Each week we put a “spotlight” on an aspect of student life at Cornell, whether it be opportunities, resources or just people on campus. This week, we’re featuring the Career Engagement Center’s Chicago Road Trip in a post written by Kelsey Gaillot ’15. Stay tuned for the trip in the spring!
My normal email routine includes a lot of deleting. I like my inbox organized and uncluttered. When I saw that there was a Career Road Trip to Chicago for students interested in psychology during an upcoming block break, I broke out of my mid-email stupor, and realized that this was an opportunity built for me. I am currently a junior at Cornell College, studying psychology and kinesiology, while setting for our championship volleyball team, working as a Sports Medicine Assistant, and working with the admissions office.
Prior to the Career Road Trip, the fear of the looming job search following graduation was beginning to hang a grey cloud over my head. I was feeling very underqualified in experience, extremely low as far as networking capabilities, and absolutely unaware of the opportunities that were available. My first warning sign of my incompetency was my uncertainty concerning “business casual” dress. Thanks to my much more professionally-minded friends and their closets, my bags were packed and our crew of 9 Cornell College students was off.
From our first meeting with alumni and other professionals from Chicago at a casual meet and greet, my fears and doubts about my capabilities to enter the professional world disappeared. I felt as though I could communicate effectively, listen effectively, and present myself as a qualified and competent young individual who had dreams and goals worth pursuing. This feeling continued to grow throughout the weekend, during meetings with the MacArthur Foundation (so cool!), The Jacobson Group, The Gorilla Group, and visiting the Adler School of Professional Psychology.
My favorite stop was The Gorilla Group. This company is an IT web development group working in e-commerce. Throughout their presentation, consisting of the front line sales people to the script writer technical guys to the CEO, the theme was consistent of their workplace environment being the most important factor of their success. There were many mentions of the collaborative style of work, and how the culture of their workplace was the most important indicator of the success of the company. I had to keep from giggling when I realized that this is very similar to the goals of the Cornell College student body, as well as my extracurricular activities in which I participate.
Collaboration and culture have been essential factors to my high satisfaction with my Cornell experience. In our small classes with engaged professors, the way the students and faculty collaborate and learn together is absolutely key to learning. In Sports Medicine, especially as a student assistant, every decision and diagnoses is made as a collaborative team of certified trainers and students. As a young professional, I will work to engage the collaborative skills and the positive culture that has developed throughout my life and during my time here at Cornell.
I would like to extend a huge thank you to the Career Engagement Center for the opportunity to attend the Career Road Trip to Chicago.