How to Land a Job Before Graduation: Advice from a College Student

Posted by on February 14, 2013

information technology degree

Joe Newhouse on a work day.

Joe Newhouse is one happy information technology degree student! He finishes his Bachelor of Science degree at Minnesota School of Business in Network Administration and Security next quarter and already has begun a full-time job in his field at Netgain Hosting in St. Cloud, Minn.

Netgain is a health care information technology provider assisting physician practices and rural hospitals with their system needs, and Newhouse was hired as an Application Support Analyst who helps clients with IT problems specific to their clinic’s setting.

Newhouse has some good advice to college students seeking a job in their field.

  • Apply anywhere and everywhere specific to your career goals while you are still in school. “I applied to many, many jobs—even if I didn’t have the experience. It provided me interviewing experience and showed me what I should know. I benefited even when I didn’t get the job. And then I moved on to the next.”
  • Volunteer. “I constructed a website for a local animal shelter, and that experience actually got me a job as an animal control officer for a while. Even though it wasn’t in my field, it paid the bills [while I was still looking.] I also was active with the IT student association on campus and that gave me client experience.”
  • Attend Career Fairs. “The Director of Career Services, Shannon Templin, introduced me to the Netgain team leader, Nick Van Vleet, [at the Career Fair] and we talked for about 20 minutes. I got his business card and emailed him my resume.”
Making that initial impression is what helped Newhouse get his foot in the door. Netgain actually didn’t call back for four months. As it turned out, his file inadvertently ended up on the “reject” pile. When scanning that stack months later, Van Vleet paused. “Wait,” he said. “I know this guy. I liked him.”Newhouse then received a phone call and began the interviewing process. Without that face-to-face meeting, Newhouse is uncertain that Netgain would have noticed him.

 

information technology degree

Newhouse (left) volunteers on campus at the Computer Bug Clinic.

Newhouse chose MSB initially because the college offered such good military benefits and support, and because his wife was already enrolled as a student in the massage therapy program. Now as an employee, he looks upon his instruction and training with immense gratitude.

“All day today [at work,]” he reflects, “when I was being told what to do, it was like [IT Chair] Tom Polinceusz was talking to me! It’s all pulled together.”

He adds, “I was given such a good opportunity to learn the theory that it’s all the same language [in the workplace.] I’m solving problems. And that builds confidence in a hurry.”

“You don’t know what you know,” he summarizes, “until it’s put to the test.”

Newhouse admits his life right now is a juggling act: school, work and personal life. But, he says, “It’s great! You find sleep while you can. It’s an awesome job and I feel super lucky.”


Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.