Career advice from an alumni

I would say students should be looking to do internships as early as possible and start to learn as much as possible as early as possible because it can only help you in the long run. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

For those upperclassmen who feel the mounting pressure of internships and entering the job market after graduation, I’ve got an app for that. Yesterday I called up fellow Husky, Zack Hummel, for some advice from someone on the other side. Hummel graduated in 2014, with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media studies and is currently working as an account manager for Rebel Interactive Group. His focus is in marketing, but the conversation could be helpful for any students looking for post-grad employment here at Storrs.

Q: From what you can remember, what is the biggest misperception about the job market?

Everyone says that the job market is really tough, I don’t see it that way. The tough part about the job market is finding a job you are passionate about. My first job out of college, I wasn’t passionate about, so I think it is about what the right job is for you and that comes for some people in college and others after two or three jobs. You know, we aren’t like our parents who stayed at the same place for 10, 15, 20 years. Millennials like ourselves want change and want to explore all of our options. I think there are a lot of jobs out there. Your goal should be finding out what is right for you.

Q: Besides the obvious answers of Excel and coding. what are skills you wish you learned in college that would be helpful in the job market?

I was in communications and media studies classes in school and they began moving away from the more scientific parts of communication and more towards advertising and interpersonal communication. So if you are interested in marketing, three things you should be doing right now are learning how to do Photoshop and the whole Adobe layout of products, Wordpress and Google Analytics. Everyone should know how to do that because a lot of these business owners are getting older and are looking for anyone straight out of college who have those internet marketing skills.

Q: What is the worst habit you saw in college that you would tell an undergrad to change?

In college, I wasn’t the biggest studier and would cram before most exams. So studying would be my best answer to that, but, to be honest, once you get into the real world and hold a couple of jobs, nobody cares what your GPA was in college. What employers really look for is hands-on experience: I did this, I moved this product along, I managed this. They are not looking at two potential hires, one with a 3.0 and the other with a 3.8, and making the decision based on grades. The 3.0 person who is involved in a lot of clubs and active on campus would look more appealing than the 3.8 person with only good grades on their resume. It’s so important to get that real-world experience.

Q: How much should Huskies be worrying about getting internships?

I would say students should be looking to do internships as early as possible and start to learn as much as possible as early as possible because it can only help you in the long run.


Teddy Craven is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at edward.craven_jr@uconn.edu.