Photo courtesy of: Caroline Johnson
Jun 1, 2011
Contrary to many fellow graduates, senior Caroline Johnson has remained fairly unruffled by the economic state. That's the beauty of clinching a job fall quarter of senior year.
As a business administration major in the Honors Tutorial College (HTC), Johnson accepted a position with Chicago-based media communications agency, Starcom, in November. Her success in the job market stems from big city ambitions, small town foundations and a breadth of experience gained at Ohio University.
Big city ambitions
Johnson knew that she wanted to work in communication when she started at OHIO in 2007. Eventually, she decided to focus her degree on marketing and advertising – fields that came to define her academic career.
After successfully completing an internship with Starcom during summer 2010, Johnson was recommended for hire. She returned to OHIO in the fall to finish her psychology minor and write her HTC thesis, all the while crossing her fingers that the recommendation would translate into a job.
One quarter later, her hope became a reality. Johnson was driving home to Cincinnati for Thanksgiving when she received the offer by phone.
Small town foundations
While she has work experience in the big city, Johnson earned her academic and professional foundations around OHIO’s Athens campus.
Two quarters spent interning with Ohio University Press helped Johnson to develop her sales and marketing skills.
She honed research skills while working on her HTC thesis on the role of music in advertising – a topic she presented on at the American Academy of Advertising Conference in Arizona this April.
Johnson also conducted research at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. Since her sophomore year she was a part of the Voinovich Scholars Program where she found mentors in faculty and older students.
Breadth of experience
Holly Raffle, assistant professor of leadership and public affairs at the Voinovich School, served as Johnson’s faculty mentor and said it has been exciting to see Caroline transition from student to professional through her years at Ohio University.
“That is what sets her apart from her peers - she has taken advantage of the many, varied experiences that Ohio University has to offer and has positioned herself to succeed in her chosen career immediately upon graduation,” Raffle said.
It's this type of diverse resume that often catches the eye of future employers, according to Thomas Korvas, director of Career Services at OHIO.
While grades are important, so are outside activities such as interning, volunteering and developing communication and leadership skills, Korvas said.
Despite the competitive job market, Johnson’s offer came as no surprise to her academic adviser, Raymond Frost. Frost, professor of management information systems (MIS) and HTC director of studies for business, said he recruited Johnson into HTC’s business program because of her talent and potential.
“Caroline is an outstanding student, a caring and compassionate person, and an outstanding representative for the University,” he said.
The job search is a job in itself for many aspiring graduates. Few understand this better than Thomas Korvas, director of Career Services at Ohio University.
Korvas encourages students to start their job search in the fall of their senior year. Learning how to network, how to search for jobs, proper etiquette and interview techniques are all important, he said.
“For many individuals, the market is very competitive, but if students understand this process, learn how to market themselves, are realistic and mobile, I am confident they will be successful,” said Korvas.
The Office of Career Services is located in 533 Baker University Center and offers walk-in hours Monday through Friday.
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