Letters to Future Students

We wanted to provide some perspectives regarding your job or internship search.  The following 10 testimonies from recent BGSU Business students offer wisdom from those who have been in your current position.  Enjoy!

Dear Future Student,

While searching for your first job -- whether it be an internship or full-time -- always look at jobs that you are most interested in or can really see yourself in rather than a job that may pay more than others that you will not be happy in. It is better to enjoy going to work making a little less than dread going into work and making a little extra doesn't always make up for the poor quality.

When interviewing for the position you want, make sure to be yourself.  It is becoming more common that employers base a lot of their hiring decisions from- personalities and if you are a good fit for their team rather than if you have a 4.0 and no people skills.  Lying during an interview will lead to poor results, for both yourself and the employer. It will hurt yourself by giving them false expectations that you can complete work you are unable to or have experience with something you do not which will result in poor or failed performance which will be bad for you and your employer. It will hurt the employer by filling a spot by something they think is the best for the job when they may not be.

One last big piece of advice for you while interviewing is to always have questions for the employers.

Sincerely,
Past Student

Dear Fellow Student,

I know looking for an internship is stressful because you are competing against your peers for getting a shot at a spot in the company which could become your future career.  One thing I've noticed is that there are plenty of opportunities and you just have to be willing to open yourself up and try talking to people.  I didn't get my internship through the job fair, I had a club meeting where we would ask accounting professionals about their jobs and I got to talking to one of the professionals and he offered to give me an interview with his company, so I got to work for him.

When I started the internship I was so overwhelmed and wasn't sure I was cut out for the job because I had no clue what I was doing.  I asked for a lot of help and my co-workers were patient with me and I started to get the hang of it.  Now I enjoy heading to work and I could see myself doing something like this in the future.  

The best advice I could give you is to ask questions when you don't understand, take good notes, keep a positive attitude, because it does get easier, try and get to know your co-workers, but most importantly, just have fun.

To Future Student,

It is challenging to put yourself out there in order to attain your first job, co-op, or internship. It is intimidating reaching out to companies and individuals asking what kind of opportunities are available for you. When I made the move to obtain my internship, it was overwhelming. Use your personal connections to find a good place to work. Start asking around and seeing what is out there and for help to get there.

Just remember that everyone starts off as an intern and knows what it is like to be in that position. A company wants to be able to teach you and train you to be their ideal employee. I have learned how to interact with managers and people in very high positions, how to speak to people in a professional way and how to operate in a professional corporate office environment. It takes time to locate a position that fits you and what you want so you do not need to rush it.

Being a student at Bowling Green State University and in the Business School, companies want to hire you. The reputation of the Business School is a major factor in a company wanting to have you work for them. My biggest advice is to keep your options open about where you want to intern and in what department. An internship is a wonderful opportunity to learn as much as you can about a business and how the company runs. Stay positive and use your fellow classmates, the Career Accelerator, and professors as references and take their advice.

Sincerely,

Dear Student,

I am in the process of completing my first internship at a public accounting firm.  I went to my first job fair as a freshman not knowing what to expect and I came into it unprepared.  I became very discouraged because some employers kept informing me that they were looking more for juniors and seniors. 

However, going back to the job fair in the second semester of my freshman year, I met the representative from the firm and we immediately connected.  I came into it very prepared and there was a huge difference in the way I handled myself this time through.  I ended up getting four follow-up interviews and instantly began researching the companies.  This accounting firm seemed to be the best fit for me so I really prepared myself for that interview.  It went very well, and I was offered a position as an intern for the following spring semester. 

This opportunity has shown me that it wasn't my age that was my real problem, but that it was the way I handled myself.  Coming in prepared is one of the most important things you can do as a student looking for an internship.  I hope that you are able to take my advice and find yourself an internship just as I did.

To Future Co-op/Full Time Position Recipient:

As a student in Business, it is absolutely crucial that you get real world experience in your field early on.  I made the mistake of not working my first co-op until my Junior year which ended up working out for me in the long run, but if I were to have gained that experience my freshman and sophomore year I would be in an even better place today.

For those two years, I was working way too many hours at a minimum wage paying part time job for the same amount of money I could have made at an internship for half the hours.  Once I started working co-ops I had extra money to spend on both fun and to funnel into my savings account.  The average salary of the four co-ops I worked was $17.50, which is almost 3 times the amount I was making at Campus Pollyeyes.  It really pays off to get that real world experience and make more money than you will know what to do with as a college student.  I went from eating ramen noodles and Chef Boyardee every night to being able to go out to dinner whenever I wanted.  Also, when my car finally bit the dust, I was able to purchase a new car with the money I saved up from working at my co-ops.

This experience gives you so many talking points during interviews and in the work place, and people have a higher level of respect for you when you have done the co-ops.  I highly recommend going to the job fairs and using your peer network to get you into an internship position.  

When interviewing for these positions, use the experience gained in said co-ops to give valuable and quantitative answers to the employers’ questions.  Lastly, always write down a long list of questions for your employer during the interview.  Even if you only get to ask 1 or 2 of them, the employer will be impressed with the long list of questions.   You need to prove to the employer that you are invested in this co-op or position and have researched/care about the position and company.

Hope that helps.

Dear Student,

The internship search can be a scary process. I know it can be intimidating seeing fellow students get internships, and you wonder "what am I doing wrong." I can promise you that if you keep working hard, you will be recognized, and you will end up in the right internship.

To help you accelerate the process of finding an internship, take advantage of everything this campus has to offer. The Business Career Accelerator office, walk through Campus Fest, and visit as many tables as possible, join an organization that truly interests you. There are opportunities like Club Dodgeball, Greek Life, Undergraduate Student Government, and of course business organizations like AMA. Joining an organization, and taking on a leadership role will not only look great on a resume, but it will also help you create a strong network.

Go to as many events as possible, and look to meet new people. The College of Business hosts events for its students such as Golf Lessons, Class Dinners, and The Hatch. These are great places to meet other students excited about business, and a great place to speak with Professors in a casual environment.

Research a career path you are interested in, and find out what is required in that career. I used my Career Report. I knew I wanted to be a financial adviser, and after researching the career, I discovered that insurance was a large part of that career so I went out and got my Life Insurance License, and that made my resume stick out very well to recruiters.

Take advantage of any professional development opportunity you can. The Career Accelerator will help you review your resume, and prepare you for interviews.

Stay positive, and get involved in organizations, and in the College of Business, and you will find the internship that is just right for you.

Regards,

Future Student,

Well first off, congrats on pursuing your college path! I have learned many things throughout my college experiences and many of those things deal with my career. Number one would be take risks. Do not be afraid of the fast-paced business world, but instead seek the excitement. Apply for several different internships/co-ops that will give you great experiences and help on finding your career path.

Go to every Job Fair Expo even if you are a first-year student. Some employers may not accept freshman for their internships, but they will remember you and consider you for opportunities in the future. Also, this shows you are brave and putting yourself out there and gaining experiences. This actually happened to me with two different companies; I talked to them as a first-year student and received two interviews my second year at BGSU. Along with this, it is very important that you contact the employer ASAP thanking them for the interview. I suggest writing a letter.

When attending business events, dress and act to impress. Appearance is the first aspect that an employer and other people notice first, so dressing professionally is key. A big piece of advice is to prepare, prepare and prepare. Do your research on companies, look what they have to offer and read their responsibilities for the internships and co-ops. It is also helpful to know the background of companies and have questions ready showing you did research.

There are many opportunities out there, so searching and giving time to finding the right job that fits you will benefit you more. Once you receive an internship, co-op, or job, give it all you have and make sure you love what you are doing.

To a Future Student:

I would like to offer up some advice for the next four years as you navigate through the College of Business and all of the many challenges that it brings.

Get a head start:  Attend all of the job fairs, even as a freshman, and use it as an opportunity to network with employers. I began attending job fairs the first semester of my freshman year, and was turned down many times because I was too young, but I did not give up. I continued to go back to every job fair and talk with those employers, and those same employers that turned me down recognized me from two years before and gave me early interviews and offers.   

Get involved: Make it a priority to join a student organization. These groups help you to meet classmates, network with professionals, and develop your personal and professional etiquette. It's a great way to find mentors that will guide you through the recruiting process and provide insight on which courses are best for your academic development.

Network: Spend time doing your research before going to job fairs and know which companies you would like to begin to build relationships with. Be sure to collect business cards and follow up with a thank-you letter or email within 24 hours. Most importantly, maintain an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn and be sure to add all of these professionals to your network.

Be yourself: Be true to yourself when considering which jobs to apply for. Don't let anyone persuade you to pursue a career that you know is not right for you. Think about what is most important to you and what makes you happy, and then find someone who will pay you to do it. During job interviews be sure to be relaxed and be yourself, while maintaining a professional demeanor. Employers are looking for someone who fits socially into their organization. Interviews are a two way street and being yourself is the best way to discover which company is the best fit for you.

Seize every opportunity: One of the most important lessons I have learned during my time in the College of Business is that circumstances change. People change. The person you are when you enter BGSU as a freshman will not be the same person that walks across that stage at graduation. Dreams, goals, aspirations, and plans change; so be flexible. You will probably hit some rough patches, face personal struggles, deal with painful situations, and have to make difficult decisions. See it all as an opportunity. A chance to grow and reach new heights. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new; in my experience it opens doors to a more rewarding experience than I could have ever imagined.

Future Student,

Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone when searching for your first internship/co-op. I was only looking for a local internship but I got offered an internship in Texas that I could not turn down. It truly has been a great learning experience that I will always be grateful for.

I went in very eager to learn and everyone I worked with was very good at explaining not only my tasks but the whole process and how I contributed to it. I was able to apply concepts of accounting from classes but I also learned a lot of new information throughout the internship that will benefit me the rest of my professional career.

There is a trial and error process at first but constructive criticism is very helpful. As long as you show up every day eager to learn and make an impact you will do great!

Dear Future Student,

The number one thing I have learned is to never give up. Adults used to tell me this all the time and I never believed them, I thought I was behind everyone in finding internships. It seemed my sophomore year all my friends had internships with big companies and were making crazy amounts of money and here I was working part-time with a friend of mine over the summer.

As you start to progress through the college of business you start to obtain more confidence in the way you approach life and situations. Classes start getting harder, but you start learning more. You start to grow into the person you know you were meant to be and the experience comes along with it. Always apply for jobs that you think would best fit your job description you are looking for no matter how old you are, how many clubs you are involved with, your GPA, whatever it is make sure you apply.

Companies look for very different attributes candidates have to offer, they do not look for the ideal robot who is perfect at everything. It may seem stressful, but staying on top of internships and classwork is a must. Do not be afraid to take on more responsibilities than you can handle, believe it or not you find ways to achieve your goals. This may take time to learn how to get organized and prioritize what is important, but it can be done.

Right now I am president of the women's club volleyball team, member of the financial management society, a part-time intern for an appraisal company, and taking 16 credit hours. If someone would have told me I can do all of that in the same semester as a freshman I would have laughed at them.

So if you're going to get anything out of this, it would be to never give up! You never know the opportunities that are out there or the involvement on campus you could be missing out on.