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Alumni News

B2B sept

Backpack to Briefcase: Navigating the Professional World

September 16, 2014

Three successful alumnae were among the advisers offering new grads some tools to help smooth the transition into the world of work at the Backpack to Briefcase session last month at the Davis Campus.

Among the grads was Nicole Brocklebank (Business Administration-Marketing, 2009), the National Internal Recruiter for TEKsystems. As someone who conducted 700 interviews with students in 2013, Nicole has an up-close view of what it takes to land that career job and flourish. Her key piece of advice: work harder than anyone else out right out of the gate. “I wish someone had told me that soon after graduation. Once I figured that out, especially in sales and marketing, I started rising quickly,” said Nicole, pictured, foreground.  Here are her top five tips:

• Don’t be afraid to ask. Then go try and figure out the answer for yourself.
• Expect that you will make mistakes. Learn from them and move on.
• Be confident in your abilities. If you don’t display confidence you will be passed over.
• Work longer and harder than anyone else in the office to get ahead. Investing the time early in your career will pay dividends later.
• Be flexible and open. You might not end up in the career you thought.

Wendy Barrington, Human Resources Manager for Giftcraft, a leading retail décor and giftware retail supplier, was also on hand to offer some insider guidance. Like Nicole, Wendy (Human Resources, 2000) encourages new employees to ask questions to demonstrate their eagerness to learn. More tips from Wendy:

• Take time to learn, listen, observe and get trained before making recommendations.
• Be open to constructive feedback.

To increase your chances of being offered that job, Wendy has this advice:

• If you have a gap in your resume, be open and explain the situation to the recruiter.
• Ensure your resume is error free, reads and information is in chronological order.
• Be cautious about what you post on Facebook. Some employers view potential candidates’ Facebook pages and anything inappropriate could hurt your chances.

Thanks to our alumni advisors, Nicole, Wendy and Liliana Cordoba, Technical Sales Representative, Walker Emulsions (Chemical Engineering Environmental Technology-Co-op, 2006).

Just a reminder: Sheridan’s Career Centre services are available to all alumni, no matter when they graduated. Check out their services here.