3.5 Perform competently in a professional setting

Students will be able to perform competently in a professional setting.

When I first came to Longwood four years ago, I had little to no understanding of what it meant to perform competently in a professional setting. All I knew was how to dress professionally for an interview or important event. My sophomore year, I had an interview with Walmart Pharmacy for my first job and I remember feeling incredibly nervous at my first mock interview with the career center. Thankfully, my boss gave me a chance and I am so very glad she was able to overlook my initial nervousness and insecurity that I felt during my first interview.

This past semester, I had the privilege of presenting to Longwood faculty, staff, and students last semester at the Symposium on the Common Good. For this presentation, I collaborated with other students that were not in my field of study on a project related to how social media affects society. I dressed professionally and answered questions that my audience had related to how our views are affected by social media.

I have also presented in countless Research day presentations. Most notably, I presented with three other students on the topic of how water quality can affect Daphnia for my Biology 360: Developmental Biology course. For this presentation I dressed professionally and presented my very first poster presentation to a live audience. Afterwards, individuals had an opportunity to ask us questions about our research and I was able to respond thoroughly and well.

The internship that I completed at Walmart Pharmacy was a valuable experience for me to practice this skill. I was held to high expectations despite being an intern as I was in charge of distributing medications in a professional healthcare setting. This experience taught me the importance of being on time, listening intently, and teamwork. I feel that Longwood has prepared me for presenting myself in a professional way and because of their efforts, I will be able to use the skills I have learned here in my future career. Now, I feel confident in myself, what I am capable of, and my responses to questions and talking with professionals in my field of interest. I have learned that humility is always a good trait to have when responding to questions and confidence is not equated with cockiness. I have become increasingly confident in speaking with older professionals and seeking advice and help from those that know more than me.