Morgan Koth, Youth Studies Graduate, offers some good advice

Morgan Koth.jpg
Morgan Koth
CEHD Degree program: Youth Development & Research
Graduation Year: 2011
Employer: Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota
Position: Community Giving Intern (Development Department)
How did you learn about your current position? I learned about my current position on the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Job Board (http://www.minnesotanonprofits.org/jobs) . I had been checking the site quite religiously looking for an opportunity that would help me develop skills that I didn’t gain from my degree.
What are some of your key responsibilities you have been charged with? In my role, I have had a broad exposure to various tasks in the Development Department. So far, I have worked on creating a comprehensive database for the Seasons of Wishes campaign. I have also been researching potential vendors for the Delicious Wishes event, written scripts for media personnel headlining our Walk for Wishes, generating community relations by contacting wish families and creating verbiage for donors to be used on the MAW website and print media. This internship is giving me great opportunities to expand my skills in event planning, fundraising development and communication.
What steps did you take in the application process? How did you help yourself stand out from all the other applicants?
Immediately after seeing the job posting on the MCN website I began creating a resume with a style that highlighted past-positions and experiences I had that were relevant to what MAW was looking for in a candidate. I also submitted a cover letter that allowed me the opportunity to give the hiring committee a better idea of who I am, what my past experiences have taught me and how passionate I am about Make-A-Wishes’s mission statement.
After I submitted my application, I was invited to a phone interview with the Development Supervisor. The phone interview went well, and I was invited to attend a final interview at the MAW office in Minneapolis. Immediately after the interview I sent my interviewers a thank you letter–thanking them for their time, and their consideration. I made it personal by mentioning particular things I learned through the interview process, and highlighted how I felt I would be the perfect candidate based on my experiences, passions and career goals.
Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
I set aside time every week to job search, write cover letters and research potential career options. With all of the free time a new grad has making weekly appointments to work on the job search and application process really helped me to find a job early. I also checked the job board often and applied to positions as soon as they are posted. Often jobs listed on websites receive applications on a rolling-until-filled basis so it is to your advantage to get a high-quality application in really soon.
What have you learned this far from your position that you have found to be the most valuable for your professional development?
If you have a desire to pursue a career in a field or capacity different from your degree, pursue opportunities to educate yourself and gain that experience volunteering or working as an intern. A degree is just a degree at the end of the day, but valuable experiences relative to your goal-career is key to unlocking future opportunities.
Do you have any tips or words of wisdom to share with others?
Be intentional about your job search–identify your passions and find a job that utilizes your passions. Don’t apply for a job because of the salary, if it isn’t what you are passionate about you most likely won’t be happy. Do yourself a favor and apply for the jobs that excite you–they’ll be worth getting up every day for.
Did you utilize career services? If so, what was your experience like?
A week before my interview with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I met with Angie. She was incredibly helpful setting me up with various resources to prep for my interview. What amazed me the most about my experience at Career Services was that I felt like an individual and that someone cared about me on a one-on-one level. It is difficult to find at the U, but at Career Services it’s possible.
Morgan’s internship with Make A Wish will be finishing soon and so if you would like to connect with her, she has provided her information.
“I would love to connect with you! Follow my blog contributions throughout the summer at genyjourney.com. Or connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/morganelizabethkoth or Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/4goodmn