Where Knowledge and Character Matter ®

Spring 2021 Interns

A New Age Struggle

By: Ashli Hasan (Career Services& Pre-Professional Programs' Students Relation Intern)

This semester brought a lot out of every single student and teacher likewise, expectations were scrambled, and at times achievements felt less than satisfactory. Rushing back into an unequal mixture of COVID-19 is still here and in-person classes after almost a year-long break of only COVID-19 proved to be challenging, stressful, and many other things to many. Personally, it was depressing for me.

As everyone knows, a lot of things were canceled, postponed, or reinvented this year, such as events, ceremonies, graduations to just name a few. Aging was not although, being a senior I felt as if I was in a continuous state of depression and stress. Depression: that this was unfortunately how my last year of undergrad was going to go knowing I didn’t want to take a year off and lose my scholarship and stress: that despite circumstances I still personally expected myself to have a career plan for after graduation. Added anxiety came in with not knowing exactly what it was I wanted to do between the options I had. The options I had could only offer virtual interviews and tours, so I felt at a slight disadvantage. Here I am going into a new monumental phase in my life, with only one eye open it felt. The constant thought stayed on my mind, “what if I make the wrong decision? What if I’m doing everything wrong?”

Despite it all, I am thankful for this time, because it has taught me and answered my questions that nothing can be wrong. It’s just a learning experience. We as humans can’t determine and predict everything that will happen from our choices because unpredictable factors can always come into play and deter us. So as I used to see this last year as I mistake, I convince myself to learn from it. I learned more about myself in this time. I also learned how to empathize that things are bigger than me and always will be. The way I felt about the last year, graduation, future careers, etc… wasn’t just me, although at times I felt very much alone, I never really was in the psychological sense. And to the person reading this, no matter what your struggle was, you are never alone. Especially during the trying time of COVID-19. Something that deeply helped me during this time was the Office of Career Service and Pre-Professional Professional Programs. They out of their way to help students in this difficult time and all the time. Options felt limited to me, but they helped point out several internships and job opportunities. They also went out of their way to help many students find what they wanted to do, seniors to freshmen alike. Any student struggling, contemplating, or even simply needing questions answered about careers, internships, and post-graduate life should make it their mission to stop by the Office of Career Services & Pre- Professional Programs on the second floor of the student union.

As college seniors graduate and incoming freshmen come, who too missed their senior experience at high school, and everything in between, to those who suffered from the disease and those who lost loved ones, those entering new careers, moving states to new homes, taking gap years to recover, and everyone else, I sincerely wish you luck and hope to reinforce the idea you or not and never will be alone during your journey. You will not mess up or choose the wrong decisions, regardless of what happens and what doesn’t happen, we will all grow from the experiences. And don't forget to stop by the office of Career Services as well to alleviate some of the stress you may hold!

How to Maintain your Mental Health During a Pandemic to Achieve your Career Goals and Aspirations

By: Ryia Steps (Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs' Student Coordinator Intern)

In my previous blog, I discussed the impact of mental health on career development. I explained how good mental health is positively correlated with “good” satisfactory work and improves your chances of being successful. Whereas, poor mental health is correlated with “bad” work satisfaction and decreases your chances of success. Therefore, the importance of maintaining good mental health is critical to achieving your career goals and aspirations.

COVID-19 pandemic has been taking a toll on the world for a complete year now, and the impact it has on your mental health is worse than in the beginning. Learning to maintain your mental health healthily will be critical for your career development and help you achieve your goals.

As stated in my previous blog, In order to maintain good mental health, you have to notice the early warning signs of mental health problems. Paying attention to your mood and behaviors helps determine if you are suffering any problems with your mental health. Here is a list of feelings or behaviors that can be used to identify early warning signs of mental health problems:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Changes in sleep pattern
  • Changes in eating pattern
  • Substance abuse; alcohol, drugs
  • Mood Swings
  • Thoughts of self-harm
  • Changes in school performance
  • Low or no energy
  • Persistent thoughts and memories

Luckily, there are multiple ways to improve and protect your mental health. Here is a list of things that you can do to help maintain your mental health.

  • Establish a routine and schedule
  • Make time to unwind
  • Exercise
  • Eat more healthy
  • Avoid substance abuse
  • Limit media exposure
  • Maintain connections with family and friends
  • Journal
  • Visit a counseling service or center

How has the Global Pandemic Affected the Mental Health of College Students?

By: Ashley Clinton (Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs' Social Media (Twitter) Analyst Intern

Do you know a current college student or one who has graduated within the last year? Do they seem to just be going through the motions and not fully seem interested in the world around them? Do you hear them saying “I just have to make it to Friday” every week? Do their grades seem to be suffering because the motivation just isn’t there anymore? Then, they may be experiencing some mental health issues.

It is no secret that the COVID pandemic has caused its fair share of turmoil in the world and the people around us. It has caused the world to shut down. At the peak of the pandemic in 2020, college students around the world were sent home for the rest of the spring 2020 semester to continue their classes online. This was put into place to prevent the virus from spreading. However, what everyone failed to realize is that the pandemic wasn’t just going to go away over the summer and allow everyone to return to their normal lives. Instead, it is still prevalent a year later. What does this have to do with the mental health of college students you may ask? Awesome question, and I am here to tell you how.

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted college students as the college atmosphere that we once knew, is non-existent. College students have been attending virtual classes for at least a year now and for some, this can be a struggle. Office hours have been set to virtual to prevent the risk of both professors and students catching the virus. Tutoring has become almost non-existent for this same reason. And ultimately, professors don’t seem to quite get the hang of virtual learning either.

Aside from academics, life outside of the classroom hasn’t been easy either. Students once were able to take a break from the numerous exams, quizzes, assignments, and other academic priorities and release them at parties, kickbacks, and the simpleness of hanging with friends. By not being able to release the stress positively, for some students, the stress continues to build. This ultimately begins to take a toll on the students’ mental health because every day has become every day, and life continues to throw things at them whether they are ready for it or not.

So the next time you see a college student, whether you know them or not, just simply tell them that you are rooting for them. Encourage them to seek out their Career Service or Counseling center. The Office of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs at Alcorn State University understands that they may not know what mental battles their students are facing, but they work hard to provide support for all students in every aspect of their lives. Granted we are in a global pandemic, and no one has it easy, but just take a little more notice to the future leaders of the world. The world as we know it depends on it.

Being a Freshman Intern in The Office of Career Service & Pre-Professional Programs

By: Iranell Dickerson (Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs' Social Media (Instagram) Analyst Intern

As a freshman in college, you don’t know much about college. This was the same case for me, but my colleges’ Career Service and Pre-Professional Programs department taught me the information I needed to know for the next three years of my academic journey. I am a first-generation college student therefore I didn’t have the support some college students have to navigate the ins and outs of college. At my colleges’ Career Service and Pre-Professional Programs department, I learned the correct way to dress for jobs, interviews, networking, or any professional event. Below are some examples of correct dress attire for women and men. The most important thing to remember is to always wear neutral colors, for example, white, black and grey are the main three colors you should wear for professional events.
Being an intern in the Career Service & Pre-Professional Programs department has taught me many things, however, one of the most important things that I learned about was Linkedin. Linkedin is an online platform that connects the world's professionals with other professionals. This platform highlights your professional experience and recommends you to other professionals that are in your network. Linkedin also helps you find internships that interest you. I have learned that the earlier you start working at an internship. The more you will build your profile for the field you decide to be a part of. I am grateful that the career services program taught me about Linkedin because now I know how much I love psychology. I don’t have to change my major and I know that I made the correct choice.

Lastly, I learned how to properly edit a resume. I am nineteen years old and I didn’t have much experience editing and creating resumes before but the Career Service & Pre-Professional Programs department held weekly resume workshops on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help students on campus be prepared for the workforce. By attending these workshops, I now have a new and improved resume and now know the proper way to format and revise other students’ resumes as well.

Make sure that no matter what school you attend you be grateful for your Career service department. I wouldn’t know half of the information I know now without their help. They are there to help you find internships, prep you for interviews, teach you the correct business attire, and help you find scholarships. The Office of Career Service & Pre- Professional Programs is open to all by just scheduling an appointment.

My First Year Interning at The Office of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs

By: Faith Wells (Career Services & Pre-Professional Program's Student Adviser Intern)

Greetings! My name is Faith Wells, and I am here to tell you about my experience with the Career Services department! Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs at Alcorn State University are full of great opportunities! My first year Interning at The Office of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs was full of learning new skills and figuring out how to navigate through my career and have a plan before I graduate. Before I got my work-study position here, I had no idea what Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs were or what they had to offer for students. All this time from my freshman year until the second semester of my Junior year I had no idea of the resources such as Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs available for me. It has been such good help. From improving my resumes to finding scholarship and internship opportunities, it has been an all-around help to better myself as a professional as well as a student. I did not completely rebuild my resume but what I have learned thus far has expanded my knowledge my perspective on the way each type of resume is built.

Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs is a safe environment for students, undergrad as well as graduate students who have no idea what to do after college life is over. You can make an appointment with either Dr. Davis or Ms. Graham and they will get you in the office within 48 hours of your request. You do not just have to work on resumes and internships, they will also do their best to help you go through your degree plan and help you focus on which jobs are offered to you in the field you are majoring in. With that help, you can then decide if that field is for you and if it is not then they can help you find something that is with things such as career assessments.

I know what you are thinking! “Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs sounds like it is very straight to the point, dealing with very serious meetings to pressure you on a career choice.” It is NOT! I promise with all the serious conversations about your future, Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs also has a lot of student engagement events! They give you a space to network with future employers who are always looking for new graduates to hire! At the events, you can win prizes, get good gift bags, and possibly leave with a secure job/internship you never know. I guarantee if you visit Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs when you need a slight push in the right direction, they will be there for you. Whenever you are ready just go upstairs to the student union to get on the right track! Thanks for reading!

My Experience with The Office of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs

By: Myla Stanford (Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs' Student Adviser Intern)

This semester with career services went a lot differently now that we have new faculty in this department. Our new director Dr. Davis came in towards the end of the first semester and has become a great addition to the team as she has become more vocal the second semester. She has organized a multitude of events, both virtual and in-person, geared to help students as they venture on their journey towards their dream careers. This semester I was more of an assistant for the multiple events that the Office of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs held, but I learned so much from it.

This semester, we hosted events for LinkedIn, resume workshops, and symposiums specifically for graduating students. Though some of these events were mainly for students that are about to graduate, I was also able to absorb some of the information given so that I can use it in my future. In the LinkedIn events, I learned the importance of building up your account and regularly updating it. I also learned the importance of having informational interviews, as they form connections in higher places that will be useful references. I also learned how to correctly format and build up a resume, which is fundamental in my future goals of obtaining multiple internships before I graduate. I also learned about dressing for success, and that it is not only about what I know. I MUST look the part. I feel as if this semester focused on the little details that made all the difference. As a student, I feel as if we focus on the bigger things and forget that there are so many little things that must be tended to reach our goals. Those small tweaks that get your foot in the door are what was pinpointed this semester, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

As the year ends, and we move on to the next chapter of The Office of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs, I think back on the amazing moments that I had with my coworkers that are now graduating. I have made so many memories while working with these beautiful ladies, and I would not trade them for the world. We attained so much information about career goals and each other. I built an irreplaceable bond with The Office of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs’ staff. Even though I know it will not be the same without them, I cannot wait to see what is next.

How To Ace An Interview

By: Aaliyah Findley (Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs' Student Adviser Intern)

Congrats!! You have just received an interview for your dream job! However, you have one more task before you get the job. That is to ace your interview. Lucky for you, I have some fantastic tips that can help you.

Before you step foot into your interview, you have to prepare yourself. That means you need to make sure that you come up with a game plan. This game plan will show your interviewers that you indeed have prepared for the interview. As well, this will help you have a higher possibility to get the job.

The very first question you should ask yourself is how you’ll win your interviewers over. Do a mock interview with a friend or with yourself in the mirror. In this mock interview practice showing the best you. Try to speak more on your accomplishments, skills, and goals that will align you with the job’s mission and goals. Remember you need to show them you are the right candidate for the job This is your dream job, so make sure you are researching the company! Research the company’s mission statement. Any history on the company too. Researching the company will help you prepare for what you want to say in the interview. Also, it will let you know if you like the company and see that place as somewhere to work at.

Lastly, dress to impress. Show them you are professional. Wear business casual clothing. Also, Stay Away from clothing that is bright in colors. Try your best to wear dark colors such as grey or black. You want your interviewers to know you are professional, but you also what them to pay attention to you and your talents. To close out, for more information about how to ace an interview please visit Alcorn State University’s Career Services program. Here is a link:


The Benefits of Alcorn State University’s Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs Department

By: LaShandria Crawford(Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs' Student Facilitator Intern)

Alcorn State University's Office of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs has so many career advancement opportunities for students, but not many students take advantage of them. Why? From my perspective, it is because students are not mandated to attend these events nor do they feel like there is an incentive that they will get if they attend. Some students even believe that these events will not be beneficial to them. Students have to take it upon themselves to learn about what the events Alcorn State University offers and they must take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Department of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs. All students need career services.

The department of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs assists students with gaining experiential learning opportunities such as internship, externships, jobs, and even into graduate and professional schools. They also guide students into finding out which major best fits their personality, strengths, weakness, and abilities for them as well. Another service that the department of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs provides is mock interviews which is a service most students do not think about obtaining. No matter what your future career path is, you’re going to need to know how to ace an interview. Therefore, all students are advised to conduct a mock interview with a career service professional to see how prepared they are for an actual interview, and the department Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs can assist you with this.

How has Alcorn State University's Office of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs helped me? The department of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs provided me with assessments that helped me with my self-identity. The assessments provided me with specific careers and majors that were thought to best fit me. In addition, I learned about many internship opportunities through the help of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs. I was told of opportunities through programs like Johnson & Johnson that provide jobs and internships of a wide variety of majors.

If you have not talked to a staff member in the Department of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs, you should immediately do that. The department of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs not only puts together workshops to help students but also introduces students to employers. They also will aid you in finding scholarships, graduate schools, and more. Why do you want that job? Why do you deserve that internship? Why did you choose that graduate school? You have to know how you stand out. The department of Career Services & Pre-Professional Programs can assist you with answering these questions and many more.