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How I Found my Job at the Utah Festival Opera

Written by Morgan Laajala, Communications Intern at Career Services

Aaron Christianson first applied to work at the Musical Theatre of Wichita, but he didn’t have a well-written cover letter. His resume never made it to the boss.

After working with a faculty member at Michigan Tech, Aaron re-wrote his cover letter and sent out eight applications to different companies – within two days he had multiple responses.

He sent out his applications on Friday, had two scheduled interviews on Saturday, and two job offers the following Thursday. Aaron credits this success to his updated cover letter. During his interview with the Utah Festival Opera, Aaron had an immediate connection with the Technical Director, the Upper Peninsula. The director’s son was attending Lake Superior State University, which Michigan Tech had just “proudly destroyed in hockey,” as Aaron put it. Ultimately, Aaron chose to take the position with the Utah Festival Opera.

Aaron’s advice to other students is, “Don’t sell yourself short. Tech is an amazing school that gives students skills most other universities ignore, and that makes us very valuable as employees and leaders.”

Aaron is a Theatre & Entertainment Technology student at Michigan Technological University.

Aaron is a Theatre & Entertainment Technology student at Michigan Technological University.
Aaron working at his summer 2017 internship at the Utah Festival Opera in Logan, Utah.

Ask an MTU Career Advisor: What should I do? I accepted a Job Offer but another Company wants an Interview.

Dear MTU Career Advisor,

I accepted a full-time job over spring break (that does not really interest me), and now have another interview with a company I am extremely interested in. I need advice on what information I should share in my upcoming interview as well as what I would do if I got another offer. There are many circumstances that I need to consider in this situation and need professional advice.

Not One, but Two

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Dear Not One, but Two:

Congratulations! Your efforts have been recognized by not one, but two employers! This is both exciting and stressful, right? RIGHT.  I’m glad you reached out to us.  Let’s call the first company…Company One, and the second…. (you may have guessed it) Company Two.

You already said “yes” to Company One and made an agreement. Even though Company Two is more appealing, I don’t recommend reneging on Company One.  It may sound old fashion, but your word is your bond. Meaning, you should always keep your promises, for a variety of reasons.

It’s a small and connected world, especially at Michigan Tech. Recruiters talk. They will and do talk to one another. Launching your professional career with a renege, may burn a professional bridge that can negatively affect your reputation.  It could also keep Company One from recruiting at Michigan Tech in the future, which ultimately impacts other Huskies.

From an employer’s perspective, recruiting is expensive. It’s a significant investment of time and money for every person that is hired into an organization. When you accepted the first position, Company One stopped looking.  You prevented others from accepting that job. When a candidate reneges, there is a real cost to starting the process over again!

Here’s what I recommend:

  • For Company Two, be transparent. Be honest and tell them you accepted another offer. Emphasize that you want to stay connected and build a rapport for future opportunities, but that you can’t, in good conscience, accept this one.  Let them know how excited you are about the company and request an “informational interview,” in place of a job interview.
  • For Company One, remind yourself of why you said “yes” in the first place! Remember your initial excitement. They selected you from a competitive candidate pool, and they are equally excited to have you on their team. You could, and probably will, totally love this job!

Lastly, you may hear advice from familiar and trusted resources (parents and friends) that might be contrary to what I am advocating. I hope you’ll consider this information in your decision.

Our doors are always open to discuss this matter in person. Again, congratulations for being THAT crazy, smart student!

Regards,

 

An MTU Career Advisor


Ask an MTU Career Advisor: When is the Best Time to Start Applying?

Hello,

I’m currently an engineering student at Michigan Tech that will graduate in December. I’m curious, when is the best time to start applying for full-time positions? I started looking at Handshake but I wasn’t sure if it was too early to apply or not.

Thanks so much!

Soon-to-be Fall Graduate

 

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Hi Soon-to-be Fall Graduate,

 

That is a great question. Some recruiters will start making offers up to 6 months in advance, while others may be looking for someone to report immediately. It’s hard to say. There’s no definitive answer.

My best advice to you is:

Get your name out there! And be honest in your timeline. State your expected graduation date -December 2017- on your resume.  Address it in your cover letter, as well. If companies like what they see, they will keep you on their radar, even if it isn’t for that specific position.

Take time to polish your application materials (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, etc.). Don’t start applying until they’re flawless.

Plan to attend CareerFEST and Career Fair in September, as it is a great opportunity to meet recruiters and start the conversation. In some instances, the hiring process can take up to six months depending on the job, company, and HR policies and procedures. It doesn’t hurt to get your application materials ready, do your research, and start applying.

If you need any help with those application materials, please let us know!

Keep us posted on your progress, we are always here to help!

 

MTU Career Advisor