Samuel Kohl '14
Career fair prep workshops help grad prepare for all obstacles before finding Boeing internship
Samuel Kohl came to the University of Idaho his junior year and has since taken advantage of almost every opportunity Career Services has to offer and more. He graduated in December 2014 with a double major in operations Management and marketing. He officially accepted an internship with Boeing the summer of 2014, which he earned through networking and taking advantage of opportunities.
"In general, Career Services has helped me in focusing my resume, being aware of what employers are looking for, presenting a professional image during the career fairs and giving me a new perspective.
I have met with career advisors three different times, and all three were for resume critiques. I already knew what I wanted to do, it was just ‘How do I get there?’. Meetings with advisors were very helpful in focusing on which strengths I want to present in my resume and how to present them better, as well as how to tailor it for different employers.
The whole process very much includes you. You’re the one designing the resume, and they are giving feedback. You have to be involved in it, they aren’t going to sit there and write your resume for you, but they really do help make it easy, and they have a lot of useful tools to help you achieve success.
I have probably attended one workshop a month. Last year I went to all of the career fair preparation workshops, and I also went to interview workshops and a workshop on what to wear.
The workshop that stuck out to me the most was the interview workshop. I learned how to approach a phone interview versus an in-person interview. It taught me that dressing professionally for a phone interview is important, too. The way you dress changes the way you present yourself. You may never notice it, but it is the subtle behavioral traits and tone of voice that come across over the phone that make the difference. After that, I tried it and it turned out to be very true.
I have been to every career fair since I have attended the university. I have gotten at least two interviews out of every single one. I got an internship with Boeing, not specifically through the career fair because it was through other connection in the College of Business and Economics, but I was able to build on those connections through the career fair. The Boeing recruiter remembered me from last year’s career fair, so the connections I was able to build at the fair were definitely worth it.
I did some company research on the three or four companies I knew I was interested in both before and during the fair. I asked myself, 'What is this company about? What are the key points?' I also tailored my resume to those companies and also made a general resume for the companies that caught my interest when I was at the fair. I did a lot of resume preparation and applied everything I had learned from the workshops and other things like how to dress, how to speak to employers — how not to speak so fast and bluntly that it comes across robotic.
My future goal for myself is to be in corporate executive leadership, directing a corporation from an executive position toward productive ends, which could vary depending on the industry or the environment that the organization is in.
I love leadership and working with people to accomplish a productive goal. In five years, I hope to be with a large or mid-sized corporation moving toward a management position.
I would absolutely recommend to people to use Career Services. It has so many resources from advising to practice sessions for interviews, phone and actual face-to-face. The connection Career Services has with other universities is extensive and very well established. Hire a Vandal is an excellent resource, and I would highly recommend students work through it. The career fairs are great, but are sometimes limited in what they might offer, so Hire a Vandal is a fabulous avenue to explore more options. I would highly recommend Career Services for every student. If you are not taking advantage of the resources offered here, you will be selling yourself short."
— Samuel Kohl '14