Category Archives: SUCCESS Stories

SUCCESS STORY: Angela Rathbun

Major: Psychology
Graduation Date: May 2011
Company Name/Position Title: VCU School of Nursing, Center for
Biobehavioral Research /research assistant
How the Career Center helped you along the way: The Career Center was
a great help during my process of getting a job.  They assisted me
with my resume and interview questions and concerns.  I used them in
order to correct my resume.  I had around six appointments where they
kept critiquing and explaining new improvements towards my resume.
When I was finished with that they helped me understand the whole
process of job hunting, resume building, interview pros and cons, and
much more.  Since I had so much help at the career center I was able
to build a great resume that reflected my strengths and
accomplishments.  I learned that having an excellent resume is
important since there is a lot of competition during the application
and interview process.
Any insights that you have for current students: The best advice every
student should know is that getting a job is like having a job since
the process can be long and daunting.  Start early with resume
building and reach out to people you know and tell them that you are
looking for a job.  Who you know is just as important as how qualified
and how hardworking you are.  Do not give up and keep applying and
connecting with people also go to the career center for help with any
questions and concerns towards your career.

SUCCESS STORY: Hilliard Hicks

Major: Psychology

Graduation Date: 05/12

Organization Name/Position Title: 
Center for Biobehavioral and Clinical Research, Research Assistant

How the Career Center helped you along the way:
I was helped at the career center with my resume. I had been using a resume that I created for a very long time, and it was getting no results. I stopped by the VCU career center and had it edited. Within a couple weeks I landed a great opportunity doing research.

Any insights that you have for current students: 
Don’t worry about what your currently doing for work. If you look hard enough in the field your trying to get into, things will always turn out right and you’ll do what you love.

SUCCESS STORY: Benita Thompson

Major: Psychology

Graduation Date: August
2010

Company Name/Position Title:
Arizona MENTOR – Direct Support
Professional

How the Career Center helped you along the
way:

Jeanette Waterman helped me continuously perfect my resume, taught me how to be
persistent in my efforts to find a job and it helped increase my
confidence.

Any insights that you have for current students:

Get
in contact with your career consultant as soon as possible! Don’t get
discouraged if the process is going slower than you think. It really is a process with many steps. Just make the most
out of EVERY opportunity to network and gain experience.

SUCCESS STORY: Rakim Reid

Major: Psychology
Graduation Date: May 2011
Placement:      
Research Assistant, with Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of
Nursing.

How did you find your internship?  
Through the PSYUGRAD. They list any fellowships, internships, or job
opportunities related to psychology or social sciences on there. 
How the Career Center helped you along the way? 
Ms. Waterman was instrumental in helping me prepare my resume for this
position. She edited my resume and gave valuable advice about what to include
and exclude in the document.
Any insights that you have for current students?
Use every
school resource that you have available. I asked professors in the department
about opportunities and kept checking PSYUGRAD, my major’s announcement portal,
for information. Check regularly with those who may know contacts in other
departments as well. Although a position may appear to be within your field of
interest, it may related to it somehow. Know as much as you can about the
position beforehand. This includes the superiors. For instance, if you apply for
a research position, learn about the lead investigator. Read their Institutional
Review Board (IRB) submission. Going the extra mile pays off in spades. 

SUCCESS STORY: Chris McCollam

Name: Chris McCollam

Major: 

Psychology

Graduation Date: 

May 22nd, 2010

Employer: 
Southeastern Institute of
Research


Area/Department:
Marketing Research

How the Career Center helped you along the way:
“My counselor, Jeanette
Waterman, met with me and showed me many online resources and suggested ways to
search for jobs/internships.  She also
helped me a lot with formulating my current resume.”



Any insights that you have for current students:
“Take advantage of this FREE opportunity, conveniently located in the Student
Commons, that can help you find a temporary part-time job or potentially even a
long-term full-time job as well!  This is
a very useful resource for finding jobs and a good tool for learning how to act
like and become a working professional.”

SUCCESS STORY: J. Surles

Major:  Psychology 

Graduation Date:  May 2009 

Organization Names and Position Titles:  
Bose and Demonstration Specialist.  
Colonial Services Board (CSB) and Community Services Associate. 

How did you find your position? 
I found my position at Bose, from a college student informing me of an email, that included a Bose employment advertisement.  I applied for the position at a Bose store location, and I interviewed for it.  I was offered the position, and I accepted it.  

I found my position at CSB, by receiving CSB informational materials from a college student.  This college student had received these CSB informational materials, while attending a career fair at their college.  I became interested in being employed for CSB; therefore, I went online, and printed off a CSB application.  After filling out the application, I faxed it to an appropriate CSB location.  I interviewed for the position, I was offered the position, and I accepted it.

How the Career Center helped you along the way? 
The Career Center helped me develop skills which aid me in surviving, operating, and being more successful in the business world.  A few of these skills was creating an official resume, searching for jobs, and how to appropriately conduct myself, when I meet with prospective interviewers and employers.  Interestingly, it was not these skills individually that impacted my college, and postcollege, experiences the most; it was the actualization of the combination of these skills in my life.  The experiences that I had in using these skills, and learning more about these skills, impacted my college and postcollege experiences the most.  The Career Center helped me, by allowing me to learn about and use these skills, in a manner that occurred smoothly, and over time, felt natural.  As a result of this, these skills became part of my lifestyle. 

Also Ms. Waterman, who was my career consultant, performed her job wonderfully.  She inspired me to be more effective, in my interaction with the Career Center; she inspired me to be more effective, in my undergraduate education.  Another interesting point, is that the Career Center appeared to operate as a reaction to my actions; meaning that the quality of focus and hard work I put into the Career Center, was reciprocated from the Career Center to me.  This interaction between the Career Center and I, helped me to become more resourceful, and helped me to become a stronger person.
Any insights that you have for current students? 
My insight for current students is that there is a good chance, you will get out of the Career Center, what you put into it.  Take time to choose the career(s) that you want to pursue, and then act in an appropriate manner to reach that career(s).  Allow the Career Center to assist you, in reaching your desired career(s).  Another insight for current students is that you may discover that your desired career(s) change; if this change does occur, be honest with yourself about the change, and act appropriately to pursue your newly desired career(s).  Also allow the Career Center to assist you, in reaching your newly desired career(s). 

SUCCESS STORY: Shanice Coleman

Major: Psychology, minor in Religious Studies, Certificate
in Statistical Sciences

 

Graduation Date: May 2011

 

Position(s) Information:

  •  NIH-funded Center for Biobehavioral
    Clinical Research 

  • VCU

     Undergraduate
    Research/Creative Scholarship Summer 

    Fellowship
    Program

 

How did you find your
position?
 Being
a Junior, it was time to find a summer job that related to my field. Last
summer I had fun being an Orientation Assistant, but that wasn’t going to do
much good in preparing me for graduate school. I needed a job that would help
me find new interests, something to stimulate my mind in a way taking classes
don’t. I needed hands-on experience. Talking with my professor, Dr. Natalie
Shook, she informed me about the Undergraduate Summer Fellowship program. She
didn’t find out about it until 2 weeks before it was due so I spend every extra
hour I had writing up the proposal for what I wanted to do my experiment on. It
was extremely stressful writing the proposal. I was nervous that I wouldn’t get
it. After submitting it, I realized that I wouldn’t know whether I got the
Fellowship or not until the end of April which is extremely late. I didn’t know
whether I was going to be employed over summer and couldn’t put all my eggs in
one basket. Fearing that I wouldn’t get the fellowship, I spoke with the
Director of Psychology Undergraduate Programs, Dr. Linda Zyzniewski about what
summer jobs I could do as a Psychology major. She pointed out SPSS work as a
data analysis or become a research assistant. On that note, I remembered
reading on Blackboard in the PsycUgrad page under “Opportunities” that there
was a position open for Research Assistant on the MCV campus as well as an
outside business up the street from campus looking for a Research Assistant.
Out of all the opportunities listed, I thought those would be my best bet with
Dr. Z’s advice. So I applied for that by emailing the contacts.

 

How the Career Center helped
you along the way?
 Jeanette Waterman helped me to edit my resume. Without this assistance, I
may not have been seen as strong of a candidate.

 

Any insights that you have for current students? Apply for any position that you have an interest. You
never know what you happen unless you apply!  

SUCCESS STORY: Julie Hoefer

Julie is currently working for Footprints as an ESL Instructor. Read more below!!!

“Hi my name is Julie I am a VCU graduate with a bachelors in
Psychology and a minor in African American studies. I am currently living in Daejeon, South
Korea. I am an English as a second language teacher
here.

My experience here so far has been amazing! In my experience
here we have to compare the bad and the good, not everything has been bad and
not everything has been good. Lucky for me the good has out weighed the bad a
lot. It was not that easy in the beginning to be so far from home but there are
so many great people here that it sure helps. I will not lie and say the whole
thing was amazing, but I do not regret coming here at all. As in anything it
was hard at first and I am slowly getting used to it. Leaving your family and
friends will be the hardest thing for most people, but they have a great
support system here to help with homesickness. This is an experience I will
never forget and would never trade for anything. I have had the best experiences
with seeing new things and exploring the beautiful country with great new
friends. Korean people have been so friendly and helpful in anyway possible.
The country is beautiful and very safe. One of the hardest things for most
people here has been the language barrier. Right now I know about basic survival
Korean, it is a very hard language to learn.

For anyone who likes to travel and kids I would recommend
this to many people. I teach Middle school here and I guess sadly they are the
same in every country. I have my bad kids who never want to learn English, but
you also have a lot more who think you are great! I have many Christmas cards
from students who wanted me to have a lot since I was not at home. I also have
just pictures the students have drawn of me. 

I would love to work with kids and help them out as much as
possible in the future. This job was a great way for me to get experience with
children and see new places. The obvious benefit of the job is travel, but also
you are helping these children one day maybe go to America and experience something
they may not have had a chance to. If you are like me and graduated without
knowing exactly what you wanted to do, and you didnt feel like going back
to wanting to rip your hair out in grad school then maybe you should look into
teaching.

The question on everyones mind is my salary for being here. I
make about 1,500 dollars a month. I know it does not seem like a lot but your
housing is paid for if you go through my program and the cost of living is very
cheap. You can save a thousand dollars a month at least here. I spend money on
shopping and going out with friends (which are all very cheap here) along with
a cell phone bill and such and still save a lot.

One more thing about this job, I went through EPIK which is
the program through the government in Korea. I recommend this program
because the vacation time is nice and all they do for you is amazing. I had no
teaching experience when I got here but they have a training program for two
weeks when you arrive. I was with about 600 other foreigners at that time. We
learned a lot and had a great time hanging out with each other building friendships.
They place you in a classroom at this orientation with all the people that are
going to your city. This time with people who were going to be living around me
was the best thing ever. When I finally got to my little city and had my own
apartment it was great to have a support system of people around me. If anyone
is interested I would recommend the EPIK program because of the support benefits
they offer.

If anyone has anymore question please feel free to ask. If I
can help the process in anyway I will be happy to try! hoeferjk@vcu.edu

SUCCESS STORY – Karen Randolph

Major: Psychology 

Graduation Date: May 2010 
Current position: Academic Adminstrative Assistant; Bryant & Stratton College 
How did you find this job? 
From an advertisement in the Chesterfield Observer
What do you do?
My job is to assist the Registrar in creating transcripts, maintain the safety and integrity of the student academic records, track student attendance, and lend any other assistance to my department as needed. 
What advice can you offer to other VCU students looking for a job/career?
My advice to other students and alumni would be to set your goals and no matter where you are work toward it. Network, network, network. It is hard to take a chance on someone you don’t know exist.