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Career planning strategies that really work!

Although landing a job in America's downsized employment market is a major challenge for new entra the employment forecast is brightening for well-educated, highly competitive, and innovative persons Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 24.6 million new jobs will be added to the U.S. economy by the y And the good news for people of African descent is that a majority of those jobs will be held by peo and women, according to labor studies.

But that is then and this is now. Students today have to boldly look reality in the face: Successf career in today's job market is a formidable challenge. In the midst of America's s-l-o-w recovery f economy, American firms continue to downsize, rightsize, and streamline their operations to stay in are still hiring, but quality is the focus now, not quantity. So today's college students must devis dynamic game plan to jump-start their careers--one that uses specific career-planning strategies to path to career success. That plan begins with developing the irresistible qualities of superiority a

To further help you pass this test, THE BLACK COLLEGIAN polled several students who have successfu their careers, and now share with you their special career-planning strategies:

Name: Rodney J. Harmon

Age: 22

Education: BS, Accounting, Langston University, Langston, OK.

Awards & Honors: Magnum Cum Laude graduate, NABA scholarship (National Association of Black Accountants), Regent's scholarship, AICPA scholarship (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), King of the Scholar's Club, Honor Roll Award (4.0 GPA), Vice President's Honor Roll, and Dean's Honor Roll, Langston University NABA Student Chapter President.

Employment: OXY USA, Accountant in Domestic Finance, Tulsa, OK.

Job Description: I am in the Joint Interest Accounting Division of OXY USA, an oil and gas industry firm. I am responsible for billing invoices to clients and processing accounts receivable. I am also involved in contracts administration and partnership accounting.

Why I Chose My Profession: While in high school, I was introduced to my first accounting course. That was my steppingstone. I knew then that I wanted to study accounting and become a professional. I chose my profession, because it is very diverse and flexible. It has many different fields within itself Also, interning with the Internal Revenue Service for two summers and a semester solidified my choice.

Steps I Took Early In College To Prepare Me For Where I Am Now: Organizing, planning, setting goals, and following through with those goals prepared me for where I am now. During my earlier years in college, I followed Langston University's standard curriculum almost to the exact letter. I also got involved in a number of organizations, such as NABA, of which I was student president for two consecutive years; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and the Scholar's Club. Seeking financial stability, I applied for many scholarships in order to continue my education with peace of mind. The introduction of preparation was the plan, the body was my following through, and the conclusion is where I am now.

How I Found My Current Job: While in college, I attended many career fairs and interviewed with recruiters that came to the campus. Also, being involved with NABA enabled me to interview with accounting firms, corporations, and others in the field. Eventually, I found my job with the guidance of my advisor, Mr. Wallace and the Career Placement Office. With his help, I excelled in my first interview with OXY USA.

Career Planning Strategies That Worked For Me: The career strategies that worked for me were achieving excellent grades, being involved in organizations and activities that sharpened my leadership abilities, and interning with a job related to my area of concentration. I also think interviewing, whenever possible, is a necessary strategy. Practice mikes perfect. My inquisitiveness, confidence, but humbleness are what I believe were key factors in my success. Hard work, dedication, and consistency summarized the bulk of my career strategy.

Name: Leslie Danielle Jones

Age: 21

Education: BS, Accounting, Hampton University, Hampton, VA,

Awards & Honors: Magnum Cum Laude graduate, President's Cup for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement, Honors Council, Department of Accounting Award for Outstanding Achievement, President's Eminent Scholar Award, ALCOA Scholarship, Tidewater Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors Award, member, Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, NABA, National Dean's List; Who's Who Among Student in American Colleges and Universities.

Employment: Ernst & Young Public Accounting Firm, Staff Accountant, Atlanta, GA.

Job Description: As a first-year staff accountant, I am responsible for financial statement audits, studies of internal controls and regulatory filings, and other complex business transactions.

Why I Chose My Profession: My guiding principle in choosing my profession was to select a discipline that will use my strong academic skills, one in which I have a definite interest, and one that will offer excellent immediate and long-range employment opportunities and job satisfaction.

Steps I Took Early In College To Prepare Me For Where I Am Now: Taking the advice of my sister who is an electrical engineer with an MBA, I entered college with my first priority being my course work. After becoming firmly grounded academically, I gradually increased my extracurricular activities. I was also careful to choose electives that would give me the educational exposure I needed to complement my academic background.

How I Found My Current Job: Hampton University afforded me the opportunity to receive guidance and assistance from its Office of Career Placement and Planning. I was introduced to "job finding" strategies, and I was offered training in resume writing and interviewing techniques. Through contacts made in this office, I was interviewed on campus by many companies. These interviews led to second interviews and I received more than nine job offers.

Career Planning Strategies That Worked For Me: Outstanding academic achievement is one important factor; however, it is not the only important aspect of my strategic career plan. Also, being a well-rounded, outgoing individual with the ability to work with others and to relate to others was essential.

Name: Daryl Bryant Stone

Age: 23

Education: BS, Computer Science, Bowie State University, Bowie, MD. Current graduate student, Computer Science, Bowling Green State University, Ohio.

Awards & Honors: Magnum Cum Laude graduate; 4.0 GPA, Graduate School at Bowling Green; Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities; Academic Excellence in Computer Science; participated in Harvard University Summer Venture in Management; former president Resident Hall Association; vice president of Student Government, Bowie State.

Employment: BP Oil, Retail Systems Programmer, Cleveland, OK Systems Programmer, Anchorage, AK.

Job Description: I am currently working on a team that is responsible for automating all the BP Service Stations in the U.S. My specific responsibilities include writing software for the BP Retail Phone Directory and assisting with the communications software maintenance.

Why I Chose My Profession: While considering the profession of computer science, I found out that computers are here to stay and that many people are not comfortable with working with computers. I am very competitive, so I welcomed the challenge that the computer industry offered. I felt that I could learn about computers and one day return to my community and teach children about computers.

Steps I Took Early In My Career To Prepare Me For Where I Am Now: When I arrived at Bowie State University, I was certain that I would depart as a top-notch accountant. I had no idea I would graduate with a BS in computer science until the Career and Placement director suggest I take a computer course. The computer science professor insisted that I look into changing my major mid-way through her course. After researching and asking questions of computer science majors and employees, I decided to major in computer science and minor in accounting. The keys were, I listened to others and I |looked before I leaped.'

How I Found My Current Job: My resume was listed in the NAFEO (National Association for Equal Opportunity) Job Fair Booklet. A recruiter from BP Exploration, Alaska read the book and called me.

Career Planning Strategies That Worked For Me: I love the quote, "Opportunity is where luck meets preparation." I was lucky because I always hung around the Career Placement Office and met perspective employers. I was prepared because I kept my grades up, attended various workshops sponsored by the Career Placement Office, and worked every summer as a computer science intern where I gained invaluable experience. A gigantic plus was that I participated in on-campus and community organizations, serving as a member or officer.

Name: Andrianne S. Payson

Age: 23

Education: BS, Public Accounting, City University of New York, NY.

Awards & Honors: Summa Cum Laude graduate, National Dean's List, Becker CPA Review scholarship, Dr. Mattie Cook scholarship (Urban Bankers Coalition, Inc.), Independence Savings Bank Award, Belle Zeller Memorial scholarship, Constans Culver Business Award, Who's Who, editor-in-chief, MEC Student Newspaper, member of NABA.

Employment: Price Waterhouse, Public Accounting Firm, Staff Auditor, New York City Office.

Job Description: I will be working on various audit engagements providing a broad range of professional services. I will be responsible for reviewing financial statements; evaluating and documenting internal accounting controls; and auditing cash balances, accounts receivable and payable, and other areas.

Why I Chose My Profession: I chose accounting, particularly public accounting, because of the challenges and rewards that it presents. As an accountant, I would be making a significant contribution on the American and international business scene, observing and participating in events that heavily impact our economy.

Steps I Took Early In College To Prepare Me For Where I Am Now: I prepared for my entry into the world of accounting by interning at IBM. This allowed me hands-on experience in my field, and sharpened my communication skills (both oral and written). Secondly, I became a member of NABA which gave me the opportunity to meet other professionals and to gain greater insight into the interviewing process. And, finally, my involvement in leadership and community-service activities, while in college, was very relevant as I learned the importance of teamwork an how to be a team player.

How I Found My Current Job: I initially interviewed with the firm at a student recruiting conference held by the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and was hired shortly after my office visit, before my final semester.

Career Planning Strategies That Worked For Me: Acquiring on-the-job experience through an internship while performing well academically is one strategy that led to my career placement. Equally important was my involvement in extracurricular activities that enhanced my leadership and communication skills, skills that are critical to a career in accounting. Being thoroughly prepared for my interview, however, is what determined my entry into the profession.

Name: Edward L. Green

Age: 24

Education: BS, Mathematics; Minor, Computer Science

College Awards & Honors: NACME/Honeywell Corporation Scholarship, Merit Scholarship, Dean's List, Math/Computer Science Club.

Employment: Teachers Academy for Mathematics & Science, Technology Support Technician, Chicago, IL.

Job Description: I am responsible for the development, installation, and testing of local and wide-area networks that provide easy access to all end-users of the Academy's electronic mail system and administrative database. This entails all maintenance and repairs for the administration, operations, and programming departments.

Why I Chose My Profession: I chose my current profession in computer science for two reasons: 1. Studying a technical field in college enabled me to access greater employment opportunities in this technologically driven world; 2. The career-oriented research I did suggests that the greatest economic opportunities lie in service-related fields. These findings coincided with my long-term goal of becoming an entrepreneur in the computer industry or related field.

Steps I Took Early In College To Prepare Me For Where I Am Now: Early in college I became involved in networking activities with faculty, staff, professionals, and graduate students at various workshops and seminars. I also became an active member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Inc.

How I Found My Current Job: The personnel director at my current job was the personnel manager at my last job. When she moved and an opening for a technical support person was created, having witnessed the quality of my work, she thought I was perfect for the job.

Career Planning Strategies That Worked For Me: I updated my resume regularly, maintained a library of all of my networking contacts, and read various publications to stay current on any major developments in the computer science industry.
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Article Details
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Author:Campbell-Rock, C.C.
Publication:The Black Collegian
Date:Sep 1, 1993
Previous Article:Career planning: build on strengths, strengthen weaknesses.
Next Article:Career planning & job search guide: 1993-1994.

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