By Johanna Smith – Assistant Director – Career Services – Virginia Tech
If you were to review Magnus Wilson’s Virginia Tech Career Services contact record, you would think that he would have absolutely no difficulty in landing job.
He came in to see us, as we advise, “early and often.” He took advantage of our vast resources and services. He is a delightful, charismatic young man. He is upbeat and happy. He smiles every time he speaks. Because of the way he carries himself, it would be hard to tell if he was having a bad day or facing a challenge. In fact, his job search was not easy. He seemed to be doing all of the right things but not landing interviews. Magnus had a lower GPA. He initially struggled academically. His academic trajectory shifted for the better after being diagnosed with a learning disability and receiving the assistance he needed to excel. Magnus continued to visit us in Career Services and his case admittedly provided me, as an advisor, with a challenge because he was doing all of the right things but not getting the desired result of interviews and job offers. During a December, 2012 walk-in advising appointment with me, we basically did a role play where we went through exactly what he said to employers. From there, we went over how to best tell the story of his academic challenges and subsequent academic success. After that December afternoon, I would not hear from him for months. He finally emailed me saying that he wanted to set up an appointment to talk with me. My first thought was “if he had good news to share, he would have told me that in his email.” I began to worry and started to think of other ways to assist him. He came in to see me with that usual smile on his face and told me that he got a job. That day turned out to be one of my best days as a career services professional. It was an example of perseverance. He did all of the right things and it paid off. Over the course of his college career, Magnus met with several advisors in our office. He went around to each of them to share his good news and thanked them for assisting him with his career development. I am very proud of Magnus. He is indeed one of our most memorable student success stories.