It seems, when we boil it down to the basics, we worry about two things in college: our studies
and money. I suppose since it takes money to go to college, perhaps we could further factor it
down and say just money. Regardless, money requires working and working requires finding a
job– which isn’t always easy to do.
I have been lucky enough to find three paying jobs in addition to my volunteer work here at
College Avenue. I work as a Game Advisor at GameStop, a communication’s intern at the
Warner College of Natural Resources and a MyCSU blogger for CSU’s Department of Public
But how did I get these jobs? I’ve been asked numerous times how I find jobs as well as how I
land them. I’ve found jobs using the student job listing, and the old fashion way of just turning in
an application. It also comes down to the things you’ve heard all along: networking, patience and
I found both my internship with Warner College and the MyCSU position on the student
job listing. In both cases, I applied for the job and followed up with the employer. After my
interview with Warner, I emailed my now supervisor to thank her for the interview and sent
her a link to my online portfolio. In the case of MyCSU, I hadn’t heard anything about ten days
after my initial email, so I sent a follow-up email just to check in and express my interest again.
It’s important to give people time to respond, but it also shows responsibility and gives a good
impression when you follow up.
While I did land the job at Warner College, I didn’t get the position with MyCSU the first
time around. I didn’t let it discourage me however. I thanked them for the interview and told
them they’d be hearing from me again since this was a position that would open up again. Sure
enough, I received an email five months later asking if I was still interested. I was, and I’m now
a blogger! Sometimes, it just takes some patience.
Patience was the case with GameStop too. I applied there in June of 2013. (Hint: make sure you
ask for the manager when you turn in your application. That way they put a face to your name.
Plus it just looks professional). I didn’t get called in for an interview until late August.
Acing the interview questions certainly helped in getting this job too (or so my manager says…I
promise I’m not just being egotistical). But probably more importantly, I was straight up with
the store manager. During the interview process, my parents asked me to come to Mexico with
them after the holidays. I knew three to four weeks away from work wasn’t going to be ideal,
and I decided to tell my manager right away. I explained to him the opportunity that I had, and
while I was still very interested in working for him, I completely understood if that wasn’t going
to work for the company. My honesty paid off. We went ahead with the second interview, and I
was hired on the spot.
Networking, as everyone always says, doesn’t hurt either. I knew someone who had connections
to CSU’s Department of Public Relations and they gave me a recommendation when I applied
for MyCSU. When I wanted to get involved with College Avenue, I messaged the Editor-in-chief
on Facebook. We had gone to high school together and knew of each other. As people often say,
just knowing someone is often the key to finding a job. Find people who know people and ask
them for help.
The final thing I’d like to point out is you must stay motivated. It’s perfectly normal to apply
for upwards of thirty or forty jobs before hearing back from one or two. My best friend and I
drove around Fort Collins last summer handing out resumes and applications to probably 20
businesses. Once again, it takes persistence and patience.
I wish I could tell you there’s a magic key, but in my experience it’s different for every job.
There are tips increase your chances, but unfortunately there is no incantation you can mutter
that will guarantee you’ll get hired. That being said, if you take nothing else from this column,
remember persistence. Be persistent (yet polite) with an employer and be persistent in your job
search. It’s about that time of year when we students apply for summer jobs. I want to wish you
the best of luck in your search and may the odds be ever in your favor!
College Avenue reporter Marissa Isgreen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for the Interviewing Guide issue of College Avenue on racks Mar. 12!