This is a guest post by Kathryn Blaylock for Student Stories.
This is an exciting story and lesson for you about my experiences as a student and intern, looking for that next career opportunity!
In an effort to be more employable in the global learning environment, I looked into internships in the domain of Instructional Design Technology (designing courses online) and found the KeelWorks Foundation. One of my course assignments had been to research career websites and find potential employment requirements and expectations. It was clear, I needed at least 2 years of experience to be considered for employment in the field of IDT.
How in the world was I going to do this?
I had just begun the MS program at Walden University that September, so first thing in January of 2013 I interviewed to begin working with KeelWorks as a member of Team Maroon to get that needed experience prior to graduation Fall of 2014. Our team has a weekly synchronous meeting using fun web-based tools like Free Screen Sharing, Skype and Google Hang Outs. We have almost completed our Course Module on Goal Management, which contains robust and engaging course content and activities.
Creating this course module gone a long way to improve my expertise level in collaborative online work within a professional learning community. In addition, I have been allowed to create TWO MORE course modules on my own for class projects (one on Fundraising for the foundation and the other was an Orientation for new interns). These were created in KeelWorks Foundation’s online academy within the EDUonGo course management system.
So in the process of my internship, I have built a professional portfolio site, which includes samples of my work and have already had two serious inquiries for job applications I submitted! One was an online interview with a company based in London who designs online training for Walmart. (I am living here in Arkansas near the Walmart main headquarters!) The other interview involved me taking a trip (they helped pay for) to the Denver Technology Park for a face-to-face interview with the President of the company. What great experience! Not only did KeelWorks assist me in revamping my resume, but when the first potential employer asked for a sample presentation for Stage 2 of the interview process, I also received expert advice in my approach on the technology-interface for this interview.
Since I don’t graduate until August of this year, I believe these experiences will assist me in finding that right job for me by then. (Just In Time!) I believe the experience I have gained from this internship is what is going to make employment upon graduation possible. In the meantime, my current class requires a multi-media presentation introducing myself as an instructor. Once again, I am relying on the resources of my internship to add this element to the eLearning Experience orientation course module I created for new interns.
All of this is possible, because I received support and encouragement from my colleagues. Furthermore, I understood it was my responsibility to ask for access to those key resources I needed to develop into that ideal candidate for my first job in Instructional Design.
The moral of the story?
Don’t wait until you graduate to get that real world experience you need to be employable!
About the Author
Kathryn “Sky” Blaylock is an experienced media creator and trainer, eager to develop robust course designs for higher education, corporate, government and non-profit organizations. Sky is seeking an opportunity to expand her transformational leadership skills, effective communication, marketing, outreach and development abilities, as well as inclusive vision.
Anything Is Possible – Portfolio with Data Import/Export blog, Linked In page, and more.