By: Connor Sokal, New Graduate Success Story & Guest Blogger
I had always hoped, as every young adult does, that I would have a job before I graduated from college. I had preemptively applied to jobs in January. Unfortunately, I had not heard back from those jobs. I wondered if I had not heard back because I was still in school and they needed someone to immediately fill the job, or if it was because I could not send complete transcripts because I hadn’t graduated yet. Even with no luck so far, I kept applying. The month of May quickly arrived and so did graduation. I was without a job that required my college degree. I had hoped that I would have a job before graduation and that I could go right from college to my career. It was disheartening to think that I had gone to school for all these years just to end up working where I was prior to receiving my degree.
I had to think of a game plan. I knew I was not the only recent graduate without a job. I began to wonder how to get ahead of those recent graduates who were vying for the same job as myself. Around that time is when my father suggested I speak to a career coach. I had always believed that I could find a job on my own but, without luck I was open minded to the help. The career coach my father suggested to me was, Cathy Lanzalaco. Cathy and I began working together in July of 2019. After our first conversation I was surprised by the information that I did not know and by the practices that needed updating. Information such as how to properly use Linkedin and promote myself, to perfecting my resume, to perfecting my cover letter, to proper interviewing practices and more.
It was not long after updating my LinkedIn page to industry standards that LinkedIn recruiters began messaging me. I had been messaged before on LinkedIn by recruiters with job positions but, 1 they were never jobs that fit my degree and skillset. Updating my LinkedIn created a more focused flow of recruiters to my page. I was messaged in July on LinkedIn and it was for a position that actually met my degree and skillset! The recruiter sent me information on a Sales Executive position for an international medical device company called Randox. In this direct message it was explained to me that I was reached out to because of my forensic science background and my sales experience. I thought, why not ask some questions about the position and see where it takes me?
“If you want it, go for it. Take a risk.
Don’t always play it safe or you’ll die wondering.”-quoteslife101.net
I did just that. I also sent my resume and cover letter that Cathy and I crafted to the recruiter. The recruiter got back to me not long after I sent my resume and cover letter. She expressed that she wanted to interview me for the position in September when she would be in New York State and that she would reach out to me closer to then.
Time went by and August arrived. The recruiter direct messaged me and shared that she had meetings in New York City in September and that September 12th in New York City at the LaGuardia Plaza Hotel would be a good date and location for us to meet for a ﬁrst interview. I had traveled to NYC multiple times before and I love everything about the city. I decided to use this opportunity as not only a way to practice my interviewing skills and to work on my nerves, but to experience the city that I love. All with the hope that this job would turn out to be my full time gig.
I traveled to NYC and I conﬁdently attended my interview thanks to the interview practice, insights and loads of advice given to me by Cathy Lanzalaco.
The recruiter reached out to me the next morning and explained that she was impressed with my interview, with my degree and my honors. In that email she offered me a second interview a week and a half later. I was tasked with preparing a 10 minute powerpoint presentation on Randox and four of their machines and then presenting it to my interviewers on the day of my second interview. I prepared my presentation days before my second interview so that I could take the time to learn what I wrote on my presentation.
The day of my second interview arrived. I set up Skye for Business and was completely prepared. I opened my laptop and was ready for my 10:30am interview…. I could have sworn I was. Sometimes no preparation can prepare you for silly things like your Skye volume not working. Myself and the interviewers improvised and we used my phone speaker in conjunction with Skype video. All was well once more and I began. I was given 30 minutes to present the powerpoint I had created, share my thoughts, answer the interviewers questions and ask my questions in return. I felt as though I had impressed my interviewers but I have been confident in the past before and misread a situation.
I sent my interviewers a thank you letter for their time, which I learned from Cathy, is absolutely necessary after an interview. Not long after I sent my thank you, my recruiter emailed me and shared that she would be in contact shortly. I had my fingers crossed that I would get the job. I was on edge for the next day and a half waiting for a response because in my mind “shortly’ meant the same day. I finally received the big news. I had been offered a position for Randox as a Sales Executive! This job offer means that I will be able to travel to Northern Ireland for a week, I will be able to move closer to NYC in a couple months time, and I will be able to apply my sales skills and forensic knowledge! I will be traveling to Ireland for training on all things Randox and sales. I can’t wait to see where this job takes me. Only up from here!
I finally received the big news. I had been offered a position for Randox as a Sales Executive! This job offer means that I will be able to travel to Northern Ireland for a week, I will be able to move closer to NYC in a couple months time, and I will be able to apply my sales skills and forensic knowledge! I will be traveling to Ireland for training on all things Randox and sales. I can’t wait to see where this job takes me. Only up from here!
This blog post was provided by guest blogger, Connor Sokal , who is a member of the Inspire Careers Student Professional Launch Program™ .