The three winners of the CAL Virtual Career Readiness Roadmap Competition recently were announced and received prizes, ranging from $500 to $1,200.
Facilitated by the Excel Network as part of the MSUFCU Dean’s Choice Grant, the competition was open to MSU students with a major in the College of Arts & Letters and required them to complete various career readiness-related tasks according to a three-tier system. With each tier, there were three tasks to complete, and for each tier completed, there was a chance of earning a greater monetary award.
While the competition gave students the opportunity to receive monetary prizes, it also had them prepare their resumes, create a professional online presence, and virtually network with College of Arts & Letters alumni.
This year, 45 students participated with one winner drawn for each tier. This year’s three winners are:
- Mimi Anagli – Tier Three Winner
- Dat Le – Tier Two Winner
- Sylvia Hodges – Tier One Winner
By participating in this competition, Mimi Anagli, a junior majoring in Film Studies, was able to start thinking ahead and look at possible opportunities to pursue in the next year and post-graduation.
“Completing the career readiness competition helped me to realize that this pandemic and all the stress it has caused is temporary and now is a great time to look ahead of the obstacles and start planning for the future,” Anagli said. “Through this competition, I got to really polish my resume and professional profiles. I can now confidently apply to internships and jobs without going through the hassle of updating everything last minute.”
“A great resource that I learned about through this competition is Handshake’s career center. There are tons of resources to help students create a strong professional presence, such as appointments with MSU advisors to review materials like resumes and cover letters. I think every student should take advantage of these resources because they taught me a lot about what employers are looking for.”
The Tier three prize is $1,200 and required students to connect with three College of Arts & Letters alumni via LinkedIn. They also reflected on three internships or jobs they are interested in and had to either conduct a virtual informational interview through Zoom with College of Arts & Letters alumni or attend the MSU Virtual Spring Career Fair.
The CAL Virtual Career Readiness Roadmap Competition introduced Dat Le, a junior majoring in Linguistics, to the Excel Network, which in turn gave him a better understanding of his career goals and helped him improve upon his resume and cover letter.
“This competition had helped me create a LinkedIn profile, which helped me connect with people who fit in the same major or interests that I am in. LinkedIn is very welcoming and easy to use, and it helps me gain more of a presence in networking,” Le said. “Also, making changes to my resume has helped me a lot with trying to look for a job/internship over the summer. I was able to get in contact with a few businesses about potentially working for them.”
The Tier Two prize is $800 and required students to submit a resume that had been professionally reviewed by an MSU staff member, faculty member, or peer. They also had to set up a LinkedIn profile and connect with Maggie Harris, College of Arts & Letters Internship and Alumni Coordinator, as well as upload a professional headshot to be used for LinkedIn and Handshake.
By participating in this competition, Sylvia Hodges, a sophomore majoring in English, felt she was able to better her online presence as an employment- and internship-seeking individual.
“Through this competition, I had to make my online profiles top notch,” Hodges said. “I took AL 250 this semester, which was a great resource for learning ways to make my profiles the best they can be. This competition enabled me to solidify what I had learned. I recommend College of Arts & Letters students take the career-oriented courses the college offers. AL 250, in particular, was a huge help in making my LinkedIn and Handshake profiles the best they can be and attending an online career fair was a good networking experience.”
The Tier One prize is $500. To complete this tier, students had to sign up for an Excel Network Career Community and set up a Handshake profile and professional Zoom interview background.