A New Way to Practice Your Interview Skills

By: Vanessa Przybysz, Work-Study, Career Development Center

Big Interview Screenshot

I recently discovered a helpful website through Seminole State’s Career Development Center called Big Interview. I have never used a job preparation website that was so helpful before. Usually, when going for an important interview I would just anticipate what an employer would ask but now I have those questions, answers and more at my fingertips. Big Interview separates the training into two “tracks” Fast Track and Mastery Track. I found them to be extremely helpful in different ways. The Fast Track was ideal when I wanted a quick refresher or crash course on what to do in an interview. I also appreciated this because as a college student I’m always looking for quick and effective tools. The Mastery Track is also great, it allowed me to really go in depth with my understanding of the interviewing process. Big Interview even has written curriculum if videos aren’t your preferred method of learning.

Once I completed the courses it was time to practice. The practice menu tailors the mock interview choices to categories that fit any need. Their library consists of the following categories: General, By Industry, By Competency, Admissions Interviews, Government, and Veterans. The use of categories and specialized mock interviews was wonderful because it allowed me to narrow down and pin point exactly what I needed to know for the area of work I would be interviewing in.

Under the practice menu there are also other tools such as the Answer Builder and Interview Roulette. S.T.A.R. is a step-by-step tool that allowed me to create communication question answers that could be critical to my interviews. Although it was tough, Big Interview recommended I choose examples of myself at my best, demonstrating skills relevant to the job. The Interview Roulette portion generates random questions an employer may ask me on my interview. On the left, there was the interviewer and on the right, myself. This side-by-side view allowed me to feel as though I was in a real interview and when I finished, the My Videos menu allowed me to view previously recorded material.

To sum up, I think Big Interview is a great Program that has helped me with many aspects of interviewing. The Career Development Center has helped me in many ways by providing many resources and this is definitely one of them. Begin practicing your interview skills today with Big Interview!

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My Experience at the Business Etiquette Dinner

By Vanessa Przybysz
Work-Study, Career Development Center 

Etiquette Pic

Spring 2017 is my first semester in college and also my first time having a job. The great people at the Career Development Center hired me as a work-study, and since then I have been presented with some pretty remarkable opportunities. One of them was their Business Etiquette Dinner at the Westin Hotel in Lake Mary. Signing up for the event, I really had no idea what to expect. I wanted to gain experience for later on in my career and  life and also wanted to be able to experience an event first-hand. I similarly wanted to gain knowledge about my department and vouch for the event to students in the coming years.

When I arrived at the Westin, I was greeted by the Career Development Center team. They checked students in and gave us name tags with our table numbers on them, and goodies like pens, pads of paper, ID holders, handouts, etc. Then we were guided to the training room.

The training started at 6 PM, and was given to us by Melena Postolowski, the Director of Internships and Employer Relations at Eckerd College. She first reviewed exactly what business etiquette really is and tried to engage the crowd as much as possible. Then, she reviewed the do’s and don’ts of dining and gave us an activity sheet to see how much we already knew about the placement of the table setting. To my surprise, I knew quite a few of items. Once that activity was over we were escorted to the dining room.

The dining room had around 10 different tables, each labeled with a specific number and the name of the host. I sat at table number one along with around 8 other students all in similar majors to mine. Our table host was Adrienne Fuller, a Speech Language Pathologist with SpeechBuilders, LLC. She engaged with each person individually, she asked us about our majors and could always relate it back to her own work. If anyone had questions she was always able to answer them with a clear and concise answer. And of course, it was nice that the servers presented us with a four-course meal.

Once we were finished eating, we were told that if we were leaving to excuse ourselves and thank the host. When I left, Mrs. Fuller shook my hand and gave me a business card. That’s when she told me about the hands-on internship opportunities there are at SpeechBuilders and I am considering contacting her in the future.

Overall, it was a really great night. I got to gain experience about business etiquette, as well as network and enjoy some really good food. I will be recommending this to other students in the future and hope to be able to do it again.

 

 

 

Missed out on the Job Shadow Program this semester? Here’s an alternative!

By Brittany Shivers
Career Development Coordinator, Heathrow Campus

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The Career Development Center proudly provides an opportunity for Seminole State students to participate in a job shadow opportunity each semester, however, we also recognize that the dates do not always work for all of our students. If you have ever been interested in participating but have not been able to make the timing work, we have a great alternative for you! It is called informational interviewing.

While job shadowing is usually at least a full day to a week, an informational interview is typically an hour or less. There are many benefits to informational interviews, including exploring a new career field, getting an up-close look at a specific company, and getting the perspective of employees that actually work in the field. These types of interviews can also help you discover what skills and experiences are important when it comes to being successful in your chosen field. If you are not sure where to start, please see the steps below!

Step 1: Identify the company/person you want to interview

Once you identify the field you would like to shadow, brainstorm a list of job titles within that field and begin to look for opportunities in your community. Some great sources to look to for potential referrals include family, friends, professional organizations for that field, LinkedIn, or a Career Development Center staff member.

Step 2: Set up the interview

When you have identified the person you would like to contact, reach out to them by phone or email. Begin the conversation by introducing yourself as a Seminole State student and explain to them why you are interested in their field. Be sure to share with them how you found out about their organization, whether it be through a person or through your own online research.

Step 3: Do your homework

Preparing for the interview in advance is the best way to make a great first impression. Make sure to do your research so that you are not asking questions whose answers could easily be found online. You should also come in with a list of questions prepared. For ideas on specific questions to ask. Here are some ideas: Questions to Ask at the Informational Interview.

Step 4: Conducting the interview

The first step to making a great impression is to dress professionally. If you have a suit, that is the best option. Visit our website for more details on what constitutes professional business attire. In addition, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the location so that you do not appear rushed when you walk in. Bring in your list of questions along with a pen and paper to write down the valuable information the employer will share with you. Finally, ensure that your interview follows the schedule you predetermined with the employer. At the end of the interview, be sure to thank the employer for their time.

Step 5: After the interview

As soon as you can upon arriving home, write out a thank you note (preferred) or email and send it immediately. Be sure to personalize the thank you with something that really stood out to you from the interview. Keep a list of the people you spoke to at the company along with notes about the information they shared for future reference.
If you would like more information or assistance with setting up an informational interview, please visit Career Link to set up an appointment with the Career Development Center representative at your campus. We are here to assist you!

Employer Spotlight: Marc-Michaels Interior Design

Marc-Michaels Interior Design LogoMarc-Michaels Interior Design Inc. is recognized worldwide as a full-service interior design firm. With an active private residential practice, Marc-Michaels’ design teams have access to a wide range of high-end design trends and ideas. The full-service firm, headquartered in Winter Park, Florida, also provides luxury tower, model home merchandising and commercial design services.  The firm’s diverse portfolio has been featured in numerous publications, and has garnered over 400 national and regional design awards. Architectural Digest has named Marc-Michaels to their prestigious list of the “Top 100 Designers in the World,” and has featured the firm’s work in numerous issues. Interior Design Magazine has consistently ranked Marc-Michaels as one of the largest interior design firms in the nation in their Design Giants Survey.  Thank you to Marc-Michaels for supporting the career development process at Seminole State College. Learn more about Marc-Michaels Interior Design here.

Job Shadow Program – What, How, and Why?

By Brittany Shivers
Career Development Coordinator, Heathrow Campus

One of the programs that you may or may not have heard of that our career center offers is the Job Shadow Program. Even if you have heard of it, you may be wondering what it is all about! Throughout this post, we’ll be exploring what the program is, how you can participate, and why you would want to.

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What?

The Job Shadow Program is intended to provide you with an opportunity to explore career paths and options, experience a professional work environment, connect with current professionals in a career field of interest to you, and observe and/or practice first hand skills and job tasks related to a career you may be interested in pursuing.  The experience is always held during the week between semesters—taking place in the Summer, Fall, and Spring. Depending on the employer you are matched with, the experience could last anywhere from a day to a full week. Overall, it is a wonderful opportunity to get a real world picture of what a career in a particular field could be like.

How?

In order to participate in the program, you must become “JSP Eligible”. The first step is filling out the interest survey.

Once you have completed that quick survey, you will be added to the Canvas course for the Job Shadow Program. The course contains 9 modules that you need to work through in order to become eligible.  A lot of the information will just be a quick review of concepts you already know. We just want to ensure that you are as prepared as possible for the experience. When the modules are completed, you will become eligible and able to review and apply for Job Shadow experiences for that semester. There is more information on how to specifically apply for positions and a timeline for each semester within the Canvas site.

Why?

The Job Shadow Program does require some work before you can participate, so you may be wondering why you would want to invest in it. There are so many benefits! Participating in the Job Shadow Program can help with making or confirming decisions about a major, gathering more information about a career path, increasing your network of known employers in your field of interest (great resources for that future job hunt), and gives you an understanding of how a professional work environment operates. Participating in the Job Shadow Program will be beneficial in many ways to your career development.

If you have any questions or would like more information on the program, please feel free to contact Brittany Shivers, our Job Shadow Program Representative. She can be reached by phone at 407-708-4444 or email at shiversb@seminolestate.edu.

Employer Spotlight: Gina Berry Collaborative

gina-berryGina Berry Collaborative, PLLC is a professional limited liability company established to provide an array of professional services to supplement project teams during the project delivery process. GBC works as an owner’s representative or as consultants to the design and construction team. The company’s service regime includes planning, project management, project research and development. GBC serves in leadership and supporting roles from site selection through design, construction, and occupancy. Gina Berry Collaborative is a woman owned small business enterprise pursuing the path for WBE and WMBE designations at the local, state and federal levels. Thank you to GBC for supporting the career development process at Seminole State College. Learn more about Gina Berry here.