This is part two of a four part series on the Career Services Department at Pinnacle Career Institute.
Recently I had an opportunity to chat with the four Directors of Career Services at PCI to learn a bit more about them, gather some of their tips and insights and discover what makes them shine in their position. The following interview is with Aaron Floyd, Director of Career Services for the North Campus:
1. How long have you worked at PCI?
December marks my third year with PCI as a Career Services professional.
2. What is your favorite part about being the Director of Career Services at PCI?
In pursuit of a passion, a career, and a livelihood, individuals commit to the drastic changes that accompany life as a student. I’m fortunate enough to be the one to celebrate with them when they finally secure the career they have worked so hard for.
3. What is your favorite story of “Changing Lives Story”?
As the Director of Career Services, I get to work with students representing every program and students overcoming a myriad of obstacles. One particular student was late in her career and struggled with social anxiety disorder. As she progressed through the program she developed relationships with her peers and staff and found confidence in her academic success. However, after graduation she had a very difficult time securing a job. She confessed that her anxiety inhibited ability to showcase her strengths during an interview and I suspect her age may have been a red flag for some employers. Searching for a job can be discouraging and emotionally exhausting; she never slowed down, never stopped believing that she was just one interview away from her next career. She was right. This Medical Assistant graduate is now working with a major employer in Kansas City and revisits the campus to speak with PCI staff and new students. She’s a wonderful representative of PCI and an excellent example of the power of perseverance.
4. What are your success tips for students looking for a position in their new career?
Do whatever you can to gain experience! Volunteer, job shadow, create your own opportunity! Successful candidates are those that differentiate themselves from the pack, what makes you different? The feedback I receive most from employers is to advise candidates to value people and themselves. This means customer service and people skills are just as important as technical abilities. This also means that you need to look and act professionally.
5. What is your best advice for students to Rock their next interview?
The best advice is also the simplest–PREPARE, PREPARE PREPARE! Candidates should have a thorough understanding of their relevant skills set, the duties and expectations of the position, the organization’s mission and values, and a list of intelligent questions to ask the interviewer. Candidates that are prepared are likely to be more confident and more likely to build rapport with the interviewer(s).
6. Please share an interesting fact about yourself:
I’m a serial hobbyist and lifelong student! I am always looking for the next adventure. Over the past year I have taken up powerkiting, dance (west coast swing) classes, cooking classes, finished my MBA and am now learning to update old light fixtures. Next on my radar–enrolling in real estate classes.
Thanks Aaron for all your hard work and energy for PCI!