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Liberty News

Career Week Convocation offers students professional insight

October 22, 2018 : Liberty University News Service

Liberty University's first Career Week kicked off in the Center for Music and the Worship Arts, Concert Hall with a special Convocation where a group featuring a hiring specialist and some successful alumni encouraged students in their career paths.

The panel, hosted by the Career Center, was moderated by Vice President of Outreach & Business Engagement Jonathan Whitt and included CSPAN recruiter Angie Selden, Career Center Executive Director and LU alumna Sarah Falwell ('15), Assistant Principal of Altavista Combined School and alumna Kristin John ('08), LU senior business student Cortland Brigham, and alumnus Conner Carew ('18), who landed a job at a New York City investment firm as a junior at Liberty.

The discussion centered on how work can become worship — with each panelist weighing in.

Brigham, who is studying accounting and finance, shared how he learned to overcome the pressure while searching for a job.

"I realized maybe a little later than I should have that the Lord has so much peace for us," he said. "If we continue to pursue that, He'll provide."

He recently accepted a job starting next September at Ernst & Young, one of the world's four largest accounting firms, in Richmond, Va.

Carew started working full time with Permanens Capital in New York City in 2016. He challenged students to seek after God's direction and purpose more than success in their vocation.

"We think that we need to get to a point of success or power or have money or possessions to be fulfilled and then go out to fulfill the Great Commission," Carew said. "But it's in reverse. What you want to do should be driven by your understanding of the Gospel."

John told the students that finding their purpose in life is already underway; they don't need to give in to the pressure of achieving success right away. She encouraged them to follow God one step at a time.

"As the Lord moves in your life, the Holy Spirit shows you what's next," John said. "As long as you are remaining faithful and plugged into Him, the next steps will come."

Offering advice as a recruiter, Selden said that even if students don't get their dream job right out of college, they should treat any position as a potential job interview.

"Be open to new possibilities because people still see you and observe you," Selden said. "Just know that you're always interviewing. It may not be the job you're coming in for today, but people are still looking at you for growth and future positions."

Falwell recommended that students take opportunities now to gain job experience and use their time wisely while at Liberty so they're prepared for the future.

"It's never too late to come to the Career Center," Falwell said. "Whether you don't know what to do with your major or you know exactly what to do, we can help you at any point in between."

She told them that Liberty is working for them.

"Be confident when you leave here as a graduate," she said. "Be encouraged that your degree is competitive."

Career Week runs through Wednesday, Oct. 24, with special events for students to expand on their skill sets. Panels include sessions on professional dress, how to effectively use social media, and tips on good interview skills. A bowling networking event will be held Monday night at the Montview Bowling Alley. A Business and Communications Career Fair will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the Montview Student Union, Alumni Ballroom. Visit the Career Center events page for the full schedule.

The Career Center offers several resources to prepare students for success before and after graduation, including résumé, portfolio, and cover letter critiques; interview practice with career coaches; career fairs; professional workshops; internship search resources; and fellowship programs in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Visit Liberty.edu/Career for more information.

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