Highlight: Heather LaPerle, Campus Internship Coordinator

Remember, if you are not networking then you are NOT WORKING! Go Aztecs!

SDSU CS: What school/s did you attend and what degree/s was/were earned?

I went to SDSU for both of my degrees and I am a proud Aztec for Life! I have a BS in Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Outdoors and a MA in Post-secondary Educational Leadership with a specialization in Student Affairs

SDSU CS: Did you have a Career Services office at the above mentioned schools? If so, how much help did you receive?

Yes, I used Career Services during both of my degrees. For undergrad, my most important Career Services moment was when I was having my mid-college crisis and no longer knew what I wanted to major in or be when I grew up. I went in and took the Strong Interest Inventory then met with a Career Counselor. This experience helped me look at many different options and calm my anxiety about the decision. It was the best thing I did for myself. During my graduate career, the biggest moment was when I met James Tarbox in one of my classes and then asked him for his help to review my resume. He helped me with it and took me from an undergraduate resume to a professional resume. After that I did a mock interview to prepare for my dream job interview, which I later received an offer for at which time I went back and asked James to help me figure out the best way to negotiate my salary. So basically, Career Services has been there to help me during all of the most pivotal points during my educational and professional journey at SDSU.

SDSU CS: What’s your favorite service we offer and why?

Strong Interest Inventory because I got to learn so much about myself, which was my favorite part about college. Being able to look at options outside of my narrow field of vision that I had since 4th grade when I decided I was going to be an Elementary School teacher. This tool gave me the ability to give myself the opportunity to think about what other career paths, jobs, and industries I might be successful in.

SDSU CS: What’s a service we offer that you see students don’t use as often as they should?

Big Interview, which is an amazing tool! Being able to set up an interview, conduct it online, and then view yourself is something I think students do not take advantage of enough. We can be our biggest critic and I think that is something that Big Interview allows us to do in a productive way by giving us the opportunity to watch ourselves interviewing. It is one thing to get feedback from someone else, but to actually watch your behaviors is very important. A huge part of becoming a successful professional is having self awareness, even when it is uncomfortable- this is one important way that we grow.

SDSU CS: What’s your number 1 tip for resumes?

Review, review, review! It is so important to have multiple people look at it and to keep updating it all the time. Make sure to update it at least once a semester and have a few people give you feedback- an employer, a career counselor, your mentor.

SDSU CS: What’s your tip for once you land the job/internship?

Be a sponge! When you get into any work environment, but especially your internships and your first job out of college it is so important to take it all in. You want to learn as much as you can, not just about what you do, but about your company’s culture, structure, benefits, and professional development. Make sure to not get trapped in office politics, but instead learn from every experience and reflect. Also, start a 401K/403B as soon as you get into your first job out of college even if you only have $50 to put away every month. If you start saving in your 20’s, you will be very happy about it in your 50’s.

SDSU CS: Any additional comments?

Come and see us! We cannot help you if you do not come in to see us. And do not be too hard on yourself. Your career path will take many twists and turns. Do the best you can in school, get involved, get a mentor, do an internship, and network so that when you get to graduation you are ready to be the best candidate possible. Remember if you are not networking then you are NOT WORKING! Go Aztecs!

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