Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 15th 2015 Contents B6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, December 15, 2015
The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) is a dynamic student-oriented institution
providing a broad spectrum of high-quality, career-oriented programmes that span the
diploma-doctoral spectrum of Higher Education (H.E.) quali cations.
Applications are now open to join UTT in any one of the following positions:
Interested persons should visit www.u.tt
quali cations, duties and responsibiliti
UTT Accredited by ACTT in December 2010.
Deadline for applications: Wednesday January 13, 2016.
Project Management & Civil Infrastructure Systems Programmes
Assistant Professor, Geotechnical Engineering
Assistant Professor, Transportation Engineering
Assistant Professor, Construction Engineering
Energy Systems & Petroleum Engineering
Several years ago, I had a tricky hir-
ing decision to make as a manager. I
was filling a position on my team that
required specialized skills.
Hired: Less than Perfect Match
My best candidate was a woman who
had some similar work experience, but her
skill set was not a perfect match. We dis-
cussed this in the interview, and she was
able to convince me to hire her.
She shared examples about how she
learned certain unique skills very quickly.
She also talked about her work ethic and
team-attitude (which was confirmed with
Upon joining the team, she immediately
became a valuable asset on our team. The
Even if you re not "fully qualified," you
can still get the job if you have work expe-
rience you can leverage in the interview.
Overcoming Lack of Experience
For new college graduates, this is a little
tougher as they are new to the workforce.
The advantage of hiring them is low
impact to the corporate budget. The dis-
advantage can be lack of experience.
Internships and Co-ops
First choice is an internship or co-op
that gives you experience related to what
you want to do after you graduate. This
is why internships during the summers or
co-ops during the school year can be essen-
tial in a budding career.
Obviously, you re not going to get the
same "education" being a lifeguard at the
beach or working at a clothing store,
although if you can expand your role by
asking to assist in other areas of the oper-
ation, you may find yourself being pro-
moted to roles that look more impressive
on your resume.
The value of having good jobs during
college is so important, I d suggest you
consider volunteering if you can. It s often
hard for an organisation or a company to
pass up an offer of free help. They do have
to invest time in training and managing
you, so there is a "cost." Therefore, you
still have to make a strong argument as to
why they should hire you and what value
you can bring to their organisation.
Landing an Internship
Two of the keys I have found to getting
good internships are to start the process
early during your college years and leverage
During college, I was able to land an
internship at a large truck engine manu-
facturer because I had a resume that includ-
ed being a draftsman at a smaller consulting
firm the previous summer (and manage-
ment positions at a restaurant chain I start-
ed working at in high school).
I landed the draftsman job by leveraging
my network. Although a year out of high
school, my high school drafting teacher
helped me find that opportunity. You just
never know who might be able to help you
get a "good" job.
Benefits of Internships and Co-Ops:
Experience in the workplace
Not only are you getting experience
(hopefully in your field), but you are learn-
ing how companies operate. Knowing what
it takes to get a project completed,
approved, or even off-the-ground allows
you to talk knowledgeably in future inter-
Audition for a permanent job
You might be asked to join full-time
when you graduate. For companies, these
internships are the best way to screen
potential employees of the future. They
invest three to six months in you and can
determine the likelihood of you being a
good fit long term. And vice versa. It s a
winning situation for both sides.
In college, I had many buddies co-op
at major companies. When they graduated,
most of them where asked back. Several
even were asked to co-op more than one
semester. That s a strong endorsement on
Nothing beats experience. College edu-
cation and knowledge of the latest tech-
nologies or marketing strategies is certainly
nice. But applying those skills in a real
work environment is better. When it comes
time for you to interview, what experiences
will you leverage to convey that you can
meet the requirements of the job, even if
you re not perfectly qualified?
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