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Student Career Journal: Mock Interviews at MVSU

By Andrea Byrd

Student Career Journal is a series of articles written by HBCU Students about career events, workshops and opportunities on their campus in order to encourage students to take advantage of the career services offered at their school.

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Mississippi Valley State University’s help students do a mock interview every semester.  The interviews are conducted by the Career Services Center (CSC) professional staff.

The Career Services Center at the Valley offers resources to current students and alumni. The Centre has a number of programs and services designed to connect students and alumni with resources and organizations that will take them wherever they want to go, whether it’s a full-time job or a post-baccalaureate degree. It is encouraged that students and alumni take advantage of the services and opportunities available through the MSVU career office.

This past week, students had the opportunity to engage with CSC staff and faculty in a professional setting to improve their communication skills and learn how to make good first impressions with potential employers. Students were aided in social etiquette, physical presentation, and resume coherence. In order to participate, students signed up and received a day and a time to appear for the mock interview.  The practise mock interview was treated like a typical job interview one would encounter off campus.  Students were required to be on time and dressed in business casual or professional wear. CSC staff coached on the principles of formality and politeness with employers (i.e. handshake, greeting etc.). 

The CSC staff focuses on resume building as a fundamental part of a job interview. They showed students how to sound good on paper and sell themselves in the job interview. The interviewers also asked questions that students do not typically know how to answer to in order to acquaint them to different interview situations.

Mock interviews have been known to help MVSU alumni land their careers, with some graduates acquiring high ranking jobs because of it.

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Posted in Career Advice, Career and Industry Awareness, First Year on the Job, HBCU Career Programs, Job Interviews, Job Search Tips, Student Career Journal | Comments Off on Student Career Journal: Mock Interviews at MVSU

Student Career Journal: Acing the GRE at Mississippi Valley State University

By Andrea Byrd

Student Career Journal is a series of articles written by HBCU Students about career events, workshops and opportunities on their campus in order to encourage students to take advantage of the career services offered at their school.

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On Sunday, November 10th students at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) had the opportunity to partake in GRE practice exam. The GRE is often a mandatory exam that post-grads take in order to apply to grad school.  It was held at Valley’s Interdisciplinary Science and Technology building.  The instructor was Abigail Voller.  Many of the students who attended were upperclassmen preparing for December graduation at the Valley. There were also students who are planning to pursue graduate school for careers in STEM fields. In addition to this, some early year students were there to get a head start in preparation for their graduate studies. 

Upon arrival, students received binders with questions and useful information about all parts of the GRE exam. They had access to online resources such as Kaplan Test Prep and sample writing sources. Students participated in a practice writing test and were able to receive ample feedback from Instructor Voller as well as tips for efficient essay responses.

Students were also lectured about the writing portion of the exam using a powerpoint containing tips and writing samples by actual students who took the GRE. Voller stressed that one of the most important skills to have for the GRE writing response is time-management. Since the time limit for the writing response is thirty  minutes, it is imperative that students work with that in mind. The instructor’s main tip for time management was to plan out what to write before starting.

She introduced different types of essay maps and how to pick what works best for the student. The GRE practice concluded with questions about the lecture and an exchange of more resources for students.

Learn more about Going to Grad School with these resources.

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Posted in Career Advice, Grad School, Life After College, New Grad, Student Career Journal | Comments Off on Student Career Journal: Acing the GRE at Mississippi Valley State University

Join professional associations; Membership has rewards

Join Professional Associations

Professional Associations

Membership has its rewards.

Man is a tool-using animal…Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all” ~ Thomas Carlyle

Professional associations is one of the best tools out there if you are trying to get involved!

We spend a lot of time being members of groups whether we define ourselves that way or not.  As children, we joined play teams, in high schools we were in sports or academic teams; in college we added Greek Life or clubs and as adults we are members of churches, community groups, alumni groups, civic associations and professional associations. Memberships work because, as humans, we are social creatures and as the quote suggests, memberships are tools that we routinely use in our lives – to belong, to nurture, to support and to feel we are part of something.

In your professional life, it is always a good idea to consider your  membership presence in professional associations.

Are you currently an active member of any professional association or group?

Notice the emphasis on the word active. Many of us even pay dues to belong to associations, but really do not take the time to even read the monthly magazines or any subscriptions we receive as part of our membership.  If you are a student, the same principle applies to campus clubs or student chapters of professional associations.

Are you there, but not really using it as the tool to build leadership or administrative skills as you should?

Why join a professional association?

Aside from the obvious networking possibilities with people in the same profession, which could lead to great opportunities, there are other benefits to joining professional associations.  These include:

  • Building new skills through online or in person workshops or webinars..
  • Helping to shape the future direction of your occupation.
  • Developing leadership skills through committee involvement.
  • Staying ahead of trends in your occupation or industry.
  • Getting some inside information on jobs and internships.

If you are a seasoned professional exploring career changes, or a student expanding your career and industry awareness, joining a professional association should be a no-brainer.  Students should know there are usually significant discounts for membership if you join while you are in student status.

Here is a great list of professional associations with links to each.  Find a few that you can further explore and possibly join so that you can maybe attend a national conference next year.

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Posted in Career Advice, Career and Industry Awareness, Choosing a Career, Employment Trends, Internships, Leadership, Millennials at Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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