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If you’re planning to pursue employment after graduation from UD, you’re not just a student. “Finding a career is a full-time job,” said Larry Connor to a room dominated by entrepreneurship students Jan. 25. “Act like it.”
Connor is a longtime entrepreneur who currently runs the Dayton-based Connor Group. He started it 20 years ago and the business owns large, upscale, optimally-located apartment communities in eight cities. Connor is a supporter of UD’s entrepreneurship program. He came to campus last week to speak briefly about his entrepreneurship experience, but mostly about how to be successful at interviewing for a career.
“It really takes work to find the right career for yourself,” Connor said. To help prepare students for the process, he gave advice on how to make your first impression a lasting one, on making your resume concise and on general do’s and don’ts for a formal interview. With Connor’s extensive experience as an interviewer, students got an inside look at what will be expected of them when they meet their potential boss for the first time; if a candidate is more than five minutes late to an interview, “they’re out,” said Connor.
Connor emphasized the importance of fit with the company and its culture; employees are at work, with their coworkers, for more time than they are anywhere else with anyone else. It’s important to be an active participant in the interview, asking your own questions after answering the company’s.
A final phrase to inspire students to have a successful interview: “If you want to be exceptional you can’t do what everybody else is doing.”