Monday, January 10, 2011

Alumnus Chris McKoy reflects on proactive post-grad job searching

For traditional college students like myself, the thought of entering the “real world” can be quite overwhelming.

Experts claim that the current generation of college students will have seven careers in their lifetime. Not seven jobs. Seven entirely separate careers. The idea of acquiring a new skill set to attract employers is intimidating to most. I began to grapple with these challenges last summer.

It was at that point I realized the story on my resume said nothing about marketing. If I was going to get hired, I needed to assess where I fit into the marketing world and demonstrate it with action. I took off, creating a spreadsheet of people I knew and asking them who they knew in marketing. I attended networking groups, job search groups, and researched careers in my field. I was on the hunt for experience and advice, a search that culminated in an internship at the Denver Pavilions and 70+ professional contacts in my field that I continue to tap for advice.

When it comes to a career search, Metro State’s tagline couldn’t be more true: “Success begins with you.” I’ve never been that proactive. My tendency has been to stay in my comfort zone and not try anything new, but in the last year I managed to obtain a marketing assistant position in a highly reputable business association and get more involved on campus. I started the Student Marketing Association for Metro State, with a great deal of help from Professor Kristin Watson and several incredibly committed students. This expanded my leadership roles in and out of the classroom. It is amazing to me that I’m coming out of college with a year of valuable experience and demonstrated leadership just by focusing in on my career development.

A famous hockey player ascribed his success in the rink to one main factor. He said, “I don’t go where the hockey puck is. I go where it is going to be.” Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that is exactly how to get positioned in a career. The resources on this campus can help a student set a trajectory for where they see the job market and their industry going and prepare for a desirable, exciting career.

- Written by Chris McKoy
Metro State Alumnus ‘10

Know any students or alumni that want to write about their career experiences? Please have them contact Sarah Senter at 303-556-3664.

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