It was one of those mornings. The C-1 was running late and I had forgotten to print out my resume before my appointment at the Career Center. I sat down across from Anita completely empty handed and although I donât remember the exact words I used, it was probably something along the lines ofâhelp me. I was nearing the end of my first semester of senior year and although I knew what career path I wanted to take, I was having trouble finding and landing interview opportunities. I started in telling Anita about my interest in the fashion retail industry and why I hoped to be a buyer, yada yada yadaâ¦ She stopped me and rerouted our conversation just so she could get to know me better. We spent the rest of our session talking about my hobbies and interests on and off campus, her three children, our mutual connection to Canada, among many other things (few of them relating to a future career, or so I thought).
My first few sessions with flew by because we genuinely enjoyed chatting. I appreciate that she took the time to get to know me on a deeper level and make a personal connection with me. She took little tidbits of what Iâd told her about myself and showed me how even the smallest things could translate into making me appear as the best candidate or narrowing down my job search. For example, I had spent several summers as a camp counselor and though my time at the camp had meant the world to me, I couldnât see how it could translate into work experience I would be able to talk about in an interview. Anita showed me that being a camp counselor was actually like managing a little business â I had to motivate, learn different communication tactics and many other skills that translated into the working world.
More than anything, Anita helped me build my confidence going into writing applications and attending interviews. I had gone to the Career Center in the first place because I was getting frustrated with my job search and was concerned I wasnât going to be able to find the right job for me. Seeing how Anita made me feel so accomplished and special was the confidence boost I needed. I hadnât realized that the DIY crafts I did on the weekend or my interest in female empowerment might actually mean something to a future employer or play into what kind of company would be right for me. Beyond the obvious edits to my resume and cover letter, the Career Center, and my career counselor specifically, provided me with guidance and support throughout my job hunting process. Iâm now working for Wisteria in Dallas, TX and though it was a long road to get here, I know itâs where I was meant to be. I have no doubt that the Career Center played an integral part in the process. Thank you Duke Career Center and thank you Anita!!
Ellen Mishler, T13, Econ Major is currently working in the fashion industry.
About the Peer Advice Series
The number one complaint that we get in the Career Center is, âI wish I had learned earlier about all that the Career Center has to offer.â Throughout the year, we will publish a series of blog posts from recent graduates and current students sharing what they found most helpful. An easy way to know when a new post comes out is to subscribe to Career News or follow us on social media.