Mississippi College

Career Services Office Hosts Jr./Sr. Boot Camp

October 30, 2008

Mississippi College's Junior/Senior Boot Camp didn't come with a tough Army sergeant screaming in the faces of young recruits.

Instead, the three-hour sessions sponsored by MC's Career Services Office gave MC students Wednesday a crash course on job search strategies, interview training, protocol at a business luncheon and resume tips.

The 35 MC juniors, seniors and a graduate students getting advice from area professionals didn't leave the sessions empty-handed. They exited the B.C. Rogers Student Center with copies of a 17-page boot camp training manual filled with helpful hints to assist students as they plot their career moves.

MC students learned the basics of what it takes "to get them fit for their future and real life after graduation," said Hayley Taff, assistant director of MC Career Services. She led a 30-minute program on job search strategies.

Paula Shelton and Leslie Petro of the Horne LLP firm in Jackson went over tips on luncheon protocol - from proper eating skills to advice regarding conversations at the dinner table. It is best to converse in low, intimate tones and to skip any topics that make one uneasy. Talking too much isn't a good thing.

Stephanie Jones of the non-profit CARE Program discussed financial fitness or such things as making sure collegians don't abuse credit cards. Alan Lange of the Kinetic Staffing firm in Jackson covered interview training and negotiation tactics.

"It was a good experience," said MC senior business administration major Anna Harris, 21, of Benicia, Calif.

From one of the speakers, she learned that employers are looking for somebody who brings more to the table than academic accomplishments in today's competitive business climate. "It's not enough to have grades," she said. In an economy marked by growing layoffs and keen competition for every job vacancy, "there are 30 other people standing in line behind you," Harris said.

Harris says her grade for the Boot Camp sessions is "A-plus." Her plans post-MC graduation is to get a job and then attend culinary school.

MC student Alisha J. Smith also came away a believer after taking part in Boot Camp. "I feel much more knowledgeable in the skills vital to my future," she said. "The experts were friendly, outgoing and more than willing to help the students."

A similar Boot Camp is set for April 8, 2009 at the B.C. Rogers Student Center on the Clinton campus.

PHOTO: Paula Shelton, Learning and Development Manager at Horne-LLP; Karen Lindsey-Lloyd, Director of MC Career Services; and Leslie Petro, Learning and Development Specialist at Horne-LLP

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