Why I Chose To Pursue An MBA

To tell you why I pursued a Master of Business Administration, or MBA, I must first tell you why I chose my undergraduate major, meaning I must be honest with myself about two things:

1) I do not like making decisions (but have gotten much better over the years)

2) I like to be a little different

I like to tell people that I chose to major in Spanish because I couldn’t decide between Business and Education.  Although that was a part of the decision, I truly did enjoy the classes and felt that my language skills gave me a broader worldview and a competitive edge.  I minored in Business Communication because I wanted some business skills and classes on my resume to help me get my first job.  I enjoyed those classes as well, and I liked the fact that business students thought my Spanish skills were cool (if only I had continued practicing!). I worked part-time during school and held multiple jobs during summer breaks.  My education, combined with work experience and on-campus activities, helped me get my first full time job with a retail bank as an assistant branch manager.  I felt lucky to get this opportunity without an extensive business background and worked hard to prove myself.  Within a year, I was promoted to branch manager of a brand new location.  I knew I was gaining valuable experience, but also had some concerns- opportunities to grow within the company were limited, the retail schedule was difficult for me, and I didn’t feel I was gaining enough banking skills to advance in a more traditional bank setting.

I decided to pursue an MBA to become more competitive in the business industry.  The program I chose at Mississippi State University accepted students with a variety of backgrounds and degrees.  Due to my previous work experience, I felt more prepared for the courses in the program, and I fully understand why some MBA programs have a work experience requirement.  I took classes in marketing, management, human resources, accounting and more.  In group projects, we worked with real-world clients to develop marketing plans and create business feasibility studies.  Unfortunately, I had the job of telling a client that, after a semester of study and research, we recommend he no longer pursue his product idea because he may face legal recourse from the patent office.  On the other hand, I also worked with a client on a product that is now available in Walmart.  I benefited from these experiences because they helped to build the confidence I would need to excel in the business field.

When done correctly, an MBA sets a candidate apart in the workforce.   The benefits gained from the variety of courses prepare a non-business student to be immediately effective in the workplace, especially when combined with skills and other work experience.  When students are not serious about the MBA program, they do not reap its full benefits.  The classes are meant to add on to basic knowledge of how businesses operate.  Whether it’s getting along with co-workers or handling logistical snafus, the MBA program utilizes discussion to learn from others’ experiences.  As a non-business major, the MBA allowed me to gain high-level business knowledge that would have taken years of “real-world” experience to gain.  I improved my critical thinking and research skills, and learned to utilize the various strengths of a diverse team.

In my opinion, an MBA does not give new graduates the ability to skip entry-level positions, but it does offer professionals the abilities and skills to move forward in their careers at a faster pace and gives flexibility to change or transition careers.  MBA programs are rigorous, the classes are diverse, and the projects are real-world scenarios.  Pursuing an MBA is a great choice for those looking to quickly move up in their field or increase their career mobility.


Career Spotlight – Naturopathic Doctors

Have you ever been or heard of someone being unhappy with their healthcare? It does seem that Americans are more conscious about their health with increasingly diversified trends in eating, fitness, supplements, and interests in herbal treatments. Also, according to a survey sponsored by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), individuals 65 and older are specifically more interested in natural approaches to treat illness.

If you’re considering careers in healthcare, medicine, and/or are interested in natural approaches to healing, then you may want to explore a career as a Naturopathic Doctor (ND). NDs are trained to consider the entirety of the patient and provide the least invasive and most natural treatments possible in combination with traditional mainstream healthcare techniques. Like MDs, NDs must also go to post-bachelors four year full-time accredited Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program. Read more about the differences between NDs and MDs/DOs (medical doctors). Listen to this video to hear more about the work of a naturopathic doctor or this one on more information about naturopathic medicine.

Want to learn more about this career? Register to attend upcoming Naturopathic Medical College virtual graduate school fair on November 1, 2017. Virtual fairs are great because you can ask questions from representatives without having to travel. You do have to register to participate, but you have nearly all day (9am to 9pm) to login and talk with faculty and admissions representatives.  Login between classes or as you have breaks – you don’t stay the whole time. Also, no special technology required other than your computer or your smart phone/tablet. Virtual fairs use a text/chat system.

Let the Career Center know how we can help with your career planning! Make an appointment to meet with a career advisor in UNIFY.

Senior Check-In: What It Is and Why It Matters

At some point, every senior must face the same reality; we’re graduating. In 8 months time, we will be making our way across the stage and into our adult lives. While this can be an exciting time for all, some of us may have a bit more difficulty finding our next step in life. That’s where the Career Center comes in to help.

In case you didn’t know, Georgia College has a Career Center. It’s 100% free and staffed with some of the most friendly, intelligent and helpful people I have had the privilege to meet. While they have services to assist students of all majors and years, they offer a specific service for seniors known as the Senior Check-In, which helps to get you on track for life after graduation.

If you still need convincing, here’s 5 reasons as to why you should sign up for your Senior Check-in today:

  1. If you’re confused, they can provide directionI walked into my Senior Check-in appointment feeling pretty confused and concerned about my future. My career advisor immediately calmed my nerves by giving me helpful advice and steps to follow so that I could make actual progress with the goals we discussed. I left my appointment with real plans – now that feels good!Relief GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY


  2. The appointment is only 15-30 minutes
    When the topic is your future, who doesn’t have half an hour to spare? Senior Check-In appointments are meant to be exactly that – a check-in. You will fill out your Strategic Career Plan form to discuss with your advisor, and they will help you figure out your next steps. You can then take what you learned and start applying it with plenty of time to spare before graduation.

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3. The experience is totally personalized

When you come to the Career Center for your Senior Check-in, you’ll fill out a Strategic Career Plan form. The form basically just gauges where you’re at in your steps to graduation, while also seeing where you can improve. Thanks to the form, your advisor can give you specific advice for your personal situation. So whether you know exactly what your dream job is or if you have no clue, they’ll be able to help!

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4. You’ll feel more prepared and confident to take on the real world 

After your Senior Check-in, you’ll have a solid idea of what steps you need to take and what direction you need to go in. If you came in with set goals, your advisor will help you brainstorm what actions need to be taken. If you come in with no clue of what’s going on, they can help you start from scratch, too. Regardless, you will walk away from your appointment with a good idea of how to move forward. The best part is, if you struggle along the way, you can always make another appointment with the Career Center!

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5. The Career Center is there to help YOU

Seriously, they wouldn’t be doing this job if they didn’t have a passion for seeing students succeed. And don’t forget, the Career Center is totally free! You’re honestly missing out if you don’t take advantage of the resources and advice they have to offer. The worst thing that can happen is that you figure out what to do with your life (and hey, that wouldn’t be so bad after all).

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So log into Unify, click the ‘Start Here’ tab, scroll down and click the bar that says ‘Schedule an Appointment’ and don’t forget to select the Career Center! Trust me seniors, you’ll feel so much better after your Career Center check-in!


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“What are Hiring Managers Buying?” – Here’s What an Employer Really Wants

The Career Center has worked with hundreds of employers to help connect them with students to interview for job and internship openings. We’ve talked with many of them about what qualities they look for in the students they end up hiring. Here’s some of the advice that RedVentures, a South Carolina-based marketing agency, had to give:

  • Their recruiters will spend approximately six seconds looking at your resume. And they will spend most of those six seconds looking at your name, your education, and whatever position is listed first on your resume. Think about this – what is the most important or related experience you have for the job you’re applying to? That’s the one that needs to be positioned closest to the top of your document!
  • Social media can make or break you! RedVentures says that 93% of recruiters will look at your “digital footprint” at some point throughout their interview process. Make sure any questionable content on Facebook, Twitter, etc., is either removed or made completely private. However, not all social media should be deleted or hidden – don’t forget to take time to craft an amazing LinkedIn profile. Is LinkedIn really that big of a deal, you might ask? RedVentures answers: 89% of recruiters have hired someone through LinkedIn!
  • If you land an interview, RedVentures hires candidates who research their company thoroughly before the interview and who have thoughtful, prepared questions to ask. They also look for an email or a handwritten note thanking them for their time and referencing something you liked or learned in the interview. At the end of your note/email, remind them again why you’re the perfect person for the position.

So there you have it, straight from the source! If you think you might need help with your resume, your interviewing skills, your LinkedIn profile, or anything career-related, don’t hesitate to give the Career Center a call (478-445-5384) and set up an appointment with a career advisor. And if you dread talking on the phone, simply stop by (110 Lanier Hall) or send us an email (career.center@gcsu.edu)!


Why Every GC Student Should Prioritize Career Fairs

It’s that time of the year to start searching for careers or internships. Whether you are a freshman wanting inspiration for what kind of jobs are out there or a senior in need of a job or internship after graduation, a career fair can be very beneficial. A career fair is a place to network and meet potential employers as well as find jobs or internships for now or in the future. Here are some reasons why career fairs are a great strategy when exploring careers or looking for jobs and internships:

  1. Meet companies that are serious about hiring GC students for jobs and internships.

Employers that come to career fairs want to be there. They love GC students and pay to attend the event so they can find potential employees now or for the future. Hiring organizations come back year after year to Georgia College because they want to meet you. This is a big deal, so make sure that you are prepared before you go. Research what organizations are attending and know exactly what you’ll say when you approach an employer at the fair.

  1. Make a personal connection with a recruiter before and/or after applying for a job.

Instead of just applying for a job online and communicating with a potential employer virtually, meet them face-to-face. Connect with recruiters who want to meet GC students and tell them what you have to offer. They want to get to know you and understand why you would be a great asset to them.

  1. Expand your network of contacts and potential interview opportunities.

Did you know that 80% of jobs are not advertised online? In order to find these hidden opportunities, you will need to have professional contacts and continually connect with people. This is true when it comes to a career fair as you will be meeting recruiters who will be helpful to you during your job or internship search. A career fair is great way to network and meet many employers who are at the same time looking to hire a GC student. You want to impress the employers that attend, especially because the same ones often come back every year. The more an employer sees you at a career fair and gets to know you, the more likely they will want to hire you because of your interest in their organization.

  1. If you’re a freshman or sophomore, career fairs are a great place to learn about potential career opportunities.

Many underclassman are turned off to career fairs. They think “it’s not for me” or “I’m not old enough”. But that’s not true. A career fair can be for GC students of all ages and majors. It’s great to start exploring possible career and internship options early. This means that if you attend career fairs early in your college career, you have an opportunity to get ahead of competition. You can connect and build stronger networking relationships with recruiters, perfect your ability to navigate a career fair, and discover possible employment choices that might await you in the future.

The Career Center hosts 10+ career fairs every year. Georgia College’s largest campus career fair for the year, the Spring Career & Internship Expo, is coming up on March 8th. The Spring Career & Internship Expo will be held from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in Magnolia Ballroom. Open to GC students and alumni, 50+ employers will be in attendance recruiting for full-time and part-time jobs, internships, and summer opportunities. In addition, students and alumni can pre-register to schedule campus interviews with recruiters occurring later that afternoon in Magnolia Ballroom. Job candidates should have a professional resume that has been reviewed by a career advisor. Career fair participants should also be dressed in professional business attire.  Don’t forget to take advantage of the SGA-hosted photo booth to get your free head shot!

Career fair participants can research attending employers with the campus job and internship search tool, Career Connection, at www.gcsu.edu/career.

Networking: What It Is & How It Can Help You Achieve your Goals


What exactly is networking, and what can it do for you?

When you think of a networking event, you probably think of the words “nerve-wracking” and “scary.” No worries! We are here to tell you all about networking so it can feel less overwhelming. Networking is simply getting to know people in your desired field or company that you would like to work for some day. By making connections with these people, it allows you to become familiar with the field and company that you might become a part of in the future. Networking can take place anywhere. Sometimes there will be formal networking events that you can attend. Participating in these events shows employers that you are engaged, interested, and ready for your future. However, networking can also happen outside of these formal events as well. For example, you can reach out to individuals on LinkedIn who work in an industry you might want to know more about. Or, maybe you start a conversation with a family friend who works for a company that intrigues you. One of the biggest benefits to networking is that you increase your visibility as a new professional and that you also practice speaking with a lot of different people. These conversations will help you be more prepared for those future office visits or interviews.

So, what do you say when you’re networking? A Student’s Perspective

As a junior accounting major, I have tried to go to as many accounting networking events here on campus as I could. This is what allowed me to really find out a lot of information about the firms that were recruiting here at Georgia College. Other accounting majors I have spoken to say those events have helped them get interviews and office visits with firms that they are interested in. Overall, they can lead to some great opportunities – and potentially to a future career that you are very passionate about. But, what do you say to these people once you meet them?  Here are some good go-to questions:

  • What do you enjoy most about the company that you work for?
  • How did you get started with this company?
  • What is your daily schedule like?
  • What would make someone the ideal employee for your company?
  • What made you pick this company over other companies that you were looking at?

Final Tips

Now for some tips when it comes to the day of the networking event! First of all, there is typically a certain dress code for the event. It depends on the company and the venue, but do not be afraid to ask! Email the recruiter that set up the event or head to the Career Center for some useful tips. Next, when you are at the event, mingle with as many people as you can. Finally, try to get business cards from the people you talk to so you can follow up with a simple thank you for their time at the event. These are also great people to consider adding to your LinkedIn network.

Next Steps

Now that we have explained what networking exactly is, it is time for you to determine your next steps! To find some networking events, look out for advertisements from your department or from a company you are interested in pursuing. If you are still nervous about networking, please come to the Career Center in Lanier 110 to receive some more advice on what to do and not do at networking events!

Three Easy Steps to Prioritizing your Career in the New Year

So here we are, new semester, new year, new you! Right? What are some of your New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you’ve upped your gym game, maybe you’ve made a pact with yourself to be in bed before 11 on school nights, or maybe you’ve decided to give your mom a call more often. These are all great resolutions, but I have a suggestion for another: why not start prioritizing your career? For those of you who are freshmen or sophomores, don’t stop reading now! This post is not just for seniors. There are all kinds of ways you can start preparing yourself for your next steps after graduation, and the time to start is now. Here are just a few easy steps you can take to get started:

  1. Register on Career Connection! For those of you who don’t know, Career Connection is a job and internship database specifically for Georgia College students. What does this mean? These employers are posting jobs to our site and they want YOU! Once you register, you can upload your resume to the database for employers to view. You’ll also be able to apply to jobs and internships that are posted using your uploaded resume.
  1. Get involved! What kinds of student organizations can you join? Community service? Undergraduate research? Leadership opportunities? Figure out when that club you heard about meets, and go to a meeting! Looking good for employers doesn’t just mean doing well in the classroom – in fact, many employers value experiences that show skills like leadership just as much on a resume – if not more – than a good GPA.
  2. Visit the Career Center. We have a ton of resources that you can pick up to help you create or update a resume/cover letter, provide information about job and internship search strategies, or help you start research on graduate school programs. If you would like to have a one-on-one conversation about any of these things, you can schedule an appointment with a career advisor.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list – there are plenty of other ways to begin thinking about your career – but we know thinking about the capital-F Future can get a bit overwhelming. We hope that these three steps feel manageable enough, and will likely start to open doors for you that make the “Future” a bit easier to tackle.

We hope you’ve all had a fantastic start to this semester, and we hope to see you around on campus or in the Career Center!