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All Experience is Good Expereince

Feb 03, 2023

My job is awesome. I say that very bluntly because an awesome aspect of my job is meeting one on one with students, talking about their resumes, cover letters, and anything relating to their professional development. I am only 6 years removed from my freshman year of college and up until that point, the only experience I had was working at a CVS in high school. Little did I know, that experience would help me in ways I couldn’t imagine going forward.

I have students come to my office all the time saying they have no experience, upon further investigation I learn that they are a part of 3 clubs, have 2 part time jobs, and volunteer at the local soup kitchen on the weekends. A common misconception is that anything that is not related to their field of study is not experience. What they are thinking about is relevant experience. As a student no one should expect you to have years of experience in your field yet, because you just started studying for it!

My experience at CVS in high school was my first introduction to the working world, and I learned a lot even though I didn’t realize it at the time. I learned to communicate with all types of people, who were all dealing with varying levels of stress, that’s why they went to the pharmacy! I honed my time management skills by arriving to work on time, while also being a student first. This experience and these skills would be the reason I landed my first internship in my sophomore year, as an Economic Development Intern.

A few months after a nerve racking interview, I asked my supervisor directly why he decided to pick me for this internship. He said to me quite simply, “You are the only one we interviewed with real work experience”. This fact surprised me, and he emphasized how I was the only candidate who had worked in a customer service setting with people, showing up to a job over 20 hours a week. This impressed him, even though my academics were not up to snuff, which was the reason the other hiring director actually suggested not hiring me.

The point of this article is to emphasize the importance of experience which you may discredit or think won’t help you. I never expected that working at CVS would help me get my first internship, but in this case, it was one of the biggest reasons why I landed the job.

This Article was contributed by Daniel Reddington, assistant director of career success in the office of Career Success and Experiential Education.


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