How ISU helped my professional development

By Sekhar Dahal

“Son, go and do the best you can” were my dad’s words in the airport’s departure hall before I boarded my flight. I was leaving everything behind to work on my dreams and to carve out something for myself in the United States — “the land of opportunity,” a popular synonym used for this great country back home in Nepal.

As my flight took off, there was this feeling of perplexity in my thoughts, and I could not stop myself from thinking: Will I really be able to do well at graduate school? Will I be able to land a good internship at a good company? The university will have thousands of students — will people even notice my hard work and help me in my endeavors?

It is really tough to get down to reality and motivate oneself when these feelings cramp our thought process. Moreover, I was leaving the environment that had been conducive to me since my birth and traveling to the place where I would have to start everything from the beginning. It was like an amateur exploring the vast Antarctica with just a hope of finding some experienced explorers along the way.

After a long and persistent effort here, I was at Idaho State University to pursue my MBA in finance. I always wanted to delve deep into the realm of finance and explore its practical application by joining an internship program. I took classes in finance, but getting an internship required me to develop myself in a way that employers wanted the applicants to be.

I was trying hard to address this challenge myself when I was introduced to professor John Ney, professional development director, by my former boss at Bengal Solutions, Kolton Woodbury. John walked me through the process of how his department helps students find their dream jobs. After talking to him for an hour, I felt I had to work hard to develop certain skills that would differentiate me from other candidates. Getting a job or an internship is always very competitive. And if you are an international student, it is even a tougher because of the immigration requirements. But I was determined, and I focused on the skills and techniques that John said were important.

The first tip was to prepare a good resume that would catch the eye of an employer. The idea was to prepare a one-page document that said everything about me: education, work experience, skills, interest etc. John always says, “No employer has time to go through a long resume when he has hundreds of candidates to evaluate.”

He is an expert, and I decided to follow his instructions in every detail.

The second tip was to register myself at Bengal Jobs. Bengal Jobs is a web portal where John and his team place all the job openings. The best part of registering at Bengal Jobs is that students can find a variety of job openings that match their skills and interests.

The final tip that he gave me was to register for the seminars he conducted on interview and salary negotiation skills, social media presentations, career fairs and professional development sessions, to name a few.

I believed John and felt that if I followed his advice, I would land my dream job someday. So I started looking at the Bengal Jobs daily and registered for his seminars. There were times I would just go into his office and talk to him on how I should communicate with a prospective employer or how I should deal with a certain situation.

Following his tips, I started to apply for jobs that matched my skill set. I applied for the summer financial analystintern position at ON Semiconductor in Pocatello. ON offered me an interview. Using John’s advice, I prepared for my interview. My interview went well and I got an offer from ON. I have worked for ON since the summer as a financial analyst intern.

The professional development skills learned at the college of business helped me in my endeavor. And I appreciate the hard work everyone at ISU’s College of Business has been putting in to prepare students such as me to succeed in our careers. I am grateful for the hard work John puts into all his seminars and individual counseling sessions.

I also appreciate the work that Bengal Solutions puts into preparing its graduate assistants, the effort that the professors put into providing the best education and finally the hard work that the College of Business staff puts in to assist students in every possible way.

Thanks to ISU, my future looks very bright indeed.

Sekhar Dahal is an MBA student and a graduate assistant at Bengal Solutions in the College of Business.