Three Things to Bring to Your Next Job Interview

Guest post by Alexandra Bessette. 

Okay, you’ve made it. You landed an interview for that job you want so much! But feeling prepared to put your best foot forward in front of your potential new employer can be one of the hardest parts of the job search process. Keep the 3 things ready in your tool belt, and making a great first impression will feel that much easier!

  1. Your resume. Sure, this one can feel obvious, but it’s easy to overlook the details when you’re wrapped up in nerves and excitement. Double-check the spelling of your name and your contact information. Summarizing all of your applicable past experience makes this the most important thing you can bring because it gives your potential employer a holistic look at you as the great employee that you are!
  2. Examples of your past work. Were the findings of a research project you contributed to published? Congratulations! Print a copy of that paper out to give to your interviewer. Did you write for a school newspaper, magazine, or blog? That’s awesome. Bring a copy of the piece you’re most proud of to your interview. Having a first-hand look at your impressive work will make you stand out to a potential employer.
  3. A letter of recommendation. While not all employers require this, it’s great to back up your experience, work ethic, and expertise with the testimony of someone who has worked with you and can attest to your great qualities. It’s important to demonstrate how great you are to work with, too!

If you have any questions about what to bring to a job interview, don’t hesitate to reach out to your College on the Clock bloggers or contact the Office of Student Employment Services.

Why the SES Job Search Portal is the Best Way to Find a Job at JHU

Student Employment Services uses an online Job Search portal to help students find jobs both on and off campus. The portal includes jobs across all campuses making it an ideal resource for all Hopkins students. Here are the main reasons why you should use the portal to find your next job:

  1. It’s organized. You can find a job based on start date, location, category, and keywords. The job search portal also provides information on citizenship requirements, which makes it easier to hone in on jobs that do cater to international students.
  2. It’s trustworthy. With Student Employment Services, you know you’re finding a job that has been vetted. You won’t find a job that puts you in a harmful situation, such as having to walk to/from work at unreasonable hours. If you’re applying to an off-campus job, the portal will let you know.
  3. It’s allinclusive. Software engineer? Bio major? DJ? Everyone can find a job that caters to their hobbies and interests through the student employment portal.

If you have any questions about using the Job Search database, reach out to your College on the Clock bloggers or contact Student Employment Services at

Meet Kela M. From the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering!

Guest post by Alexandra Bessette. 


This week I chatted with Kela M, the office assistant for the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering! This pioneering research facility incorporates diverse disciplines to “discover, disseminate and apply new knowledge critical to understanding and mitigating the impact of the natural, built and social environments on human health.”

Johns Hopkins Environmental Health and Engineering,



Alex B.: How did you get started working in the office of Environmental Health and Engineering?

Kela M.: I applied for the position through the Job Search portal on the JHU Student Employment Services website. I was then asked to interview and got an email an hour after the initial interview offering me the position!


AB: What are your job responsibilities?

KM: I assist in the daily organization and filing of all projects and department data to ensure that the Senior Academic Coordinator (aka: my boss) has accurate records. I also perform administrative duties, such as communicating with the public telephonically, sending informative emails to the student body, and helping plan and facilitate department wide social events.


AB: What skills have you gained from this position?

KM: I’ve gained some obvious skills, like learning how to e-file, becoming comfortable with spreadsheets and spreadsheet data, and communicating with people both on the phone and in person, as well as some unexpected skills, like the best way to put tablecloths on a table so they look fancier, how to create 300 nametags in under an hour, and how to make copies in the most efficient way, including stapling and loading fancy paper.


AB: How does your experience in this position relate back to your academic interests and future goals?

KM: My experiences in this position have actually been great because when I first got the job, I had no idea what I wanted to do post-graduation, but I also was not giving it a lot of thought. Now, since I am immersed in a very motivated atmosphere every time I walk into the department, I have started thinking more seriously about my plans for graduate school, and even realize how much I enjoy working on a college campus around students. I’m not sure where this is going to take me yet, but at least I’m thinking more seriously than I was before!


AB: How has working shaped your Hopkins experience?

KM: Working has benefitted me so much since I have been at Hopkins, because not only have my hours given me a structure for doing homework, both when I have time at work, and before and after my shift, but I have also been able to afford most of my own expenses since I have been at school, such as textbooks, groceries, dinners with my friends, and just the general cost of living.


AB: How do you think your experience in this position will help you after you leave Hopkins?

KM: After I leave Hopkins, I am happy that I will be able to say that I have experience doing clerical and office work, and will have multiple points of contact, both from faculty and staff, for professional and personal references in the future.


AB: Do you have any advice for job-seeking students or younger student employees?

KM: My best advice would probably be to take advantage of any opportunity that your student employment offers you, such as networking with faculty, staff, and students, working extra summer or winter hours, or having opportunities to study and do homework, because the more you make yourself comfortable in your position, the happier you will be about having that position, and the better your experience will be!

Meet Dana S. from Campus Safety and Security

Dana, center, with the Campus Safety and Security team.

Dana is a senior majoring in Sociology with a minor in Marketing and Communications. She currently works at the Lost and Found Office within Campus Safety and Security. We chatted about balancing work and school and how she feels about her job on campus.

Claudia G.: How long have you been in this position? 

Dana S.: I started my position in the summer after my freshman year so I have been working with Campus Safety and Security for about two and a half years now. I was looking for a summer job on campus and I came across the position on Hopkins Student Employment Services online job search database.

CG: What does a normal day look like for you?

Dana S.: Most days I help manage the lost and found system by logging in recovered items into our database, contacting their owners if possible, recording returned items, and generally organizing our collection. I also answer calls from students and employees of Hopkins inquiring about lost items.

(Side note: It’s true! I’ve called about a lost sweater and she answered!)

CG: How do you balance work and school? 

Dana S.: I am lucky enough to have a position that allows me time to do schoolwork. However, when the office is busy I have to make sure that I allot time outside the office where I will concentrate completely on schoolwork.

CG: What’s your favorite part about working on campus?  

Dana S.: I have really enjoyed the people I work with in my office. Everyone is so friendly and they genuinely want to hear about my life. I have made both friends and mentors in my time at the Campus Safety and Security. Everyone in the office has a great sense of humor and they always know how to brighten my day. It has been a great way to make money, develop skills, form relationships, and be a part of something on campus. Taking on this job has been one of the best decisions I made in my time at Hopkins.

CG: What advice do you have for new student employees?

Dana S.: I would tell new student employees to make sure that they do not try to take as many hours as they can to make as much money as possible without considering the time they need for schoolwork. Sometimes I have taken on too much and needed to scale back my hours and there is nothing wrong with that. JHU student employers are extremely understanding and you should not be afraid to approach them with concerns.

Meet Karl J. from the Retrovirus Lab at JHMI

Hopkins students have the opportunity to help out with all kinds of groundbreaking research! I chatted with Karl J., a research assistant in the Retrovirus Lab, a research group that works out of the department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Emily H.: How did you get started working on this research?

Karl J.: During the fall of my sophomore year, I simply sent out a number of emails to different faculty at Hopkins doing research in immunology asking if they had room for an undergraduate research assistant, most of whom were at the medical campus. Fortunately I was referred to Dr. Pate, my current PI (principal investigator, aka the person leading the research), by one of the individuals I emailed. We quickly set up a meeting to talk about my interests and background after which she agreed to take me on!

Continue reading → Meet Karl J. from the Retrovirus Lab at JHMI

Campus Job Advice for Pre-Law Students

Thinking about going to law school in the future? You have many paths to get there, but by the end of your undergraduate career, there are certain skills you need to develop to be prepared for law coursework. Fortunately, campus jobs can help you develop those skills to supplement your coursework.

Ana Droscoski, Esq., the associate director of the Office of Pre-Professional Programs and Advising, gave me some pointers on how pre-law students might want to approach their job search.

Unlike medical school applicants, who are advised to use their student job to help them achieve the standard Core Competencies for medical school admissions, law school applicants have less rigid criteria to meet beyond their GPA and LSAT score.

“While some applied experiences may be more on-point than others, any experience is relevant to and should be included on a resume for law school applicants,” Droscoski said, also noting that jobs that require a lot of reading and writing may be more useful in preparing for law school coursework.

According to Droscoski, pre-law students could also benefit from a job that requires them to communicate on a professional level with clients or customers, such as working the front desk of an office or serving food and drinks at a cafe.

“The ability to communicate in person and writing in a professional manner is crucial,” she said.

Regardless of whether the job requires these skills, pre-law students should put their best effort into any kind of student job. Balancing work and academics looks impressive on a resume, and successful employees might be able to land a recommendation from their employer to send in with their law school or outside job application.

“Time spent at any job or activity that can be accounted for on a resume, such as a campus job, helps contextualize an applicant’s undergraduate experience and responsibilities,” Droscoski said.

So, pre-law students: are you ready to start your job search? You’re only 5 steps away from landing a position on campus.





Apply for Fall 2017 jobs!

Do you wish you could just skip your spring semester finals and move on to the next adventure? Even though you can’t do that, you can start thinking about what the next semester holds in store. There are already student jobs posted for Fall 2017!

Here’s a sampling of what you can apply for today:

  • Office Assistant for Academic Advising (SES Job Number 10464) – starts August 28
  • Study Consultant for Academic Advising (SES Job Number 5680) – starts August 29
  • Office Assistant for the English Department (SES Job Number 5138) – starts September 1
  • Online Course Assistant for Advanced Academic Programs (SES Job Number 10296) – starts May 15, but students who can hold this position during the academic year are strong encouraged to apply

Another position to look out for: my job. Watch this space for an announcement about the search for the next Student Employment Blogger coming soon!

Meet Conan C. from Wilmer Eye Institute

Congratulations are in order for Conan C. – this junior biomedical engineering major won 2nd place for Student Employee of the Year! Here’s what he has to say about his work as a research assistant in the Mumm Lab at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute:

Emily H.: How did you get started working at Hopkins?

Conan C.: I started working in the Mumm Lab in the fall of my freshman year. I was searching through the student job portal for a research job, and found this one the most interesting. I’ve also worked in the Office of Student Life and as a Student Leadership Consultant.

EH: What are your job responsibilities?

CC: I work with a post-doctoral student on a project to study neuroprotectants on rod photoreceptors, and have an independent project studying the mechanism of a rod degeneration model. We use a zebrafish model to study these cells, so I spent my first few weeks cleaning tanks, before eventually doing the cool stuff.

EH: So, what does that mean in non-science major English?

CC: I study regeneration in the eye, and test drugs to protect eye damage.

EH: What skills have you gained from this position?

CC:  I’ve learned a lot of the basic lab skills that can be applied to any lab, but more importantly, I developed intuition on how to think scientifically and logically. 

EH: You said before that you found this research opportunity the most interesting. Why is that?

CC: Having worn glasses since I was a baby, I’ve always had a fascination for how vision works. It’s cool to learn how it works firsthand.

EH: How has this position shaped your Hopkins experience?

CC: It’s defined my experience. I am very lucky to have a great group of mentors in the lab who support me both in academics and in life. I can always go to them for advice or just to complain about my problems. It’s great to get off campus and focus on something other than academics.

EH: What advice do you have for job-seeking students?

CC: Don’t be afraid to reach out to potential employers! More often than not, they will be happy to answer your questions and be impressed by your initiative.

Thanks for the advice, Conan! If you’re looking for a cool research job like this, be sure to read these tips.