My first job! Working at FIU OneStop

In this series, recent grads share their journey to landing that first job out of college. After years of studying and working toward a degree, these Panthers’ hard work paid off. Now they’re paying it forward by letting you know how they did it.

Name: Fredericka Jourdain
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
Degree/major: Communication Arts
Where are you working? FIU OneStop
Title: Enrollment Officer

How did you get your job? Before I graduated with my bachelor’s in December of 2017, I began applying to jobs because I wanted to be employed by the time I graduated. My goal is to get a master’s in higher education, so I wanted to work at FIU. In October, I saw the Enrollment Officer position was open, so I decided to apply. I was excited when I got a call to interview and grateful that I was given the opportunity to work at the university from which I graduated.

What was your greatest fear going into your first job, and how did you face it or overcome it? My greatest fear was not knowing how to apply my strengths in the workplace. However, after training, workshops and feedback from my peers and trainer, I became more confident in my strengths and how to apply it to my daily responsibilities.

What surprised you the most about your first job? What surprised me the most was how much I learned about enrollment services! I literally surprised myself! I had to learn about four different departments and their functions, and I was pleasantly surprised at my ability to not only learn, but maintain that knowledge. If you were to ask me a few months ago questions about enrollment services, I’d give you a blank stare, but now, my knowledge is well-advanced. You can ask me anything!

What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? It’s so simple: never give up! I learned a lot of patience in the job search and heard a lot of “no’s.” During my job hunt, I learned that sometimes the job that you least expect to get may be the job for you. Sometimes the job that you really want, is not the job meant for you.

What does a day on the job look like? It’s fast paced, especially in the beginning of each semester. To help streamline this, we have a schedule that tells us what we will be working on that day, whether it be taking phone calls, working the front counter, or checking and answering emails. I think one of the misconceptions about OneStop is that there may be some downtime when the start of the semester is over. In fact, it is the total opposite! There is always someone to help, regardless if they are a current student, or future Panther. Although there are a lot of roles and aspects to working in OneStop, my main role is providing service to students regarding admissions, registrar and financial aid. It can get a little busy, but the people I work with are friendly, supportive and open to help.

How does your job connect back to your coursework? I plan to do my master’s in higher education, so working at FIU gave me a different perspective on what I’d like to do in my career. At first, I wanted to be an academic advisor, but working at OneStop has opened my eyes and allowed me to be open-minded on the different departments at a university. As a student, I didn’t realize all the different departments and roles that go into making a university run. We always hear about financial aid and advising, but there’s so many other departments that work to help students succeed. My end goal is to help students, and working at OneStop showed me that there are other ways to assist students during their time in college.

How has your transition from school to work? How do you balance your time? I had to get used to working 9 – 5 and working Monday through Friday. It was a huge transition coming from going to school for a few hours a day, finding time to study, and working part-time as a student employee. Having the opportunity to work at FIU has also helped with my professional development. I can honestly say that I have seen my growth from transitioning to a student employee to a full-time employee. During this transition, I’ve learned to try and set aside some time for me to focus on my future when I’m not working. Now that I am transitioning to graduate school and working full-time, I’ve had to learn to work around my work schedule and time for class. Working at FIU has helped with the process and my colleagues are supportive of my future endeavors. One of the plus side to the transition from school to work is having my weekends to myself to rejuvenate from the work week. It’s always something to look forward to each week!

What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? One of the coolest things about my job are my coworkers. They are so helpful and encouraging. I consider them my extended family! The other cool thing about my job so far is just learning about all the things that enrollment services entails. I’ve had the opportunity to learn the backend and the process of enrollment that I didn’t know when I was a student. It’s also pretty cool and gratifying to help out students. I was in their position a couple of years ago, so being able to now give back and help others is a great feeling.