Kerry Pinion Forum
Bluffton alumna shares advice for entering the workforce
With the end of the semester coming to a close, a realization is coming to many seniors at Bluffton University—graduation is approaching.
Bluffton alumna Kerry Pinion, a manager for recruiting services for Fortune 500 Company Automatic Data Processing in Findlay, Ohio, returned to Bluffton to share some advice for the next step in life— joining the full-time workforce.
“It’s never too early to start thinking about the job search process,” explained Pinion. “Take advantage of the services of the Center for Career and Vocation because they have really great programming that I utilized as a student and as an alumna. I know they can help with the job search process.”
For freshmen and sophomores, she suggests developing a resume, starting an accomplishments file and finding a mentor to job shadow as early steps to finding meaningful employment after college.
For the juniors and seniors she warned, “Getting a job can almost be a job itself.” However, she explained there are some simple, common sense steps a student can take to improve their prospects such as setting up a professional email and voicemail, reviewing social media account content and developing an elevator pitch.
Help with all of these points and more are provided at Bluffton’s Center for Career and Vocation for free for current students and alumni.
Pinion explained that she used the CCV’s services as a student and then again as an alumnus when she was downsized from Microsoft.
“They were instrumental in helping me land back on my feet,” explained Pinion, who also emphasized the importance of networking, especially with Bluffton’s alumni, to find new opportunities.
“It’s human nature that when someone comes up and asks for help, they want to help, and I think our alumni are special. They will help you,” said Pinion. “Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and do informational interviews and network with alumni because they are a great resource that is available.”
A 1996 graduate, Pinion studied business administration and Spanish at Bluffton, worked in the admissions office, served as the first president of Ramseyer Hall, took part in Peer Awareness Leaders and was a cheerleader.
She reminded the students that the whole college experience prepares them for the next step.
“I think the important thing about being involved in clubs is that a lot of them offer leadership opportunities to build out your skillsets as a student,” said Pinion. “Being involved allowed me opportunities to present and stand in front of my peers which helped me as I was going through the job search process to be more polished and ready as I went on interviews.”
Pinion also shared some advice for students after they find a job including asking for a mentor, seeking help when needed and keeping in contact with their alma mater.