“Can I tell you a little more about myself?” This is what everyone starts off with when they speak to a recruiter at the University of Florida’s Career Showcase. Everyone knows how daunting Career Showcase can be. For me, I felt anxiety, loneliness, and a sense of urgency; I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start.
A week before Showcase, Derek Guffin, the Assistant Director for Employer Relations & Career Education in the Heavener School of Business came to the Florida Leadership Academy (FLA) to speak on how to prepare for the daunting career fair that lie ahead. The Florida Leadership Academy is a program that provides the top 100 sophomores of the college with professional development opportunities. We learned how to improve our LinkedIn profiles, elevator pitches, and mock interviews. Before the presentation, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. But throughout the presentation that day, my eyes were opened to how unprepared I was. I was so overwhelmed that I had an anxiety attack.
After the session, I met with my mentor Gab to schedule a one-on-one. I knew she had been to Showcase before, and might offer some helpful insight. But when I saw Gab, I was so full of anxiety about Showcase, I burst into tears. She pulled me outside, comforted me, and reassured me everything was going to be fine. She told me that I had plenty of time to prepare and would help introduce me on where to start.
Later, during our one-on-one, we did mock interviews and researched companies. She showed me how to take notes and use specific websites to gain more insight on companies; compared to a normal Google search. Gab has helped me through the hardest time in my journey at UF. She taught me how to approach Showcase and career week with total confidence and a smile on my face.
Growing as a sophomore has left me challenged and overwhelmed. This year I learned to express my vulnerabilities with others so they can help. Showing my vulnerabilities is scary, but by sharing it with trusted confidants, I’ve been able to grow more than ever before. By showing my weakness, I’ve been able to grow my strength. In the end, I didn’t receive an internship from Showcase last fall, but I now understand what it takes to properly prepare.
Sabrina Chiu is a sophomore at the University of Florida. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a minor in Retailing. Sabrina is interested in opportunities in sales, marketing, and retailing. In her free time, you can find her exploring new places, petting dogs, and taking pictures. Feel free to email Sabrina.