Colgate’s Center for Career Services sponsored the International Student Panel, a question and answer session designed to inform international students about graduate schools and pursuing a job after graduation, on Monday. Three seniors led the panel, sharing their experiences and offering advice to younger students. Seniors Claudia Melniciuc, Pavlin Kumchev and Frank Yang all had different interests and career intentions, ranging from architecture to finance to benefits consulting. This diversity enabled them to address various fields of study.Although the panel was specifically designed for international students, much of the advice given by these three seniors can be applicable to all students thinking about their futures. Melniciuc, Kumchev and Yang stressed the importance of taking advantage of what Colgate has to offer. “Career Services is an incredible resource,” Pavlin said. Internships and summer research were recommended to help students get an idea of what they wanted to do after Colgate. “Professors can also be career resources,” Melniciuc added. She believes they are able to help students with recommendations and provide current students not just a network of colleagues, but of former students. After discussing their own experiences, attendees asked about how to have a successful interview and work through the difficulties of the job market. According to the panel, the interview is probably one of the most daunting experiences students face in their last year of college or just after. Kumchev admitted that he struggled on his first mock interview with Career Services. On the second one, he improved, and when he had his real interview, he believes he performed exceptionally well. “It’s more about your people skills,” Kumchev, who will be working at Morgan Stanley next year, indicated about the interview process. According to Kumchev, employers often look at what potential candidates could add to the corporate culture in terms of personality and ability. “It is equally essential to be yourself, not the person you think the company wants to hire,” he said.”If you seem right for the company, [employers] will hire you, but if you are hired and are not right for the company, you may end up hating your job.” All panelists indicated that grade point average was another very important consideration, but there are many other factors that make up an employer’s decision. The interviewer will be impressed when an applicant has built up an extensive r?esum?e by participating in extracurricular activities that demonstrates personal interests pursued.Though the interview process may seem intimidating and overwhelming, students are able to overcome these challenges. Students found the information session and panel helpful in preparing them for their futures. “It was pretty good and informative,” first-year Niyi Adebamiro said. Sophomore Charuni Gunaratne also found the panel useful. “It addressed lots of interests and it is good because Career Services invites students, who have actually gone through [the job search and graduate school process] instead of just telling us about it,” she said.