Preparation and a LinkedIn Connection Led to a Successful Job Search

Marianna, a Master of Public Health alumna, is convinced that both connections and preparation make the difference in a job search.

Building Connections

During her search for her practicum, she connected with the local Director of Emergency Management through LinkedIn. After communicating online, they met offline at a local coffee shop to further discuss her education and career goals. With his guidance and mentorship, she obtained a practicum at the Department of State Health Services.

After completing her master’s degree, Marianna started to apply for jobs in her field.  She “went over the job description with a fine tooth comb.”  She highlighted all of the qualifications and then matched them with her skills. Daily, she checked the job postings at her state’s Department of Health Services (her target organization and where she completed her practicum), but her applications didn’t result in an interview. While reflecting on what she could do differently, she realized that she needed to reach out to the connections she built through her practicum.

She reconnected with the Director of Emergency Management and with the Department of State Health Services internship coordinator whom she met during her practicum.  They both stepped in to help. She applied for a position as a Training Specialist III for the Cancer Registry Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch of the Department of State Health Services. This time, she got an interview!


Preparation was crucial during the interview. The interview involved a written test of 20 questions about the Cancer Registry, including questions about training methodology for adult learners. Following the written test, she was asked to verbally answer the same questions.  Next, they gave her the Cancer Registry manual and one hour to create a PowerPoint presentation and a flyer on the steps to record medical information and how to use the medical records software.  Marianna remained focused. She put her extensive preparation and her Walden education to work.  She reminded herself that she had created so many presentations during her master’s program that she could do this. She impressed the interview panel with her presentation and flyer.  A month and a half later she received the offer and accepted. She has an exciting job in her field!

Marianna shared the following advice:

  • Preparation is key, thoroughly research the organization
  • Google any unknown terms in the job description
  • Make sure that you meet the majority of the qualifications
  • Prepare to give examples of how you meet the required qualifications
  • Last, but not least, forge online and offline relationships in your field

We thank Marianna for sharing her story!

For more information on job search strategies, view the Career Services Job Search Support series in the Job Search/Career Management archived webinars.

Written by Career Advisor, Denise Pranke