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Candy Ho

SFU Alumni

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Students holding road signs
The beauty of being a student starting out in your career is that employers understand you are developing transferable skills and are willing to help you.

It was because of this very question that I landed on my current job today…..

I was then a student staff with SFU Student Development. The department played a central role in organizing campus events and programs, and to this day I am still amazed at my supervisor’s ability to accomplish everything she sets out to do.  Seeing that she had so many tasks to juggle, a few weeks into my contract I wanted to help her with additional responsibilities and to learn from her experience.

So, I popped “the question”: “Krista, what else can I do to help?”
This was an open-ended question that didn’t facilitate a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. She was appreciative and delegated tasks to me right away.

In doing so, I was exhibiting the “can-do” attitude employers look for, yet don’t mention explicitly in job descriptions. This is an important point to keep in mind as student job-seekers: you might not necessarily have the technical skills and knowledge, but if you can show employers you’ve got the motivation to do what it takes, you will present yourself as a worthy candidate.

Therefore, I encourage you to:

Be Solution-Focused and Willing to do tasks beyond your job description. Consider yourself a problem solver and look for gaps you can assist with.

Be Proactive and Thoughtful regardless of your role, because you are an employee of the company you work for. Adopt the motto of “leaving it better than when you found it”. In my position described above, I was asked to compile information to email monthly to our volunteers; instead I exercised my creativity and started a monthly e-newsletter, which is still being sent out today.

Be Positive and “Shiny.” My current student staff simply lights up the room with her contagious enthusiasm. I already love my job, but her presence makes me excited to come to work that much more. This could be the impact you have on your employer and the people you work with.

Be Curious and Ask Questions. The beauty of being a student starting out in your career is that employers understand you are developing transferable skills and are willing to help you. All you need to do is ask – for their help, expertise and feedback.

  • Candy Ho May 25, 2010
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About the Author

Candy Ho

SFU Alumni

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