Opinion

Career development: Leveraging Expertise

Hi my name is Stephanie Maltez and I am a senior marketing major at JBU. The spring semester of my junior year, I was preparing for interviews for five internship positions. I was nervous knowing I needed to get one of these internships, but also excited to see what journey God had planned for me. Suddenly COVID-19 seemed to take over the country and everything closed. Internships were cancelled and all my opportunities were gone.

A few weeks before school was dismissed, I was accepted into Career Connections, a program connected to Facebook. This program equips students in digital and social media marketing to run ads and promotions for small businesses. After training they pair students up with five local employers for interviews. After the interviews, they select the employers’ top picks and inform the students if they were chosen. This year, because of COVID-19, the program was different. We were only paired with two businesses and the selection process was more competitive.

After two interviews, I felt confident about my responses, even after I realized I forgot to send a thank you note. A few weeks later I received an email stating that I was not selected for the internship. I remember feeling helpless and like a failure after seeing that email. Amongst all this disappointment; there was still some hope.

Career Connections had told me that they could connect me with an employer who had an opening for an unpaid internship. I was reluctant at first, but I went ahead and was connected with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in North Little Rock. I completed my internship with them and grew professionally the summer I worked there.

Job searching during a pandemic is not fun to say the least. Here are a few tips to help you in your job search:

First, take advantage of Handshake (JBU’s Recruiting Platform), LinkedIn and Indeed. These platforms allow you to search for jobs, internships and fellowships based on your major. Jobs are posted often, and it works to your advantage to use them. Second, ask your professors or anyone in the department of your major on advice in obtaining an employment or experiential learning opportunity. The professors at JBU want to see you succeed in your professional life. Leverage their expertise and wisdom. Third, look at local businesses in your area and see if they are hiring anyone in your field. I am from Siloam Springs, so I explored the possibility of being an intern at Arvest Bank and Dayspring. Fourth, set up an appointment with the Career Development Center. You can set up an appointment to meet with a career coach through Handshake. The career coaches can help to guide you and equip in your job search. I met with them once in January and they helped me polish my resume.

The Career Development team members are a great resource here on campus and they want to see you succeed in your professional life.  Other than these suggestions, the best thing you can do is trust in the Lord. Trust that the Lord will provide exactly what you need. It might be in an unconventional way, but trust His process. He knows what He is doing with your life.  As Ephesians 2:8-11 says,  “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”