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College of Business Alumni

John's Hard Lesson
Contributor: Emily Cronauer

One of the required courses includes resume writing. What follows is one student's eye-opening experience:

John applied for his first internship in the spring semester and received a surprising response: "This is not an acceptable first impression for any type of communication, especially one for employment. Talk to your instructors; learn how to compose a proper resume and cover letter; and for goodness sake, spell your own name correctly!"

After receiving this email, John could have easily given up on his hope of pursuing a summer internship but he didn't. He worked with the instructor in Career Marketing to improve his resume. When Marketing & Sales Talent Night came around in February, John was ready to go. He confidently provided his resume to several of the companies in attendance, hooked the representatives with his confidence and personal pitch, and is now on the short list for several internship opportunities this summer.

College of Business career courses go beyond the basics to teach students networking and interview skills, dining etiquette and professional correspondence while also helping students gain valuable insight to help them choose their future career. These courses are often the gateway to internships, and a majority of the students who enroll will successfully complete a career-related experience at some point in their academic career.

Because of what he learned in Career Marketing, John's response to the employer was professional and humble: "I appreciate you offering me critical advice and have made the adjustments you mentioned. While I do not expect you to consider me for the position, I do ask that you do not allow my errors to reflect on any future NIU applicants you may have."

John likely won't get that job, but with the skills he learned in his career course, there is no doubt he will be a successful intern with a great company this summer.