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Marilla Anne Kennell

Concerned about finding a job? Learn from Marilla Anne Kennell’s success story…

What kinds of things did you do while in college to prepare you for your professional life after college, or to make yourself more marketable?

At the beginning of my final semester, I knew I would be looking for a job, and I set a goal for myself: I wanted to have a job by the end of the semester. With this goal in mind, I knew I would need help looking for this job beyond what I had done in the past because I was looking for my first full-time position, and these aren’t necessarily easy to come by. My first plan was to begin using the services UNG provided, and I remembered working with a career advisor from the semester before who’d been a huge help when learning how to write a resume. Knowing this I decided to continue meeting with her throughout the semester that way we would get to know each other, and the advice wouldn’t shift from counselor to counselor, allowing me to stick to one strategy.

Through Career Services, I was able to do things such as take a Strong Interest Inventory, which matched my personality to hundreds of potential jobs I was interested in. I also used indeed.com to look up positions, but my main method of searching was through the services offered by the university such as on-site interviews and career fairs.

But even before that, I had started preparation throughout my college years. I knew that keeping good grades was essential to being successful, but that wasn’t everything. Experience no matter of what kind is vital to the process. I worked my way through college at several different positions and also joined an honors society and immediately began working towards being elected into office. I started as the Vice-President and moved up to the President. I also worked as an editor and moved to head editor of Mountain Laurels: the UNG Art and Literary Magazine. What all of these different things did for me was gain leadership experience, which gave me a push forward when job searching. I knew that if I wanted a higher, well-paid position, I would have to have experience of some sort coming in, even though there would still be much to learn.

How did you hear about (or find) your current position?

For me, the Cobb Galleria Career Fair was the answer to my finding a position. The benefits of going to a career fair are innumerable. At the career fair, I was able to do something unique that no other method of job searching really offers. I was able to interview potential employers and ask recruiters and managers about their company and positions. This helped me to discover which jobs were right for me and also to learn more about what I would be doing for the company. Having questions prepared, even if not written out only helps. There were around 87 companies to choose from, and I narrowed my choices down to less than 10 that I knew I’d be interested in. This allowed me to focus my research specifically to the companies and jobs I was looking for. Once I researched the companies, I knew exactly which ones I wanted to work for and as they contacted me, I made sure to do my research to be knowledgeable about the company and the position.

What advice would you like to give to current students to help prepare them for careers and/or the job search after college?

My biggest recommendation is to go to Career Fairs. Talking to potential employers face to face allows them to see who you are, and if they are interested you can tell. This will allow you to get a feel for who you will be working for as well. Remember you have to work for the company, you should enjoy it. Show them that you are willing to learn, but also that you are confident in your abilities. Mock interview and use career services to your advantage. They are there to help you and working with them was a delight. I loved my career counselor, and I’m so thankful for everything she did for me. Make your resume attractive within the first two paragraphs—important information needs to be up front—I was shocked to realize that most companies didn’t make it past my education if they even looked at that.

Don’t be afraid to look outside your major. I’m an English major going into a business career, and I am ecstatic about the opportunity. That’s why I recommend the Strong Interest Inventory; it shows you what’s out there and helps expand your horizons. You never know what you may enjoy doing. Also, the skills your major provides are more than just the stereotypical skills that everyone associates with the major. Market yourself based on how you are unique through your major.

Marilla Anne Kennell profile

Verizon Wireless
Apprentice Business Sales to Sales Representative

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