Kelcie Swartout, BCS'08
Marketing Specialist, United Way
What do you do to maintain balance between work and life? How do you stay well?
I plan! I have certain weekly commitments during the school year with friends and family, and they help keep me accountable and put the Blackberry down once and a while. From weekly yoga classes to charity involvement, having some pre-determined commitment, especially in the first few years, helps keep you sane. Making the transition from school life to professional life is exhausting. The days are long, and it's easy to come home at the end of the day and veg out, so I really rely on my social network to keep me engaged.
Networking makes me nervous. Do you have any tips to make it easier?
Think of networking as making friends. This is something that comes naturally to some, and not so naturally to others, but don't stress if it's not easy. Be genuine and be aware that everyone you meet may be able to help you along your career path, so treat everyone with respect. Networking is one of those things that gets easier as you continue on with your career, it becomes second nature. So just be patient and be yourself.
I’m a new graduate. How do I translate my class work into the skills and experience that employers want, when I don’t really have a “real world” experience?
There is plenty of "real world" experience that comes out of post-secondary education, as well as life in general. Employers look for conflict resolution skills, how you deal with deadlines, teamwork abilities, etc. You can find examples of this kind of behaviour in individual studies, group work, family, social life, extracurricular activities and other similar types of interactions. Head into interviews with examples from your everyday life that will answer the questions you know that are coming. They're not looking for the exact scenarios, they're looking for your answers to see how you handled it.