When we’re children, we’re told we can become anything we want to, as long as we try our best.
When we’re teenagers in high school, we’re told to treasure our youth, because adulthood is only a few steps away.
When we’re in college, we’re told we need to stand out from the crowd, so we can be acknowledged, seen, and respected.
But, if thousands of college students are being told that they need to stand out, aren’t we just a part of the crowd? What will we need to do in order to be unique, to be apart from those who are already doing so? How do we achieve your goals when trying our best just doesn’t cut it, and how do we balance this transition from being kids to… adults?
Our lives as college students are incredibly difficult because we are not only juggling between school, work, personal life, and social life but also finding our places in the world and where we belong. The last thing we want to think about is jobs because they signify a journey from the classroom to an office. And as humans living in this fast-paced, digital world, instant gratification is what we want. Oftentimes, the goal is in our mind and not the path to getting there.
The journey is incredibly important, however, and cannot be looked over. I hope that I can guide my peers through this journey with the advice that I have from my experiences and the experiences I hear from others as well.
For my screencasting assignment, I needed to choose a blog I like, and screencast it! The application my professor suggested to use – Jing – was incredibly easy to use. All it required me to do was download it, choose a part of the screen I wanted to record, and I recorded it! After finishing my screencast, it automatically creates a link for you (if you choose) and you can find my screencast here.
This assignment actually took me a few tries because I needed to know what I wanted to say about the blog I was commenting on. I don’t follow any WordPress blogs, so I ended up googling “best WordPress sites to follow,” clicked on an article, and scrolled through a few blogs. For this assignment I chose the Greenwich Library’s site. What I really loved about this blog was it’s beautiful yet easy-to-use design. Personally, when I think about a library, I think about endless rows of books and dusty old rooms (which I like actually). This website completely shattered that thought and blew me away. This website offers 24/6 accessibility to its users concerning its resources, your library account information, and the events that take place there.
Comparing my experience with my commercial, this assignment was a godsend. It took me 30 minutes to complete. I personally don’t have any experience with screencasting and I don’t talk much — I’m a writer after all. Fortunately, these assignments let me speak more than I usually do, and I’m grateful for that.
I personally don’t have any experience with screencasting and I don’t talk much — I’m accustomed to writing out my feelings and opinions. Fortunately, these assignments let me speak more than I usually do, and I’m grateful for that.
Overall, this experience was enjoyable and I look forward to any other assignments for my blog.
This Garageband assignment was a nightmare for me. I thought my previous header was going to turn out badly but it unexpectedly came out great. However… this commercial I made? It’s safe to say, I will probably never listen to it again.
At first, I tried Audacity because I thought it would’ve been easier to use than Garageband. I have an affinity for PC software (I recently converted to Mac because Windows 10 paired with touch-screen laptops aren’t the greatest). I used to mix music at a very brief point in time a few years back, so I thought “this won’t be bad at all.”
But when I opened up the software, my immediate reaction was: why?
It looked completely outdated. Like Windows XP outdated. Maybe my friend sent me the wrong download link but it was trash in my opinion. I spent an hour trying to play with it and gave up.
I then started up Garageband and I was a lot more relieved its UI is much more friendly. However, the Garageband tutorials my professor had up were for an outdated Garageband. So finding the right advice was pretty difficult, since most people apparently use an older version. Needless to say, I spent another hour and a half trying to get it to work. After a few song shuffling and multiple attempts at recording my voice, I finally got it to work.
I’d say the overall difficulty of this assignment for ME, in a scale from 1-10, 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest, was definitely a solid 9. A 10 would mean I wouldn’t be able to complete it at all. So… I was close.
Due to the requirements of my class, I need to upload my commercial, and you can access it here.
BEWARE: YOU MAY NEED TO LOWER THE VOLUME AT FIRST.
Songs I used:
Lose Myself by Seven Lions
Colours by CaPa
I really loved my old header image. It fit perfectly with my logo and the theme of my blog; it was versatile, simple, and classy.
But Professor Bridges’ assignment to change our header absolutely killed me. My design skills are on par with a penguin, so trashing my current header and trying to mesh 2+ images from Google with Photoshop seemed like an absolute nightmare.
Luckily, after looking at some inspiration from Dribble and thinking about the theme of my blog, I created a new header. I didn’t mesh the two photos on top of each other — rather, I put them next to each other and had a transparent, colored square partially cover one of the photos. The hardest part of this assignment was finding the perfect photos because they are the base of the header. Everything else came naturally — the transparency and the motto I would put on after.
But the header wasn’t the only thing that was changed either. After uploading my new header, I realized my logo looked childish. It fit better with my previous header, but my new one looked more professional and sleek. When paired with this new header, my logo looked childish and unfitting.
So, I changed my logo at the top too. The font and size changed to match the text in the header. I guess this assignment really did benefit my blog — I was able to improve its overall look.
The skills I worked on for this assignment can definitely come in handy in the future when I want to create featured images for m future blog posts, and even social media. I sometimes use PhotoShop and InDesign at my current internship, but I use a given template so I’m not allowed to exercise my creativity all too much. I’m sure anyone can use simpler design software like Pixlr for the above mentioned as well.
→ interviewers will ask you a series of behavioral questions where you may need to dig into your memories.
The goal of these questions is to see if you have encountered conflict in your previous experiences (which is all the time because no workplace is perfect) and how you worked to reach a compromise or to achieve the desired result.
These questions require using the STAR technique, meaning Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
- Situation: Create the backdrop of what happened. Did this conflict arise due to a new project? Did someone in your team disagree with you and this stopped progress?
- Task: What did you need to accomplish? What was the task given to the team?
- Action: What actions did you take to resolve the issue?
- Result: What resulted from the actions you took?
Most often, issues arise due to miscommunication and conflict of interest. There are key ways on how to resolve a problem:
→This can also be asked as: How would your current supervisor describe you?
For this question, I usually give three strengths and one weakness. I give examples of each trait. The weakness response is a special case — not only do you admit to having this weakness, but also do you give examples of how you’ve been overcoming it.
Example of a weakness:
“I have difficulty speaking up during meetings. I was honest with my supervisor and asked if she could ask me for my opinions during meetings so I could become comfortable doing so. I heard for this position I will be leading meetings and participating in conferences. Although this sounds intimidating, I am excited to participate.”
For the strengths, you want to give an answer that you know is true about yourself, but is also unique. And of course, give an example of each.
- Initiator / Go-getter
- Good Communicator
→ Interviewers want to see how you can sell yourself and how you can relate your previous experiences to this current position.
You can pool your answers from Tell me about yourself and Why are you interested in this position.
- “I have great organizational skills:
For my current internship, I utilize different project management software such as Microsoft Project and the department’s own software system. I keep track of project tickets, color-code key events, and even share a Google Doc with my supervisor that lists all of my assignments and the process for each one.
- I am also extremely detail-oriented, and this position needs keen employees:
I proofread all material that is sent out. I was able to point out incorrect usage of a statistic for an e-mail my supervisor was sending out.
- I am also able to adapt to different situations when needed:
My current internship gets fast-paced at the beginning of each semester, so I need to juggle several assignments at once. I have a system where I can work on one assignment then work on another one as my I wait for feedback from other team members. When my work environment gets slow-paced, I know I can ask my supervisor and other team members when they need assistance.“
For this response, I listed a trait then gave examples and/or accomplishments for each one. The traits I listed above are versatile and important in any work environment.
You can write a list of traits about yourself and give examples of each one from your work experience, and when relevant questions are asked, you can grab them from your pool.
→How well do you know your resume? Did you make anything up? Can you go more in detail about your experiences rather than repeating the text on your resume?
Remember: whatever you put on your resume is fair game.
So before you start putting down “proficiency in French” when you only took French 101 and 102, read this:
My friend Dylan is fluent in Hebrew and put down “Fluency in Hebrew” on his resume. During his third interview with the COO of a company, the COO started speaking to him in Hebrew.
Luckily, Dylan wasn’t exaggerating on his resume and was able to have a conversation with the COO.
We can answer this question the same way we answered tell me about yourself.
- where you worked / volunteered for
- what the organization does
- what you accomplished there
- what were the results
- “I volunteer at Habitat for Humanity,
- where we build homes for the impoverished.
- Here I painted various homes, did fundraising on campus, and promoted the organization with self-designed flyers and posters.
- Due to my efforts, campus awareness of the organization grew by 110% and 50 students signed up to volunteer by the end of my first month.“
We see a pattern here — we usually describe a situation, the tasks that were given, the actions we took, and the results that we made happen. This is known as a STAR Technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result). I will go more in-depth with this technique in “Describe a time when…“
→ other ways of asking this question:
Why do you want this job?
What are you looking for in an internship?
Interviewers want to see what attracts you to this position, what you will gain from it, and how it ties into your previous experiences. Take a look at the job description and highlight which parts stand out to you. What do you like about this position? What can you learn from it? How does it tie in with your current interests?
Sample job description: (re-worded)
Interns will assist in the designing and development processes, directly communicate and work with our suppliers, and execute creatively-designed engineered composite products.
- Lead design/development and coordinate through manufacturing launch.
- Learn how to work in a fast-paced environment with advanced materials and processes.
- Stay up-to-date with materials processing.
- Direct raw material and project in/outsourcing.
“I am interested in this position because it not only encompasses the process of developing and executing a manufacturing launch, but it also includes working with cutting-edge technology and learning how to work with employers. At my current internship, I contribute to the processing team by designing the initial process and oversee a manufacturing launch. I believe I can further my experience in materials processing and design.”
Boom. You just listed what you’re interested in AND how you will benefit from it. Pretty short and simple.
If you’re asked “What are you looking for in an internship,” you can shape this ^ answer to fit the context.
“I am looking for an internship where I can learn the process of developing and executing a manufacturing launch and where I can also work with innovative technology. I also have previous experience in material design, so I am hoping I can expand on this skill as well.”
By directly connecting your current interests to the job description, you sound eager to fill the position.
→ most commonly asked question. The interviewer(s) can learn a lot about you, concerning the content in your answer and how you communicate this answer. This question is asked in both technical and non-technical interviews.
Outline of a response:
- Name, school where you’re studying, major/minor *optional: why you chose to major or minor in these fields *
- First experience, what you did there
- Transition into next experience, what you did there (doesn’t need to be a job, can be an organization you are heavily involved in on campus)
- What you’re doing now at your current job/org
- “Looking forward, I believe I am a good fit for ____.“
Your response may seem lengthy. To avoid this, try to be concise and sum up each point in one sentence.
“I wanted to learn how start-ups manage their finances, so I decided to work for ____, where I oversaw their accounts.”
You hit all three points in one sentence, and it states where you worked, why you worked there, and what you accomplished.
“I strongly believe in advocating for LGBTQ rights, so I joined ____ and worked my way to an officer position, where I reach out to communities and organize campus events.”