Success Story | Ilan Sinelnikov, Pre-Kinesiology

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Ilan Sinelnikov
First-Year Student | Pre-Kinesiology
Soccer Coach | Seward Middle School

How did you learn about your current position?
As a freshman, during the year I became more aware of the different services that the university offers. In addition to academic resources, I heard from my advisers that the U of M has offices that can help students with finding employment. I learned about the career services in STSS building, and about the websites “” and “GoldPASS“. At the beginning of the spring semester, when there still wasn’t a lot of school work assigned, I took the time to search GoldPASS and I found a position that fits my interest and my schedule.
Describe your position.
I am a soccer coach at Seward Middle School in Minneapolis. I coach fifth to eight grade boys and girls for three hours at the end of the school day. During practice I work with the children on the principles of the game, as well as on leadership, responsibility, and morality.
What do you most enjoy about your position? What are some of the challenges?
The part that I enjoy the most about my position is that I do something that I love. I’ve been playing soccer since I can remember myself, and two years ago I got my coaching certificate. I love to coach kids because I teach a new generation of athletes, and to be a soccer player is first of all to be a good person. I haven’t had any challenges so far in this job and I hope it will stay like that.
How does your position fit with your long term career goals?
This position fits my long term career goals because I plan on coaching soccer in the future. I currently have my Minnesota Youth Soccer Association “E” and “D” licenses, and I also recently found our that the university offers a minor in coaching, which I want to apply for. This position provides me with more coaching experience, and it also provides me with the opportunity to work with kids from very different backgrounds, which will help me work with diverse communities in the future.
During your job search, how did you make yourself stand out?
I made myself stand out to employers by providing them a good resume that I created in the CEHD career center with the help of career service staff. Then, if there was an email account listed under the employer’s contact information I emailed them a few words saying why I am the right person to work for them, and letting them know that I just applied to the job which they posted. I think that it helped because my current employer responded to my email and asked to contact me for an interview.
What did you find to be the most helpful during your search process?
The most helpful thing during my job search process was to receive help while writing my resume and cover letter. It is not always clear what you are expected to include in those documents, and I received a lot of positive (and well, some negative) feedback that I used later on.
Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
My experience of finding a job through GoldPASS was great, and it was probably even easier than applying to many places through separate websites. My tip to students is to use the services that the school provides, because it is nice to know that you have the support of your college and you have someone to answer your questions and guide you through the job searching process. Also, start early! It takes some time to find a job, and the earlier you begin your search the higher your chances are to get a job by the time that you planned on starting it.
Anything else you woud like to share?
The U of M has many services that can help you with finding a job. There is also a great chance that you can find something that fits your major or interest, because the employers who post the jobs are interested in college students and specify the majors that they need. Just take a look at GoldPASS, and check it every week or two because there are always new postings about positions. Also, go to the career center, they have helpful materials to use. If you do all that- you got a good chance to get a job!