Celebrity Staff frequently works with individuals as they make a transition from their college careers to the professional workforce. Some people come into the process with previous customer service, retail, office, or intern experience. Some will come into things having the experience of being really involved in student government, Greek life, student associations, or possess work study experience. Recently, we talked with two professionals on our floor about their unique college experiences and asked them to reflect on the barrier of wanting a job but being unsure if their experience was THE experience employers wanted. Hana is currently the Operations Assistant for Celebrity Staff and Katie is an Account Manager for our Kansas City team.
If you are a new graduate in the job market, I am sure you will often find employers are looking for “experience”, whether that is six months or three years. It is a paradox; you need experience to get experience. It can be incredibly discouraging for job seekers. When going through the application process, Katie and I both found ourselves ignoring those job opportunities because we felt we didn’t have the experience employers were looking for – boy, were we wrong. There are many ways your past opportunities can apply to the jobs you want to pursue through transferable skills. We were both able to leverage our college work experiences to capture jobs that were great fits for us.
Katie: Capitalizing on internship potential
I studied hospitality management in college where industry experience was deemed very critical. Internships were a part of our curriculum so it was an easy push for me to complete them. Two of my internships were completed in hotels and one was completed with a non-profit organization. As you can see, now I am working in sales and recruiting with a staffing agency. My internships didn’t correlate with the industry I am in now, but the experience my employer was looking for sure did.
Below are the reasons I believe internships can help get you where you want to be:
- Internships provide a learning opportunity without the commitment of a permanent job
- Helps you determine if you are in the right industry or even looking at the right type of role for yourself
- They can count as credits (ask your professor if you find an internship you are passionate about)
- Networking with people who will support you regardless of the industry you choose
Hana: Discussing maximizing entry level job experience
My journey through college was a little different than most young business professionals. I went the general studies route, which did not require an internship to graduate. Instead I concentrated on Human Resources and Communications as a full-time online student and worked two part-time jobs. Working and being a student helped me be more organized and proactive and taught me to use my time wisely, which prepared me well for my first job out of school.
Below are some ways you can leverage your current job to help you gain the experience you need for your future job:
- Find opportunities for advancement and growth within your organization. A surprising amount of organizations have cross skill training, interim projects, apprenticeships, and programs for young professionals.
- Learn from supervisors and managers. Ask them questions on how they got to where they are today and turn those into mentorships. These relationships can also lead to exemplary references and networking opportunities.
- Improve on time management and organization by creating a schedule and sticking with your commitments both in school and work. Being a well balanced, self-starting, focused individual is attractive to any employer.
- Build business relationships with coworkers and customers. Customer service is an important skill in many industries.
We hope this blog gives you a few ideas on how you can leverage your current job or future internship to help you land a new position! There are many ways to find the right fit for you, your skills, and your experience. At the end of the day, although we took vastly different approaches, we both love working at Celebrity Staff. We both are in roles that are fulfilling to us. This applies beyond the soon to be graduates. We believe that knowing how to leverage your past skills is a vital element to successfully searching for a job no matter what. So taking a few moments to inventory your experiences and highlight what you are bringing to a prospective employer is a smart tactic for any job seeker!
Check out more about Katie’s transition from college to corporate America here
Connect with Katie here
Connect with Hana here
Celebrity Staff Kansas City
C&A Industries Internship program archive
Hana Jacobsen, Celebrity Staff Operations Assistant
Hana graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha in May 2018 with a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. Her main focus was Human Resources and Communications. Hana joined Celebrity Staff in August 2018 after finishing her time at Von Maur and the summer being a part-time Nanny. Hana enjoys this position because it has challenged her in doing things she never thought she would be capable of doing. She loves this company because they aren’t afraid to train her and teach her new things which have been a great and positive way to start her career. In her free time she enjoys doing new things, seeing new places, and trying new food with her family and friends.
Katie Kupka, Celebrity Staff Kansas City Account Manager
Katie is a recent graduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in hospitality management and minors in leadership and business administration. She would like to go back to school to receive her master’s in human resources or business administration. Katie is a traveling enthusiast and loves exploring cities for culture and good eats. She enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and is in the midst of training for her first half marathon.