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The Suburbanite
  • Walsh alumni return as 'Professors for a Day'

  • Nearly 60 alumni of Walsh University are volunteering their time as “Professors for a Day,” speaking to students and sharing their work experience and tips for job seeking.

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  • Go get an internship. And network, network, network.  
    This advice was repeated in many classrooms at Walsh University Tuesday as alumni returned to campus for “Professor for a Day.”
    Jordan Miller, a 2011 grad, told a desktop publishing class that he got his job as marketing, events and promotion coordinator for Fresh Mark after interning there.
    “Whether or not you think (Fresh Mark) is a good fit for you, try and find an internship somewhere,” Miller said. “Not only could it turn into a job, but future employers will be more impressed by an internship on your résumé than a summer job at Dairy Queen.”
    The 7th annual Professor For a Day program attracts enthusiastic support from graduates, according to Dan Gravo, director of alumni relations.
    “We started with 15 people, now we’re close to 60 people. And we have a waiting list,” Gravo said. “The purpose? To connect our alums with our current students, so they can share how they got where they are, share their professional experiences.”
    The “professors” included a nurse, business owner, attorney, financial advisor, firefighter, banker and construction manager.
    Pam Lung, CPA with Harris, Miller & Finkelstein in Canton, offered students nuts and bolts advice on job hunting and encouraged them to look beyond major corporations and consider smaller companies.
    Her sentiment was echoed by Scott Haws, Plain Township trustee and project manager at Diebold.
    “There are still opportunities at big, good companies around here, but don’t overlook the smaller and mid-sized businesses. You may find more opportunities and more flexibility,” Haws said. “Look for internships — that’s a huge value.  Be involved. Network. Be a good communicator.”
    If you have trouble finding a job, as Donel Durham did right after graduation in 2007, find an internship or volunteer.
    “I volunteered at Habitat for Humanity which was where a consultant found me and hired me,” said Durham, a case manager for Labor Management Clearinghouse, and a counselor for a juvenile probation program.    
    And don’t forget to network with family and friends said Justin Hayes, who credits a cousin for alerting him to an opening at First Energy, where he is now a marketing analyst.
    “Sometimes jobs aren’t posted, or aren’t posted right away,” Hayes said. “That’s when people inside a company can help you — let you know about someone retiring, for instance.”
    Many of the guest professors offered to be a contact for the students, handing out phone numbers and email addresses. Miller, from Fresh Mark, handed out applications for summer internships. The two-day “Professor for a Day” event continues Wednesday.  
    Job search tips
    Pam Lung, CPA, does the hiring at Harris, Miller & Finkelstein of Canton. She offered job hunting advice to junior and senior accounting students at Walsh University.
    Page 2 of 2 - Before the interview, make sure your résumé is error-free.
    “If there’s a spelling mistake, it goes in the trash,” Lung said.
    And be mindful of what you post on social media.
    “The first thing I do when I get a résumé is go to Facebook and look you up,” she said. “Don’t post that picture of you with a beer in your hand. Companies DO look.”
    At the interview:
    • Dress appropriately. Look professional.
    • Turn off the cellphone. “Not vibrate. Silent.”
    • “Look me in the eye, don’t look at your feet.”
    • Shake hands — a firm handshake is important.
    • Follow up interview with handwritten thank you note.