SAU Buzz

Career Boot Camp

by Abbey Nimrick
Posted on Sep 21, 2017

It’s never too early to begin preparing for what’s to come once you graduate from college. At St. Ambrose University the Career Center works hard to make sure students feel ready when it’s time to start searching for a job.

“I think experience is everything,” Bryan Liggis, SAU junior, said. “The first time you go into anything you're sometimes nervous or you're worried something might go wrong, but if you practice over and over again with these people, go to the different boot camps, and talk to the Career Center, you can get all the nerves out of your system by the time the real thing comes.”

At Career Boot Camp, students like Liggis were given the opportunity to meet with local employers to have their resumes reviewed, LinkedIn profiles reviewed, and participate in a mock-interview with three different employers in 30 minutes.

Career Center Director Kim Matteson said the boot camp teaches students to do everything they need for a job search.

“You’re going to need a resume during your job search,” Matteson said. “You should be on LinkedIn because 90% of recruiters are on LinkedIn, and you’re going to have an interview during your job search as well.”  

It can be a good way for students to polish their skills before applying for positions.

“This experience is really good for people in college that are looking for jobs because you get to have people that do this for a living help you.” Liggis said. “You don’t have to go into an interview all nervous, you’ve had experience.”

Casey Schmidt, an early talent recruiter for Heartland Financial, was one of the employers assisting with the mock-interviews. Before attending, he met with Ambrose marketing director Joe Kehoe to discuss a possible partnership to essentially hire St. Ambrose University students.

During the interview process, Schmidt was impressed with the students.

“It seems like they’ve been prepared on the whole STAR method of interviewing, they did a very good job of having a situation, task, option, and then a result,” Schmidt said. “It seems like they’ve been coached on that before which I think is important because out of the vast majority of interviews that I have done, that hasn’t been the case.”

Schmidt said he was happy to be a part of the event and offers some advice to those who are in search of a job.

“When you look for a job, you want to find a company that is stable and is growing, or at least moving forward in some aspects,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt also said that before going in for the interview you should read the company's annual report.

“Even if that’s the only thing you’ve looked at, it’s a way to show you’ve put forth some effort to learn more about the company,” Schmidt said. “Certainly research of other things doesn’t hurt, but every time I’ve had somebody talk about our annual report it showed me that they were really interested.”

He said that the first part of the interview is the most crucial. If you can show you’ve taken the time to do research, that will stand out.

If you have any questions or need your resume looked over, stop by the Career Center located on the second floor of the Rogalski Center.