MEET SARAH! A Marketing student who will complete her degree with May. She landed an internship with Toyota Motor North America Headquarters.
We asked Sarah some questions about her plans for graduation, advice for current students, and how UNT helped her to succeed and SOAR BEYOND!
When you started at UNT, what were your plans after graduation? How have these plans changed (if at all)? When I began my academic journey at UNT, I focused on what I thought was the ultimate end goal- walking across the stage at graduation and earning a degree. My goals were nearsighted, as I was under the impression that I would not gain any real-world experience while in school and would have to figure out the real world once I was in it. It was my belief that I would have to work very hard academically, rely solely on my good GPA, and if I was lucky enough, go into the workforce with an entry-level position. I am pleased to say that my original plan is not the route I chose to take. As graduation rounds the corner, I could not be more excited, not only for graduation but to take my career to the next level. Thanks to the University of North Texas Career Fair, I was able to find an internship with my dream company, and have over a year of real-world work experience under my belt before ever obtaining a degree. Having had experience in corporate America, I now understand that GPA and campus involvement is not the only thing employers are looking at. Once I understood the metrics used to measure success on the job, I took it as a personal challenge. I was at work early and stayed late. Being a top-performer, and delivering the highest level of results matter; make your time count. Upon graduation, I intend to stay with Toyota and establish my career.
What advice do you have for prospective or current students as they decide what they want their next steps to be (internships/careers/etc.)? Start now! Do not wait until the semester before graduation to begin networking, and searching for a job. The foundation you build while in school, will have a huge impact on your life after college. The University has so many resources and connections to help you get started. I would highly encourage you to utilize them. Visit the Career Center regularly, and ask for help enhancing your resume- you will not regret it! My father is the one who really taught me how to construct an impressive resume. He taught me that a resume is a marketing tool and the sole purpose of one is to land an interview. There may be hundreds of people applying for a single job, and you want to be the one selected to come in for the interview. My father was absolutely correct, I learned how to illustrate my salesmanship capabilities by displaying sales records. I listed factual statistics, and numbers to back it up. Once you have a solid resume, apply for internships. Most companies expect us to have completed an internship by the time we graduate. I cannot emphasize this enough, students who choose to work as an intern during the summer and school year, will likely get a job after graduation, as opposed to those who did not. Do not be discouraged, just get to work!
How did you find your current role (website, email, word of mouth, etc)? I found my current role at Toyota Motor North America Headquarters by attending the University of North Texas Career Fair. There were dozens of employers hiring for internships. I was very blessed and met with a recruiter named Diane, who later went on to become my supervisor at Toyota, within the Lexus Guest Experience Center. Attending the career fair that February afternoon may have been the best decision I have made throughout my entire academic career.
How did the Career Center help you? The most helpful thing that the career center does is to allow students to receive college credit for an internship. Over the summer, I was working full time, and able to earn class credit, through an online course. All I had to do was have my supervisor sign off on the hours I worked every week, and submit a final essay at the end of the summer, illustrating what I took away from the internship. This was a great way to be rewarded with college hours while working full time for the internship.
Would you like to be featured in our Soaring Beyond Success Series? Email Jeanette Hickl. We’d love to share your story!