Last Thursday, I walked through campus and found a sea of bustling students holding snow cones and cotton candy. A large orange sphere, named the Smile Monster, was walking around getting his picture taken with Saint Rose students. There was a large tent in the center of the Quad with a ton of people underneath it. The crowd of people was there to attend the Career Carnival hosted by the Career Center on campus.
Saint Rose students enjoying the Career Carnival and free snacks
The event was organized by graduate students Kailah Borchers and Sabrina Leonard, who are both Graduate Assistants in the Career Center while working on their graduate degrees in College Student Services Administration.
“We put together the career carnival today as a part of WOW [Week of Welcome] for incoming freshman, and even for students who are still on campus, who might not be familiar with the Career Center and what we do,” said Leonard.
There were five different games that students could participate in.
“There is one game covering each area that we try to go over with students at the Career Center,” said Kailah Borchers.
After completing each game, you were given a ticket which could be exchanged for prizes. I decided to play them all.
The first booth I stopped at was a game to teach students how to dress for an interview and how to dress in the workplace. The game had a variety of magazine-clipped clothing options from which to choose. I had to design an outfit that would best fit each situation. I learned that blazers are a closet staple when applying for jobs. They can be casual and professional.
The second game was a tarot reading. There were four cards to choose,
“Show Your True Colors” Tarot card reading.
and each card displayed a different picture. I was asked to choose the photo that best represented me. I chose green. I learned that choosing that color meant that I have a great amount of personal drive and want to succeed in the workplace. I tell it like it is, whether or not it’s something they want to hear. I am determined. All of which is true.
The third booth was a trivia game. I was asked a couple of questions about resumes.
True or False: Completed resumes should be about 1-2 pages long.
Answer: True! Any longer than that and you’re just bragging.
The fourth game tested your interview skills. I spun the multi-colored ”Wheel of Questions” and landed on the color red. Red meant that I, the interviewee, had to ask a question of the interviewer. At the end of an interview, you will always be asked if you have any questions. Personally, I never know what to say at the end of an interview, so this booth was particularly helpful for me. At the end of an interview, you should always have at least one question for the interviewer. The question should be positive. Something that shows you’re happy about the opportunity to work for that company. For example: Why they chose to work for the company or what is their favorite part about working for the company? What is the office culture like? What training opportunities are available? Etc. Topics to avoid include: salary questions, benefits, and promotion opportunities.
The fifth and final stop was the Plinko bonus round. I was asked what three things I learned by playing these games.
1.) I learned how to better present myself in an interview.
2.) I learned how to prepare for an interview.
3.) I learned that the Career Center isn’t just for undergraduate students.
The Smile Monster and I playing “Dress to Impress”
The event may have been directed towards incoming freshman, but the Career Center is an important tool for students to utilize every step of the way. They conduct mock interviews, help hone your resume, locate internships, and assist the student transition from college to the real world.
“I would suggest that graduate students come in right when they start their graduate career. It’s important to update your resume as you go. Come in and talk about internships. The more internships you have, the more marketable you’re going to be in the field,” said co-organizer Sabrina Leonard.
“Unfortunately, a lot of grad students approach job searching as a reactive thing. ‘Oh, I’m graduating now, I really should start searching’. We try and push the fact that it is a proactive thing. You should be looking, planning, developing, and networking the whole time so that when you graduate, it’s just the next step, it’s not a huge process that you have to go through,” said Kailah Borchers.
For those of you who, like myself, are just beginning life as a graduate students, now is the time to visit the Career Center. For those who have been at Saint Rose for awhile, it is never too late to get started. Contact the Career Center today!