Job searching is overwhelming and those in the process can find themselves stuck mulling through thousands of open positions not sure where to start – that’s exactly why Career Development exists, to help students figure out what they want and how to approach it. Now imagine for a moment that you are an international student and multiply that stress by the distance away from your family or network and needing sponsorship. The task can seem daunting BUT, again, that is why we propose ideas and connect you with the right individuals.

Recently I had the opportunity to meet with Denzil Ross, a Park University graduate and past international student from Trinidad, who currently serves as the Associate Chief Operating Officer at HCA Midwest Health. As an accomplished executive, I wanted to hear from him what he felt helped him land where he is today.

Do more.

Vague, I know. Truthfully, though, if there is one piece of advice I could give to students, it would be to do more than just show up for classes and think that this will be enough after graduation.

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This means realizing what you want to do after graduation for a career and making a plan for the 4-5 years that you will be in college. Denzil knew he wanted to work in the healthcare industry and would take the steps needed to meet the lofty goals he had made. While attending graduate school, he volunteered his time at a local hospital and used this time to start creating a professional, healthcare network. He took to heart the quote, and still lives by it today,

“Your network helps determine your net worth”.

Take part in alumni events near you.

Park has alumni around the globe and while there are people from all walks of life one commonality remains – being a Park University graduate. Connect with as many alumni as you can to begin building a professional network, you never know when they might know of an opening or connect you with an executive you should be speaking with.

February holds numerous alumni events happening in different locations from the Kansas City area to Phoenix – take advantage of these opportunities and much more.

Reach out to those you wish to work with someday.

While having a strong GPA is important, Denzil mentioned numerous times that his company hires people, not resumes.

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If there is an organization that you are wanting to work in, reach out early – much before you are even looking for openings. Reach out to those in the role you could see yourself in later down the road, reach out to those in a hiring position to find out what you should be doing in the next few years to obtain certain goals, and reach out to ensure that your name is known when finally applying for a position. 

Whether it is an informational interview or you take a different approach, Ross believes that life is about relationships – use your time throughout college to foster those you have and create new professional ones.