Welcome to the first Graduate Spotlight! The Graduate Spotlight will be another ongoing feature at The Admin Professional, similar to Admin Jobs Today. I'm very excited to bring you this first interview with Ashleigh Logan, who graduated from the Administrative Professional and Bookkeeper course, because she impressed me so much in the time that I had to get to know her. She took her work seriously but wasn't afraid to have fun. She worked hard and she was eager to start on her job search!
AP: First, there are many business colleges to choose from so why did you choose Robertson College?
AL: A close friend of mine had done the same program about a year earlier, and had been successful in finding a really good job. Her recommendation and first hand information of the class really helped me make a decision.
AP: What course did you take?
AL: Administrative professional/bookkeeping.
AP: How long did it take for you to graduate?
AL: I believe it was 4 months. [note: this was not including the 2 week practicum]
AP: What did you like most about the course?
AL: I liked that it was short and I could get back to working very quickly. I also liked how small the class was. If you needed help, or had a question, the teacher was right there.
AP: Tell me about your instructor. What did you like about how she/he taught?
AL: I liked that you kind of felt like your friend was teaching you. It was a very laidback environment. I also liked how thorough she was in covering all the material and she made sure we had all the tools to be extremely prepared for tests.
AP: There is more staff at business colleges that keep things running and have frequent interactions with students. What did you think about the support staff such as student advisors, receptionists, and so on?
AL: I did not have a lot of interaction with other staff at the college, but everyone seemed very friendly. Debra Stockwell [vice-principal] especially, she always wanted people to be having fun while they were there.
AP: Part of the business courses at Robertson College includes doing a two week practicum [it is currently 4 weeks now] where you gain experience in your field. Can you tell me what that was like?
AL: That gave me time to get to know the job before had to make a decision about working there. For both the student and the employer it is a test period to make sure it's a good fit. It was nice to gain the experience.
AP: When you finished your practicum you received a job offer. Was that from your practicum? Why do you think you received a job offer so quickly?
AL: Actually, in the offer I accepted, I was given the job based on my resume and interview. I did do my practicum with this company, but at the end of the 2 weeks, I knew that I already had the job. I think that I was offered the job prior to completing my practicum because my resume showed that I had all the skills they were looking for, and I was prepared for my interview. I presented myself in a way that worked for their company.
AP: What skill that you learned at Robertson College contributed most to your quick employment?
AL: I would say all the computer skills, specifically Microsoft Word and Excel.
AP: Now that you are employed can you tell me what skills you use the most?
AL: I use Excel and Word often at work, and people look to me for help with things they're not sure how to do.
AP: What advice would you give people that are interested in becoming an administrative assistant?
AL: I would tell them that computer skills and people skills are the 2 most important things. You will be sitting in front of a computer every day, so know how it works! And if you can master how to talk to people, you will get hired. Once you have the job, you can prove how valuable you really are.
AP: What advice would you give to graduates that are now looking for a job?
AL: Make sure your resume is flawless. Spelling and grammar mistakes can have a bigger impact then you think. Also, be prepared for the interview. Practice the night before, and know your answers to their questions before you get there.
AP: Is there anything else you'd like to share?
AL: After Robertson College, I had 3 interviews. I received an offer from all 3 employers. I know it was because of my cover letter, resume, and interview. I can't stress enough how important a good cover letter, and resume are. You need to make a good impression. It doesn't matter how good your skills are. If you can't make it past the interview, you won’t get a job.