By Jada Butler
Asst. News Editor
After graduation many students do not have the right connections, experience, or qualifications that employers are looking for in that first entry-level job. How can graduates expect to land a job that offers a decent salary with benefits? Olivia Wicik, a 2013 Post alumna, returned to campus on Thursday, Jan. 26 to share her post-graduation experiences and advice to Communications students. She walked journalism, public relations and other majors through the important steps of networking based on her own success in a lunchtime lecture held in Humanities Hall during common hour. Wicik, who now works as global people and development coordinator at Ralph Lauren, began her career as a news desk associate at CBS News Radio.
The first step in getting the job, Wicik said, is to have experience. She stressed the importance of taking advantage of the opportunities on campus to gain experience. “Take advantage of being a student.” Internships, taking extra credits in your field of study, or working unpaid jobs are great ways of building up a portfolio and experience that recruiters are looking for, according to Wicik.
Wicik’s work while she was a journalism major as the Editor-in-Chief of The Pioneer, the News Editor at WCWP, and the editor of Upstart magazine during her study abroad in Australia helped her land her first job at CBS News Radio after graduation. Wicik described it as “not a very glamorous job” working for CBS. The nights were long and the deadlines were short. Fact-checking became a code to live by. “There was really no room for mistakes,” Wicik said.
The second step, Wicik advised, is to build connections. The more people you know within your industry, the more opportunities available for you to move up the ladder to bigger and better things. Wicik cited LinkedIn as a great source for networking and meeting new people. She demonstrated how to use LinkedIn to find jobs and connections.
Wicik moved from CBS to Ralph Lauren, where she began as a Business Systems Analyst and then became a Talent Acquisition Coordinator. Her job was to recruit product developers for the company. LinkedIn was the number one tool used for finding resumes.
“Make a list of places that you want to work,” she said, and follow them on social media.
“Whenever you meet anyone who can give you advice or connect you to a job, go for it, ask questions, make connections,” Wicik encouraged students.
The third step is to follow your passion. “Be realistic when following your passion,” Wicik said. “Sometimes it means following it after 9-5.”
Now as the global people and development coordinator (human resources) at Ralph Lauren, Wicik does not let her role define what she does in her job. Going back to her journalism roots, she has used her transferable skills of communication and writing to publish newsletters of employee engagement, and work on “passion projects” for the company.