RECORDING OF: YouTube Video Career Spotlight: Using LinkedIn and Marketing Strategies to Land a Practicum
TRANSCRIBED: March 28, 2017
FOR: Walden University
REPORTED/TRANSCRIBED BY: Dina Bergren
Dina: Hi, I am Dina Bergren, Associate Director of Career Services at Walden University. I worked with Jennifer through a series of advising appointments as she applied innovative networking strategies using LinkedIn and enhanced her marketing materials to land her field experience site. She shares her story with us.
Jennifer: Hi, my name is Jennifer Wisneski and I'm in a PhD psychology program with a specialization in clinical psychology.
Dina: How did your prior experience as a social welfare examiner prompt you to pursue your degree at Walden?
Jennifer: As a social welfare examiner, I was around many people in the community and some different populations such as the disabled population and I really connected with them and I wanted to learn more about how I could help them and give back to them in a more advanced way. So I really got interested in psychology and pursuing my degree .
Dina: A large component of your PhD in clinical psychology program has been your field experience. What challenges did you want encounter as you started looking for psychology field experience sites in your area?
Jennifer: My area is kind of rural and it's hard to find a lot of big institutions with a lot of psychologists. I found a lot of small private practices and licensed social workers, but finding something that would meet licensure requirements for the state and Walden's requirements was very difficult…and few and far between.
Dina: How did you initially decide to reach out to career services for help with your field experience search?
Jennifer: I had been talking to field experience and watching some videos on their site and was referred to a site that helps you to apply for internships all over the country and i realized at that point that my resume was kind of outdated. I hadn't had a new one in nine years in my other position so i decided to get on the Career Services website and realized they have a lot of resources on there so I started out by requesting a conference and doing a phone call.
Dina: What new field experience search strategies did you gain during your career advising appointment that helped you land your practicum site?
Jennifer: The most important one I learned was about using LinkedIn. I hadn't had too much experience with that prior to talking to career services and I learned how I can search for other professionals in my area and even connect with other Walden students, and really just build a network of people that I normally wouldn't have a way to communicate with.
Dina: Wonderful. I know that you connected with a chief psychologist through LinkedIn. Can you tell us a little bit how that worked out for you?
Jennifer: Using LinkedIn was very beneficial. I had tried for about a year prior to using LinkedIn to connect with this particular facility, and they didn't have any openings for an intern. So I had tried to pursue other options. And then, after LinkedIn I found a couple of professionals and I connected with them. To my surprise, I had connected with the new chief psychologist at the psychiatric center. She had just taken over the week before, and she was very interested in having some help at the facility. So she actually called me the next day and we connected and scheduled an interview.
Dina: Excellent. So LinkedIn really helped you make that connection; she reached out to you and you were able to land an interview. So that is a great example of the power of LinkedIn to make networking Connections. And you also created a career portfolio. Tell me a little bit more about how you went about creating your portfolio and about some of the artifacts that you included.
Jennifer: Yes, I had never thought of making a portfolio. I figured having a resume would be sufficient and going through the normal interview questions I'd be all set. I realized having a portfolio made me stand out among the crowd. In there, I started with the resume and added a section where I gave a little of my history and my interests, and what I'd like to do in the future. I also had some articles and some discussion posts that I had written in the classroom and some of my responses. And pictures of projects I've done. So there were some writing samples and things like that, and it really helps to kind of sculpt the interview and to show all of the things you want to share with the person interviewing you, that you might otherwise forget if you don't have that guide in front of you.
Dina: Excellent. Portfolios are great for showing your potential employer or internship site what it is that you have accomplished, and providing examples of your work. You did a wonderful job with that. What improvements did you make to your CV and how did your enhanced document help you stand out over other applicants?
Jennifer: The biggest thing was sculpting my CV to have a lot of keywords and to be specific. I was very vague and didn't give a lot of specifics so it was hard for anyone who didn't really know me or know my job history to understand what I have accomplished. So really making things stand out, highlighting those achievements, and organizing it in a way that's pleasing to the eye for people to read through. And being more specific on exactly what testing I did and how many people I worked with on my caseload. And just getting a better view of my accomplishments and what I did helps people to really understand my qualities. So a CV and also the portfolio in Combination, really helps you stand out during that interview.
Dina: What were the next steps after the interview?
Jennifer: During the interview, we spoke about a variety of topics of things I could do at the psychiatric hospital. I was able to show my interest, and I was actually offered the practicum spot before I even left the interview for the day. So I already knew I hand landed my practicum site. Between my updated CV and my portfolio, they really sparked the conversation. I was able to express how well we would work together between myself and the agency.
Dina: You really showcased your skills and showed how you could add value to that site, and made a wonderful first impression. What new knowledge and skills are you gaining at your current site to help you prepare for a career in clinical psychology?
Jennifer: I'm learning a variety of Skills. I've be able to shadow several Psychologists. I've been able to do assessments, and do group therapy and individual therapy, and really build my style. As far as how I work with the clients, I am developing my theoretical orientation working with the patients and getting to experience different populations such as children and adults in the geriatric units. So it's been a great experience.
Dina: What are your next steps, Jennifer?
Jennifer: Actually, for my next steps, I have been working on interviewing for an internship position. I've had a couple interviews over the past couple weeks and I'm proud to say I just landed an internship position at another site. They line right up with my mission of what I'd like to do in the future. I'm pretty happy to say that come the summer, I'm going to be able to continue my field experience, finish up my degree, and focus on what I'm going to do after I graduate from Walden.
Dina: It sounds like you're living your mission and gaining the skills that you need to be successful. What advice would you give other Walden students who are also seeking field sites to complete their program requirements and move forward in their careers?
Jennifer: I would suggest to Walden students to reach out to career services. Look through the website, schedule an appointment, and really look for their help. This is a service that's there for us as part of our experience as Walden student. So take full advantage because it's really going to help you pursue your goals and move forward with your career.
Dina: Thank You Jennifer, and thank you for joining us here today and sharing your success story about landing a field experience site.
Jennifer: Thank you for having me.
[This text is being provided in a rough-draft format to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings]