It's Your Career

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00:00:09,286 --> 00:00:10,526 [Narrator] Do it. 00:00:12,656 --> 00:00:20,046 [Narrator] It's Your Career 00:05:43,906 --> 00:05:47,356 Which, whenever I go to the next place, I'll be able to, 00:06:34,256 --> 00:06:37,286 [Narrator] Employers need to work with you on accommodations. 00:10:48,546 --> 00:10:50,546 [Narrator] So, long before commencement looms,
Words spiral: "Plan It", "Try It", DO-IT!" A title appears: "It's Your Career" Now, smiling graduates wear caps and gowns.
[Narrator] Plan it.
[Narrator] Try it.
[Narrator] It's that moment you've been waiting for, when all those years of college will start to pay off. At least, they will for some people.
[Jean] I think there's a myth that if you have a college degree, you've got a job no matter what, and that's not accurate. About 20 percent of college graduates are underemployed. And the reason is partly because while they're in college they really don't start preparing for the job search.
[Narrator] You need a career-seeking strategy
Now, a bustling campus.
and a little experience, otherwise you're likely to be just another face in the crowd, another resume in a stack of hundreds. And that's true for anyone, with or without a disability.
[Debbie] The academics alone are not enough. You really should think about an internship or a cooperative education experience.
[Narrator] Internships and cooperative education experiences offer work-based learning opportunities. They're arranged between schools, employers and students; they may involve academic credit; and, sometimes, they're even paid. The sooner you start checking these out, the better.
[Brent] Biggest thing I would say, is start early. Because I started my sophomore year, and I think that was the prime time to start.
[Narrator] Brent is a success story. While in college, he found a program that places students in business and engineering internships. Between that program and his own skills, he was accepted for two internships at Primex Aerospace. He liked the company right from the start, and those internships helped him clearly define his career plans.
[Brent] I knew at the end of my first internship which areas I didn't want to go into, which is just as helpful as what you do want to possibly do; so, like, weeded out the ones I didn't want to do; I didn't want to do electrical engineering and that kind of stuff, it just bored me. So I was, like, all right, I've narrowed down the focus because I know what I don't want to do. And so I went back, these are the kinds of jobs I want to do, and they said, 'All right, we'll try and set you up.'
[Narrator] Attitude and talent paid off. When Brent graduated, there was a job waiting for him at Primex.
[John] When Brent came in through his internship here, into the quality department, we found that he could do the job and excel in his job. So we basically knew when he was going back to college for his last few semesters that we wanted to make sure that we brought him back, because we needed that expertise that he brought in.
[Brent] If you have the internship with the company and they know your work style, and they want you to keep coming back for your second and third internship, it's totally cake. It's really easy to get in and it works very well.
[Narrator] While not every internship will lead to a job offer, there are other benefits as well. For example, there can be a lot of self-discovery.
[Debbie] I'd say it's typical that most students don't know what they're actually going to be doing in the workplace; and probably even more important, don't understand what motivates them and what doesn't. And doing a co-op or an internship is a low risk way to discover, what do you like to do, before you're actually out in the workplace. You can discover that in 3 to 6 months instead of the 18 to 24 months of a typical first job.
[Narrator] It can also be the first step on the road to independence, especially if the internship is out of town.
[Minda] I think it was a good stepping stone to make me realize what it's like to work in the business world. And also just to live on my own. I lived on my own this whole summer, so it's good for that.
[Narrator] You'll also learn that you have to bring something to the company.
[Randy] Especially in information technology, they're looking for someone that's going to come out and be a quote unquote fast burner.
[Phone rings]
[Randy] : Hi, ITS Help, this is Randy
[Randy] They're going to want somebody that's going to,
He mans a phone.
you know, be going to get the, you know, the job done and wanting to learn from the internship. They can't have somebody just come in and kind of sit there all day.
[Co-worker] Hey, Randy
[Narrator] You have to treat an internship just as you would a 'real' job. Develop a confident and cooperative attitude.
A co-worker visits.
[Randy] You have to work with your co-workers. No person works alone. And you always have to work with the team, especially in this day and age. A lot of people coming out of college are very cocky about their position: I'm new, I'm fresh, I know all this stuff; and that's what hurts a lot of people. You've got to realize that you are still learning.
[Narrator] Randy became involved in an information technology cooperative education program at Weyerhaeuser Company. As with most companies, they expected more than just basic skills.
[Debbie] Technical capability is important, but it's maybe 15% of what makes a successful contributor.
[Randy] So what I'll do is I'll have a technician come and fix those pins for you.
[Debbie] Communication skills, interpersonal skills, self-motivation, and initiative are some key attributes that we look for. We also are looking for a high level of integrity, because that's very important to us at Weyerhaeuser Company.
[Narrator] Randy helped people with computer problems. And since he's blind, he had to learn how to interface his own adaptive technology with other systems.
[Randy] Every place you go to is going to be using different stuff, and so you're always going to have to make a little accommodation. But every time you go to a new spot, I take the same adaptive equipment with me. And so I learn a few more tricks about it in, you know, adapting to the new situation. you know, apply those skills that I learned in just using the software that I'm using. And the hardware.
[Narrator] And there was another accommodation Randy had to make; one that was completely unexpected. His supervisor turned out to be allergic to his guide dog.
[Randy] So I had to make some accommodations for her, in fact. Things like heavy grooming, using special powders or salves to keep down whatever it is that causes dog allergies. It's kind of interesting, I've never had to actually make an accommodation for another person before, besides other disabled people, so it's kind of interesting to have to work with her.
[Narrator] Work-based learning gives you a chance to practice those communication skills. But they can't read your mind, and they may sometimes be uncomfortable about what to ask or do. You need to become an expert on what works and doesn't work for you. Learn to articulate your needs clearly.
At Primex, John uses crutches.
[John] You're paving the way for other people, too. You know, because employers are as much interested in what they need to do to make sure their workplace is accessible, and the only way that they can really truly understand what the needs are is when they have people that are interns and such like that, that they can come in and have to deal with a few physical barriers that have to be removed.
[Narrator] Besides internships or cooperative education programs, there are other opportunities for work-based learning. Job shadowing allows you to visit a business and observe people at work. It's a good way to start narrowing your career goals.
[Employer] There would be someone here 24 hours a day.
[Camp volunteer] Write your name.
[Narrator] Service learning is volunteer work, allowing you to use your skills while making a contribution to your community. You may even be able to arrange academic credit.
[Dan] You want to go into the Internet folder.
Now, a woman teaches a boy.
[Narrator] A faculty member can help you develop an independent study project. This could be career research, or it might be a paid job in your field which you discover on your own. And while you're doing any of these things, you'll be gaining valuable experience in writing resumes
In an office a man in a wheelchair goes to his boss.
and cover letters, as well as practicing your interview skills. And that is vital for your job hunt.
[Jean] The job search, on the average, will take a student 6 to 9 months to complete. Getting, you know, your research in on the companies, getting your materials in order, your resume, practicing your interviewing skills, sending out those resumes, actually getting an offer, is a very long tedious process. It really is competitive out there; it really involves being prepared by practicing, you know, your own interview skills, knowing how you're going to present yourself; things of that sort that are real important.
[Narrator] Besides content, you have to think packaging.
[Narrator] When you go to an interview, leave that casual campus look behind. A professional image is absolutely required, no matter where you're applying. Take out the nose and eyebrow rings, and let your resume
Now a woman sets out make-up and dress clothes.
and personality speak louder than your clothing.
[Narrator] Informational interviews will help you gain
She buttons her suit coat and primps her styled hair.
job information, interview experience, and networking opportunities.
[Interviewer] Nice to meet you.
[Narrator] It's also a good time to practice disclosing your disability and discussing accommodations.
[Jean] There are jobs out there. The best way to find out about them, I think, is through networking and informational interviews. That's something students can often find people are willing to talk with them while they're in school and tell them about how they got into their jobs; but once they graduate, employers are less likely to take the time and help them out.
[Narrator] Another resource is the Career Center or Career Services Office on campus. They'll have information on employers and current job openings. There may also be job fairs, workshops, or counselors available to help with career planning and job searching. Make some calls.
[Randy] Go do it. You just have a go-getter attitude, and somebody will eventually see that and they will bring you on.
[Narrator] To get started, you could use the CAREERS acronym, developed by the DO-IT Center at the University of Washington. get going on some real-world experiences. Start doing everything you can now to make yourself attractive to future employers. The resources are available; you have to make use of them.
[Randy] There's a lot of people out there. A lot of people competing for jobs. But it helps because I know some of the stuff. I've got some of the experience. I've worked with some of the gurus and masters. And I've learned from them.
[Narrator] And you can do it too.