Elizabethtown College career panel encourages students to keep open minds
Elizabethtown College welcomed four professionals to campus on Wednesday, Nov. 29 for a career panel. Sponsored by the Mapping Career Goals and Job Shadowing course, the panel included Aaron’s Acres Executive Director Risa Paskoff, WebstaurantStore’s Site Maintenance Project Coordinator Tyler Latshaw, WebFX’s Talent Acquisition Specialist Emily Good and Hershey Entertainment and Resorts’ Director of Recruitment Courtney McKenna. The four took the time to describe what exactly their positions entailed, and the floor was opened up to questions.
When students did not come up with many questions, the panelists decided to try a role-reversal. Good asked if anyone was in the midst of a job search, and interviewed the two students who raised their hands. One student, professional writing major Stephanie Miller, coincidentally had already been looking at applying to WebstaurantStore and WebFX.
I don’t think anyone ends up exactly where they think they’re going to be.”
“Even though I’m researching some of the places that were there and plan on applying, there’s still a lot to learn about the organizations themselves and the application process,” Miller said after the event. “And one of the only ways to learn that is to go through it like I am now.”
All four businesses represented at the panel are known for hiring E-town students. In fact, Latshaw graduated from E-town in 2017 as an information systems major. In less than two years at WebstaurantStore, Latshaw’s title has changed twice, and he became team leader for WebstaurantStore’s E-town ambassador team, which connects students with alumni.
While the panelists varied in age and experience, all agreed that today’s companies are searching for a cultural fit. Good described WebFX’s “bootcamp” for new employees as a way for those who fit the company’s culture to learn the ins and outs of the job’s technical aspects. As Good said, companies want to hire people who are excited to work.
“If you’re not absolutely passionate about the position itself, you’re not going to be fulfilled,” Good explained.
Paskoff agreed with Good’s sentiment, adding, “That passion is going to speak louder than anything.”
However, Aaron’s Acres Executive Director pointed out that even a miserable job experience can be a learning moment.
“No matter the experience, I never see it as a negative,” Paskoff said.
The panelists recognized students’ concerns about job market prospects and the stress of application processes. During the final fifteen minutes of the panel, each guest provided anecdotal advice to students trying to decide their career paths. The main gist? Make connections, get professional’s perspectives and get experience.
While only two of the panelists were part of the recruiting process, students who attended the panel reacted positively to the advice offered by these professionals.
“It made the people on the other side of the application process seem more human,” Miller said. “They may not be the ones who actually read my application, but they were friendly faces in an intimidating process.”
At the event’s conclusion, the panelists handed out business cards and took the time to speak with students individually. And, for those in the room who admitted to having no clue what they wanted to do with their future, the panelists left them with this simple advice: Don’t limit yourself.
“I don’t think anyone ends up exactly where they think they’re going to be,” Good assured them. After all, too many prospects is, in the end, better than none.