On Wednesday, April 6, Kalamazoo College’s Center for Career and Professional Development hosted their Spring Recruiting Expo, which additionally featured a presentation entitled “From Backpacks to Briefcase: Managing the Transition.” Given by Prudential Financial Services Manager Mary Ryan, the event centered on information that aimed to be useful in entering the workforce.
Ryan does the majority of the hiring in her position at Prudential Financial and thus shared what she looks for in applicants.
“First impressions are very important. You want to make sure you are well dressed, because that tells me [you are] conscientious… it’s about etiquette and professionalism,” Ryan said.
“When you go in for an interview, [make sure to] look your best and [that] your social media is completely scrubbed,” Ryan said. In addition, she advised that the interviewee has a “good, solid handshake” and that they have thoroughly researched the company that they are interviewing for.
“That shows preparedness,” Ryan said.
During the presentation, Ryan expressed that including extracurricular activities within your resume is something that employers are especially interested in.
“Being a part of extracurriculars tells a lot about their character,” she added.
Ryan asked the group to think about the kind of career that they want that’ll allow them to do things for themselves and their family.
“You don’t want a job, you want a career… [think about] why you get up in the morning and why does anyone care, you don’t want to be in a job that you hate,” Ryan said.
There are three questions that Ryan explained as the ones that her company asks during an interview. These include: “What is your perfect career? What have you done that is above and beyond yourself? And why should we hire you?” Ryan said.
“Go [into the interview] thinking of it as a conversation,” Ryan explained. According to her, this will make the process less stressful.
Natalie Schmitt K’17 attended this presentation and found it very helpful. “[It was] actually interesting listening and hearing from someone in the hiring process. [It was] nice to hear generic advice from someone in that field,” Schmitt said.