Alumni share tips to successful careers
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 23:10
In a lecture sponsored by the Asian American Cultural Center, students were invited to ask questions and gain tips from UConn alumni turned successful entrepreneurs and businessmen.
Ronald Liu, VP of Sales and Marketing of TAN2000 International, began the lecture with a question.
“What do you think of the job market?”
The consensus among students was negative. Many commented on the bad economy and the competitive job market citing limited jobs as a main concern. Others shared personal stories of the perils of finding a job while alumni offered some tips to current students.
“We are in a tough time economically and while we are in the rebound, jobs are still extremely limited and the job market is competitive, however, that doesn’t mean that your dream job isn’t out there,” Liu said.
Liu shared personal experiences from previous job interviews and resume searching that he has conducted on potential employees. He remarked upon personal branding as an important aspect in being competitive in the job market.
“A lot of students at the UConn job fair would come up to me and ask about the company but were discouraged because what our company does wasn’t in their major. However, times have changed and it is important to open up your possibilities, which means expanding your outlook beyond your major. You need to brand yourself as marketable and that means doing things you like to do not just writing things on a resume because they look good. What you are truly passionate about will resonate with employers,” Liu said.
Liu discussed the interviewing process explaining it as one of the most important aspects of landing a job.
“The overall point of an interview is to get the job. The most important thing to remember is to be genuine. Don’t come up with answers that seem scripted. Make sure that you practice interviewing but don’t seem to be too rehearsed. Also, you don’t want to go into an interview seeming timid or arrogant. It is a fine balance… It is also important to have professional etiquette, arriving early to an interview, dressing appropriately, sending a thank you card to your employer might be common sense, but it goes a long way,” Liu said.
Andrew Y. Tan, Vice Chairman and Senior VP of Innovation and CDO at TAN2000 International, addressed entrepreneurship and its potential benefits in the job market while also speaking about what the company offers potential entrepreneurs.
“There is this perception that you graduate, get a job, and then retire. However, there is also entrepreneurship, where one can work for themselves and become their own boss. The life cycle of a business starts with an idea. However, many don’t know how to turn that idea into a formal business. This is where TAN2000 helps out by making that dream a reality…We want to share our knowledge on how to find a job and show that entrepreneurship is an option,” Tan said.
The lecture would end with dispelling the myth that students can only have careers or land jobs within their major or area of concentration. Many students agreed that it is important to broaden their horizons while being open-minded in the job hunt.
“Don’t close yourself off, there are a lot of jobs out there and don’t feel like you’re trapped. College is great in that you can learn across many disciplines. The same goes for jobs, there are many careers out there, no matter what the major. It is important to be open-minded”
“As a senior, I am starting to think about life after graduation. Working for a company is appealing but being an entrepreneur is an exciting prospect,” said Daryl Phin, a 7th semester sociology major. “Sometimes I feel very confined being a sociology major but this discussion tonight expanded my outlook.”