited for me too! Those were the moments that helped me get through the more tedious times.

I actually started job searching in October of 2017- the first semester of my senior year. I know it seems really early, but I would not change a thing about jumping the gun on the job search- if anything, I would have started earlier. Starting in October gave me an ample amount of time to search, write cover letters, change up my resume, or do extra research on companies that I was interested in, and best of all, I had a job offer by the beginning of January!

What types of jobs did you apply for?

Ah, the question every Rhetoric major a GC gets: what the heck are you going to do with that? Have no fear my fellow Rhetoric majors (and everyone else- yay liberal arts!)- there are SO many opportunities out there for you! I applied for a plethora of positions. I have experience in the nonprofit world, so I applied for a lot of positions with different nonprofits such as The Fund for Equality and Impact. In these organizations, I applied for director positions or field manager positions. Outside of the nonprofit spectrum, I applied for admissions counselor positions at a few universities, human resources positions, and sales positions!

I also want to throw this into the mix- I have wanted to move to Denver, Colorado for years, so I decided to do 95% of my job applications for positions in Denver! I applied for a couple of jobs locally, but getting a job in Denver was definitely a priority for me. If you’ve got a dream location- get out there and apply for jobs in that location! Now is the time to do it. Ps. If anyone reading this is looking for a roommate in Denver, let me know… 😊

How did you find your job?

If you read anything on this blog post- read this section!! I did all of my job searching online. I used websites like Indeed, Monster, WorkForGood, and Idealist. I found the most success on Indeed and Idealist (Idealist = the nonprofit version of Indeed). The best part about these websites was that you can save jobs to your account. As I mentioned before, I started my job search at the beginning of October, but I didn’t actually apply for a job until Thanksgiving. I really enjoyed using these websites to do a ton of research and really narrow down what I was most interested in pursuing. I highly recommend taking the time to learn about these sites, how to use them, and putting that knowledge to use; this made the job search much easier for me. In terms of time, if you start in your first semester of senior year, I would give yourself a few hours a week to work on searching/resumes/applications/cover letters. I don’t think people realize how time consuming it all is. I am fortunate enough to work for TapRide at GC, so if I wasn’t on call last semester, I was working on finding a job when I was at the office!

I will also add- I never touched LinkedIn to search for jobs, but I know some people really love it and benefit from it. If you love LinkedIn and know how to use it, go for it, but if you don’t, you can easily get connected in similar ways (or sometimes even more directly) by using the search engines I mentioned! If you want to learn how to use LinkedIn- go to the Career Center! They are so helpful in teaching us how to utilize it best!

In the end, I probably applied for about fifteen jobs (side note: from what I’ve heard, this is very low, but because I gave myself so much time, I was very picky about what I applied for…not to mention, cover letters are very tedious…), so I went through the full interview process with 2 jobs.

Stay tuned and look out for our next blog post to read more about how Sara navigated through the job search process to juggle multiple interviews and job offers! 

Bobcats In The Field: A Music Therapy Student’s Take On Internships, One Note At A Time

malorie morris

Think internships are just about shuffling papers and answering phones?  Think again!  Hear the story of Malorie Morris,  a senior Music Therapy student who is currently doing an internship at Palmetto Health in Columbia, South Carolina. You’ll see that not only does she make a difference in the lives of others while earning college credit, but  she’s doing what she truly loves.  Read more about her internship experience and advice on how much internship experience matters.

Job Duties/Responsibilities: My internship is part of my course requirements for a music therapy degree. All music therapy students nationwide are required to complete a 6-month internship with supervision from a Board-Certified Music Therapist in a setting of our choice. At Palmetto Health, I get the opportunity to work with various different populations, including NICU babies, medical patients, and behavioral care with both adolescents and adults.

A typical Day: A typical day consists of computer documentation, writing in treatment plans, planning for sessions, practicing music skills, and leading both individual and group music therapy sessions. My current rotation consists of adolescent behavioral care, medical referrals, and NICU babies. In mid-April, I will begin my second rotation, which includes adult behavioral care and medical rounding. I spend a lot of time during the day planning and preparing for each of my sessions, which usually last anywhere from 20-45 minutes (depending on whether it is individual or group). For each patient I work with, I do a complete initial assessment to determine specific short-term and long-term goals. All of my interventions revolve around their individualized goals, so each session incorporates the things that they need to accomplish. For the adolescent behavioral care, my session typically revolves around positive coping skills, finding new outlets for expression, and helping them make personalized goals for themselves. In the music therapy groups, I use various interventions. A few examples include musical games, drum circles, keyboard improv, or lyric analysis to address these needs. For the medical patients, the goals are a little different – usually encouraging positive distraction or pain management. This is done through music guided relaxation, therapeutic singing, instrument improv, or songwriting.

Favorite part of the internship: Getting to work with so many types of people! Every day is completely different, and you never know what to expect. The people we have the privilege of working with are ever-changing, and day-to-day their needs may be different. I love challenging myself to work with people who I never have before and pushing myself to try new things. I love seeing the effect that music has on each of the patients, no matter their situation. The teenagers love using music as a way to get their frustration and emotions out, and it’s amazing to see how it helps them build connections with each other. For the medical patients, I love being able to use music to help them deal with their pain/anxiety during a rough procedure or witnessing the profound effect it has on their emotional well-being (and their families!). Music transcends culture, age, gender – everything. It is flexible and adaptable to each situation, and I love that I get to have an internship where I get to tap into this power every day.

Most challenging part of internship: In music therapy, people are both the best thing about it, as well as the most challenging! I have definitely seen this to be true throughout the internship. Just as I mentioned before, the people we work with are always changing day-to-day. Especially the teenagers in behavioral care – their moods are never stable! Working with them has probably been the most challenging aspect of the internship because even the best-planned interventions can go awry as soon as you enter the room. I have had to learn to how to be more flexible/adaptable to their needs in the moment and to give them the kinds of expression that they need. My supervisor is always reminding me that people come to their hospital at their very worst – they come in with all sorts of baggage and histories that are unimaginable. That is both the challenge and the privilege of getting to work with them.

Why internship experience matters: Internships matter because it gives you the chance to see what it is like in your future profession while you still have guidance and supervision along the way. It is the time to test out the waters – to figure out whether or not this is the right career path for you. If you get into and end up hating it, now’s the time to know! It can be a source of direction to help you find something else. And if you get into and love it, then it’s a chance to figure out who you want to be as a future professional, and how you want to identify yourself. It gives you connections and resources, and it gives you the opportunity to find out more about yourself and to grow in ways you never thought possible.

Advice to students seeking internship opportunities: Don’t limit yourself! When I started putting in applications, I didn’t want to stray from the “safe zone”. I wanted to apply to places that I was comfortable with, and that I knew I had a chance at. When I started pushing myself to apply to places that I thought I would never get into, I was shocked when I was accepted. I think a lot of my classmates can also attest to this. Put yourself out there, even if you think you don’t have a shot. You might be surprised at all the opportunities that come your way if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and give yourself a chance to succeed.

How has the Career Center helped you succeed?: The Career Center has helped me succeed by giving me the chance to talk personally with an advisor. I have been able to come to her time and time again with any concerns or worries, and she has helped me to sort through it and find practical solutions. I have had individualized assistance with my resume, looking at post-grad opportunities, and finding the tools and resources that will be most beneficial to me for my career path. The career center has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and support – from resume and cover letter examples, LinkedIn profile checklists, to interview tips. They have truly gone above and beyond to make sure that I have connections and resources to reference as I enter the professional world.

Four Tips on How to Get the Most Out of the Spring Career & Internship Expo

With the Spring Career & Internship Expo right around the corner, it is crucial to prepare so that you can get the most out of your experience. Whether this is your first time attending a career fair or you are a well seasoned veteran, here are some tips to help you make the most out of your experience.

 

Do your research!

This is absolutely crucial! Common feedback from employers after career fairs state that students did not know a lot about their company. If you want to make a good first impression and stand out, research companies that you’re interested in beforehand.  Did you know that there is a database of over 4,000 employers in Career Connection?    The Employer Directory contains all employers who have ever posted a job or visited Georgia College for a career fair, networking event, or interview day.   Through the directory, you can link directly to the employer’s website which will have the most up-to-date job information.   If all else fails, a simple Google search can provide you information about the types of jobs they offer, skills they look for, company culture, and more.  Based off the information you find, try to come up with one or two open-ended questions to ask recruiters. Make sure you check out the full list of companies attending!

Be prepared to talk about yourself!

A question you will get asked at every career fair and interview is ‘tell me a little about yourself’. Practice how you will introduce yourself to employers, and don’t be afraid to tweak it depending on the company you are talking to.    You don’t want to freeze when you are asked this question, so be familiar with your talking points. Those would include knowing your key strengths or positive qualities as well as explaining why are you interested in the organization, or more generally, the industry.

Dress for success!

First impressions are incredibly important at career fairs, and your outward appearance is a huge part of this. The Career Center staff recommends business professional for juniors and seniors and business casual for freshman and sophomores. It is always a good practice to dress for the job you want,  so dress to impress! You should also come prepared with multiple copies of your resume to hand out to the recruiters. If you want your resume to shine, be sure to attend the drop-in Resume Review Day hosted by the Career Center on Monday March 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Follow Up!

Get business cards from the recruiters that you speak with at the Expo.  Out-shine other candidates and send the recruiters an email thanking them for taking the time talk to you. Try to include a talking point so they will remember you.  For example, if you had a great conversation about the exciting new developments coming to Atlanta, bring that up. This shows recruiters that you are actually interested in their company, and will make you stand out among the hundreds of people they meet at job fairs.  Remember, your goal is to stand apart from the other candidates!

Still have some questions about how to prepare for next week’s Career & Internship Expo?  Don’t fret.  In addition to Resume Review Day, the Career Center staff will have a table with fun interactive games to answer any last-minute questions on Monday, March 5  from 10 am-4 pm near the water fountain.  Or, feel free to schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor through Unify.

 

Elevator Pitch Tips from Megan Conroy, Winner of the 2017 GEICO Elevator Pitch Competition

Spring Career & Internship Expo is right around the corner, March 7 to be exact,  and one thing you should do to prepare for it is work on your elevator pitch!

Your introduction to employers, or ‘elevator pitch’, should be between 30 seconds to one minute in length and should be seen as an animated business card. It should give recruiters and employers a thorough understanding of who you are professionally, and what you are capable of.

Megan Conroy is a junior marketing student at Georgia College who won the 2017 GEICO Elevator Pitch Competition. I asked her to share her secrets to developing an elevator pitch that will stand out and resonate with employers.  Read  her awesome tips below.

Utilize the Career Center

They can help you with your resume, LinkedIn profile, internship and career search, and also help prepare for your upcoming interview. They’re super nice people, too!

Reference Your Most Recent Resume

It helps to know what  you have to offer!

Write Down a List of Your Strengths

Write down why you think you stand out. Then talk to friends, family, and previous/current employers.  Ask them what they think your strengths are.  How does that compare or differ with what you listed?  What stands out?

Research Job Positions You Want

Find a job posting of or similar to the job you want.  What are some of the qualities and requirements of what they’re looking for? Make a list of those.

Compare Your Strengths to Job Requirements

Compare both your lists and see if anything is the same. If they are, that’s something you want to include in your elevator pitch. If they’re not, what are some transferable skills or experiences that could help in that role? Make a list.

Start Writing!

Grab your lists and your resume and get crafting your pitch! I always imagine that someone just asked me what I want to do and why.
My biggest tip for this: keep it simple and talk out loud as you write your pitch. It may sound good on paper but it’s entirely different when you speak it. Include some of your work experience (mention it) and talk about the skills you learned in that role (these skills can come from your lists of strengths). Talk about your out of class experiences and if you don’t have any, talk about a relevant course or a major project. Be sure to discuss your role and contribution to the course or project.  ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS say your name in the beginning and at the end of your elevator pitch and don’t forget to SMILE!

Practice!

Practice practice PRACTICE. Practice in front of someone for an hour and let them help and critique you. The night before I won the fall 2017 elevator pitch, I literally couldn’t remember my pitch. I practiced on Skype with someone for 3 hours because I couldn’t figure out what to do with my hands. The more you practice, the more natural it becomes.

Relax and Just Breathe!

It’s okay if your speech isn’t exactly what you wrote. Just let your thoughts logically flow when you speak. If you go word for word by what you wrote, you won’t seem genuine and it will be too rehearsed.  Finally, just pretend that you’re having a conversation with someone, and you will do fine!

New Year Resolutions: New Career Development Strategies

If your winter break went anything like the average college student’s break, you were bombarded with questions about your graduation date and what you plan to do with your major. Did it feel as if your family planned and held a press conference to ask you questions without telling you?

Whether you are about to graduate, still exploring majors, or have a declared major but procrastinated on career planning, don’t fret my friend.  The Georgia College Career Center is here to help start off your New Year and new semester the right way!

If you’re confused and not really sure of your major or career options, taking the Focus 2 Career Assessment test would be a great place to start. Explore your options by taking the five-part assessment test. The results identify occupations and majors that are offered that match your personal attributes. Once you’ve taken the test, feel free to schedule an appointment with an advisor to review your results. Click here for more information on Focus 2.

The job market is more competitive than ever and employers want individuals who can solve problems, think critically, communicate effectively and work as a team. The career center has taken some of the burden off of you and created the Career Planning Milestones to serve as a 4-year plan to help navigate your career development plan. These milestones are expectations that all undergraduate Georgia College Students are expected to meet. Through the GC Career Planning Milestones, every GC student has the opportunity to prepare for the transition from college to the professional world. Use this easy-to-follow guide to keep up with career planning activities that will take you from first-year to graduation.

Visit the Career Planning Milestones Guide to learn more about each step of the milestones and to make sure you’re on track with your career development.

In addition to exploring majors/ careers and completing the Career Planning Milestones, may we also suggest using our calendar of events to help you organize and plan your career development strategies? These events have been planned and designed with you in mind.  A sample of our upcoming events include:

  • Full-Time Job Search Kickoff Meet-up:
    Feb. 1st Career Resource Room, 140 Lanier, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – There’s no better time than this to kick off your job search process. This information-packed workshop is facilitated by a career advisor who will give you some job search strategies to help ease the challenges of the job search process.
  • Mock Interview Days:
    Feb. 15,  April 3, 19,  & 25-  110 Lanier Hall, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • LinkedIn Meet-ups:
    Feb. 27 – (Bring Your Laptop) Career Resource Room, 140 Lanier Hall, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Resume Review Days:
    March 5 -110 Lanier Hall 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Stop by for a 15 minute resume review! No appointment needed!
  • Career & Internship Expo: March 7th, Magnolia, Ballroom, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Resume Writing for Beginners: Mondays & Thursdays 11:00 am & 2:00 pm in Lanier 110 starting the week of Feb. 5th. Make an appointment to attend. No resume required.
  • Internship Search Workshops: Held every Tuesday & Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Lanier 110 starting the week of Feb. 5.  Make an appointment to attend.

Additional events can be found on our calendar of events.

Now that you’ve been informed on career exploration, the Career Planning Milestones and the calendar of upcoming events, here are some additional tips to help with your career planning in the New Year:

1. Stay organized by using a planner or agenda for daily/ weekly routines
2. Become involved on campus to add to your resume
3. Have your resume reviewed by career advisors
4. Strengthen your interview skills with a mock interview
5. Do physical activities to reduce stress and anxiety

Although family members and friends mean well, remember, you’re in control of your career destiny! Schedule an appointment with one of our career advisors to develop a plan that specifically caters to your career development needs. You can do so through Unify, by emailing us at career.center@gcsu.edu, or simply stop by the career center.