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.

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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