Mason Family Flash

Advice from a fellow family member

My name is Tim Knapp and I graduated from James Madison University (JMU) in 1991 after 4 years of receiving a great education and living the college life. As I drove away from Harrisonburg heading back to my parent’s home in Williamsburg, it hit me that I had never visited the one place at JMU that should have been like my second home there, Career Services. I mean wasn’t that the reason I was at JMU in the first place? I spent many hours at home the next few years looking for jobs tied to my degree while waiting tables at a local restaurant. If I had it to do over again I would spend more time at JMU in Career services.

My son, Carter, was accepted to GMU in the spring of 2017 with the desire to work for the FBI. At Orientation that summer we sat through a presentation from Career Services that explained all of the things that it could help my son with from writing a resume to locating an internship to finding a job when he graduates. I was reminded of what I missed at JMU when I was a student there many years before.

I encouraged Carter to visit Career Services within the first few months of his freshman year so he could start using the resources available there. He would, also, start making connections to people who would help him locate a future internship and job. Carter could have made an appointment but Career Services has a walk-in time on some days which he took advantage of to talk with a career counselor in October of his freshman year. He, anxiously, wanted to know the process of getting prepared for any federal jobs that may need a background check since he knew those could take up to 6 months. The counselor helped Carter get on a list to be notified of any events or opportunities that tie into his career field of federal law enforcement.

He has stayed close to Career Services through social media announcements and going to career fairs throughout the school year.  Carter has an internship this fall for his junior year and we are hoping each semester thereafter.  Career Services has helped Carter on the path to acquiring internships and one day a job. There are many resources and opportunities available at Career Services, but students have to visit and ask for help. Your students shouldn’t leave GMU like I left JMU without a job or a plan of how I was going to get one!

Tim Knapp

Parent and Family Council

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