Young Alumni Receive Valuable Insight During Career Prep Day

Even though they are on a break from their college classes, many recent Norfolk Academy graduates took the opportunity to uncover some tips in professional growth. Norfolk Academy's Alumni Association hosted nearly 50 alumni in the graduating classes of 2015-18 for an annual Career Prep Day and College Holiday Luncheon. After a brief networking event in the Massey Leadership Center, the collegiate Bulldogs participated in two professional workshops.

One of the sessions was conducted with the help of Kimberly Deal '01, brokerage associate for Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate, and Carrie Gerloff Yuill '01, talent acquisition specialist at BioScrip, Inc. The former classmates discussed the importance of resume building, cover letter tailoring, and interview etiquette. Tips included ensuring that any contact with the company is polite and professional; having a (no more than) two-minute elevator pitch and answer to the question, "Why are you applying for this position?" prepared in advance of the interview; and making sure they gain a mentor to help advise them throughout the process. Those in attendance were quick to type or write out the experts' counsel, as they prepare to apply for their own internships or jobs, some with the help of the Career Connections Program.

Zach Minor '18 asked if it was acceptable to respond to a recruiter's email on your phone when the "Sent from iPhone" message appears at the bottom of the text (it is acceptable—make sure you have a professional voicemail setup while you're at it), and Eleanor Lilly '18 wondered what – aside from a pen – she should bring with her on an interview (depending on the position and industry, extra copies of a resume, a portfolio, and writing samples might be suitable items). 

The other workshop was led by Megan Frost, digital engagement manager at the Chrysler Museum of Art. Her goal was for the alumni to review their presence on social accounts. A vast majority of the alumni in the room had active social media accounts, so she said it was imperative that they take time to know what is out there and to shape and control their "personal brand." In addition to analyzing their internet presence, students spent time creating LinkedIn profiles. 

Before convening for the holiday luncheon to meet with former classmates and teachers, the alumni had time to reflect on everything they learned. "It was really informative," said Clay Benjack '18. "I learned the differences between certain nuances, like whether to call or email (a potential employer)." 

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