CICS graduate students attending a networking event. Photo: Sudha Pothuraju

What do students graduating this year should know about the job search? What is it, that can make your job search easy? What are the strategies that one can adopt to sustain their career during unforeseen crisis?

I am an international graduate student in the Center for Information and Communication Sciences, graduating this summer ’2020. I had the opportunity to participate and ask questions to people who had considerable years of professional experience in the technology industry at one of CICS’ recent “coffee call” sessions — i.e. weekly networking and career guidance calls that our program director, Dr. Dennis Trinkle, launched after the stay-at-home orders started. So here, I bring to you some of the “pearls of wisdom” from successful tech professionals and our recruiting business partners to be considered while building a sustainable career during challenging situations and for being successful in landing into your first job in current job market.

Define your Personal Values

Having personal values and associating them with your work will raise you to achieve higher possibilities in your career. It is one of most important criteria that organizations and recruiters investigate during the hiring process. There are five definitive core values – integrity, accountability, diligence, perseverance, and discipline. If you inculcate these core principles into your life, all other attributes like positive attitude, responsibility, dependability, self-confidence, loyalty associated with them will come along and you will eventually be able to solve complex problems of your career and life.

Adopt a Networking Routine and Earn a Right to Ask in Networking Conversations

Our professors insists all the time, that “it’s not always about the technology, it’s about the people and networking plays a vital role in your success”, you should invest your time and energy in a meaningful way to achieve your career goals, interacting with people provides you an opportunity to observe, listen, learn and grow. Building your network diligently and earning a right to ask for something from people before you jump in on them for referrals, will take you a long way and help you to build sustainable, long-lasting relationships.

Try to be Authentic

Do not be afraid to show your true self. Though you may not see the instant positive response from people, over time they will have the opportunity to understand you better and tend to respect your opinions. Overcoming the inhibitions in your mind may take some time but if you perceive it and try to be authentic, you can get comfortable under your skin which in turn will also increases your productivity. It is also important to emphasize on adoption different effective ways of communication and exercising due diligence while trying to be authentic.

Set up a Search Criterion

Jot down your top 10 list, your list may include the qualities that you look in your boss or job or people that you want to work with and make these as your search criteria. Investigate and leverage the resources that are available at your disposal. Emphasis on making meaningful connections in the field that you are interested in. Reach out to the people who are currently in your desired future role and ready to help you, ask questions to learn their story and take suggestions on what you can do better to achieve your career objectives.

Invest a Little Every Day to Build Physical and Mental Stamina

Lastly, but more importantly you require physical and mental stamina which is a foundation that anchors everything in your life and these things does not come overnight or through one motivational speech. You need to invest a little of your time, energy, and efforts on yourself every day to build them eventually which will make you stronger enough to face the challenges that may rise along your way.

They finally added, “Let us say that you made every effort to apply these strategies and landed in your first job, never stop growing your skillset”. You could achieve this by “taking a self-evaluation every 5 years and choose to utilize your time to develop skills that are relevant and that can add up to your career story”. I feel grateful for the opportunity to have been introduced to such incredible people who are ready to share their experiences and valuable suggestions to help students shape their careers better.



CICS international students at Dr. Steele’s Welcome Party. Photo: Sudha Pothuraju

I am an International Student from India who has joined Ball State in Fall 2019 to pursue master’s degree program offered by CICS with concentration in cloud and data analytics technologies. I have a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology and a PG-Dip in Healthcare Informatics with three years of experience in clinical research industry. I am a passionate learner and interested in IT technologies that can be integrated with Healthcare & Clinical research. Initially, I was skeptical about moving to different country to chase my dreams but now I can confidently say that, joining CICS family and BSU was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had the opportunity to participate, learn and explore the advanced technologies in the Communications & IT industry and closely work with the professors on real-time technology projects, which has potentially given me a great exposure to study, understand real world problems and ability to build better product solutions.

CICS Coffee Call — 5/14 Panelists

Facilitator: Dennis A Trinkle (Director, Centre for Information and Communication Sciences at Ball State University)

Business Partners: Jeff Ton (Indy CIO Group) and Jennifer Merrell (TechPoint).

Alumni: Katie Meloche (Solution Consultant, Adobe), Emma Green (Green-Security Deployment Team Lead, Accenture), and Jared Jacob (Cloud Advisory Consultant Analyst, Accenture).


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