The first annual Senior Showcase, hosted by The Office of Career Programs and Employer Relations in December, turned out to be a worthwhile and rewarding experience for students like current senior Alexandra Derlaga.
Alexandra Derlaga, a Marketing major at Dominican University, attended the Senior Showcase in December as part of the career development course, DCDP 400: Managing Your Career. During the showcase, students were able to display their e-portfolios, network with prospective employers, and explore potential job offers. In describing her experience there, Alexandra states, “It was great to network with professionals and Dominican Alums…the career development courses have prepared me to network and showcase my e-portfolio.” She adds, “Another great aspect of these courses is being able to meet with other professionals, employers, alumni, and businesses. All these meetings and virtual visits, career fairs, and mock interviews help students practice their presence and pitches when being interviewed and networking.”
Following the Senior Showcase, one of the employers in attendance connected Alexandra with a colleague, which then led her to receive a part-time job offer at a company called Spring Marketing. Alexandra has since accepted the job offer and will be “assisting…in various marketing roles for some of Spring Marketing’s clients.” Her position will entail “working on blogs, social media posts, and event coordinating.”
Alexandra attributes much of her success at this event to the DCDP career development courses that, she says, “have taught me valuable information on how to present myself as a young professional who is confident in her ability to excel at the tasks handed to her.” She adds, “All the additional skills I learned at my previous internship are relevant to what Spring Marketing was looking for in a part-time marketing consultant.”
As supported by Alexandra’s experience, this reverse job fair was highly successful in helping seniors to advance their networking skills and career goals. Overall, this showcase event provided students with a valuable opportunity to interact with employers in a professional setting and for many, it opened the doors to their next career move.
Q&A of Alexandra Derlaga’s Experience at the Senior Showcase:
How was your experience at the Senior Showcase? Did you feel prepared to network and share more information about your e-portfolio?
“My experience at the Senior Showcase was great. It was nice to be able to celebrate my own and my fellow students’ previous work and successes when showcasing our e-portfolios to all that came to see. It was great to network with professionals and Dominican Alums. I believe the business career development courses have prepared me to network and showcase my e-portfolio. I’m not sure I would have been as confident and prepared to network and showcase myself if not for my previous DCDP courses.”
How did your part-time opportunity come about?
“I met an employer, Bridgette Barry, at the Senior Showcase and later connected with her on LinkedIn. When asking me what future plans I have, I expressed…my desire to have a chance to gain experience working for a marketing agency. Due to my past internship experience and my e-portfolio, Bridgette felt that I would be a great fit over at Spring Marketing. Bridgette then introduced me to…one of the partners of Spring Marketing, and from there the part-time opportunity to work came about.”
What will you be doing in your role? What are you hoping to learn?
“I will be assisting…in various marketing roles for some of Spring Marketing’s clients…I would be working on blogs, social media posts, and event coordinating…Currently, my first project is to create blogs curated from content in the company’s published e-book in order to drive more engagement to their website.”
Did the career development classes help prepare you for this role? What was your favorite thing that you learned from these classes?
“Yes, the career development courses have taught me valuable information on how to present myself as a young professional who is confident in her ability to excel at the tasks handed to her. The courses are taught by executives in residence who all have diverse backgrounds and stories to share with us students on how to set ourselves up during college to achieve our post-graduation goals. Another great aspect of these courses is being able to meet with other professionals, employers, alumni, and businesses. All these meetings and virtual visits, career fairs, and mock interviews help students practice their presence and pitches when being interviewed and networking.”
What did you learn at your internship over the summer? Are there any transferable skills you’re planning to bring to Spring Marketing?
“At my internship this past summer I was able to gain an extensive amount of marketing knowledge that I would not have been able to experience just in the classroom. I believe requiring internships is essential because it allows students to practice what they have been taught throughout their schooling and gain real world experience in their desired field. All the additional skills I learned at my previous internship are relevant to what Spring Marketing was looking for in a part-time marketing consultant. At Ashling Partners, my past summer internship, I learned how to navigate a customer relationship management (CRM) database and I was creating various social graphics for holidays, live webinars, and infographics. Another task I had was to find thought leadership articles that would be posted on social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, to show leaders in various relevant fields that the company was experienced in these topics. All these skills will be transferable to my work over at Spring Marketing and are a big reason as to why I was a great fit for the role.”