All posts by Wanda Kimsey

Smile you’re on camera! Virtual meeting etiquette

Woman with short red hair sitting at a desk and working on a large computer.

Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and the continuing increase in use of technology, Zoom and other applications have introduced us to virtual meeting.  This technology is a new and modern way to communicate and coordinate with multiple people through virtual video conferencing. With the introduction of these applications in the career world, employers now integrate video conferencing as a part of their daily job duties which include virtual interviews. It is important to understand and know the proper etiquette involved with Zoom, especially when it comes to virtual interviews and video conferencing. Communication has progressed with the use of Zoom and now it is time for you to enhance your skills.

Video Conference Etiquette Tips

Plan and Prepare Your Computer Prior to Conducting Anything Using Video Conferencing

Check your computer and make sure it is Video Conferencing Accessible. Make sure you have a camera, and that your sound and microphone are working properly once the application is installed and opened. A good way to make sure everything is working properly on your end is to set up a mock meeting with yourself so you can view and adjust all your settings prior to any virtual meetings.

Organize Your Time and Prepare and Plan

Young woman in a pink jacket video chatting with a young man on a laptop.

When meeting virtually, make note of the time your appointment is, and be sure to check the date and the region to make sure you have the correct settings.  A part of virtual meeting etiquette involves being on time.  Prepare your background as you will have your camera on and everyone in the meeting will see what you are doing and what is behind you.  This includes dressing professionally and maintaining a work-appropriate background.  Make sure things are organized and not distracting to others in the meeting.  Next, plan on arriving five to ten minutes early to your meeting, making sure your camera and microphone are working properly, and there are no connectivity issues. Have a back-up plan in case you lose your internet connection.  Consider having your cell phone ready in case you have any issues.

Camera Etiquette

It is important to remember to conduct yourself in a professional manner when you are on camera. This involves maintaining eye contact with the camera rather than looking at yourself. Keep your focus on the webcam and remember to smile!

Microphone Etiquette

When in a meeting keep an eye on your microphone’s status.  There are times your mic might need to be muted.  Make sure that it is unmuted when you are talking.  Another concept dealing with the microphone involves background noise. Check the background noise level to make sure it is low to none, as it can be distracting and hard to hear you when you are speaking.

Meeting Etiquette

Remember to be present and attentive when in virtual meetings, especially any that require your camera and mic to be turned on, most importantly in an interview. Limit distractions in your environment that could disrupt you or other members in the meeting.  Do not eat or chew gum unless otherwise discussed. Have a glass of water nearby, as it will help with dry mouth from talking. Most importantly remain respectable, do not talk over others, listen and respond professionally, and your video etiquette should be just fine!

This blog article was written by Andrew Joseph, a Student Assistant at the SPC Clearwater Campus.

Two young women having a meeting via a video conference call on a laptop.

Graduating during a pandemic

Woman wearing graduation cap

Graduating during a pandemic presents a whole new set of challenges. Angie Quiroz Beltran, an SPC senior, tells of her academic experiences during COVID-19 and the obstacles she has overcome to graduate.

In less than a year COVID – 19 has changed the way we do things in more ways than one. In just a few weeks masks, hand sanitizer, and online activities became our new normal. Working from home and attending school online was a change most of us had to make. We had to understand that the classes we took would be different and the graduation ceremonies as we knew them would be a thing of the past. Throughout this pandemic, we had to change the way we interacted with people while following the new “rules” of social distancing. All while learning how to juggle the emotions, nuances, and changes that came with the COVID-19 pandemic.

During Fall 2020, I enrolled in MAN 4900 also known as Capstone, the last course in my degree in Business Administration, BAS.  The Team Capstone Project involves a company simulation game, in which a team of three students make every decision for an athletic shoe company and compete for first place with everyone else in this class. Before COVID-19, this class used to have a face-to-face component. This Capstone Project used to allow students to meet with their teams in person and have class meetings whenever necessary at EpiCenter. This provided students with important networking opportunities with their peers and professors. 

Previously, at the end of the semester, each team created a presentation and explained different components of their experience in this simulation and what they learned about operating a company. These networking opportunities were taken away when everything moved to Zoom and other online platforms, in order to accommodate this new normal.

Graduation, on the other hand, is something everyone looks forward to. It’s a reward for all the hard work put into the last four years; a chance to celebrate with family and peers and a step forward into your future. However, what does graduating during a pandemic look like?

Throughout the world, so many of us are forgoing the walk across the stage surrounded by those with similar accomplishments. Graduates now must exchange this ceremony for something safer. For us, it will be a ceremony on YouTube Premiere, for others, it will be a drive-thru ceremony and for some, it is postponed in the hopes that this pandemic will be over soon, and a “real” ceremony can take place.

While I am sure this has been a very challenging process for everyone, I can safely say that I learned that no matter what obstacles I faced, with dedication and help from my team members, family and friends, my goal of obtaining my BAS in Business Administration was possible. Although it will not be a normal graduation, achieving this goal is still worthy of celebration!

Elevator Pitch! What? How?

elevator pitch introduction

What is an elevator pitch and when would you use it? If you were to meet the CEO of your dream company in an elevator, would you know how to talk about yourself? Could you tell your story in one or two sentences? An elevator pitch is a concise, compelling 30-60 second statement of your skills, experience, and career goals. Think of your pitch as a short recap of who you are and what you do. Your objective is to spark interest by briefly describing your story so the listener will say, “Tell me more!”

Important Components of an Effective Elevator Pitch:

1. Identify Your Audience:

Tailor your speech/pitch to the individual you are talking with. Let your target audience know exactly what you are interested in and what you are seeking. Consider having more than one elevator pitch so you will be ready to give your “30-60 second speech” no matter your audience.

2. Remember Your Time is Limited:

Recognize the best way to showcase your skills, strengths, and talents. Be strategic in how you introduce yourself. Give a short recap of who you are, what you do, why you do it, and what you hope to accomplish. Mention your goals, let your audience know your exact topic of interest, and highlight why you are a valuable asset.

3. Be Persuasive:

Although your elevator pitch needs to be brief, make sure you are able to share information about yourself. Focus on your strengths emphasizing what you can provide to the employer or organization. This will entice the listener to want to continue a conversation with you and learn more about you.

4. Add Your Personal Twist, and be Creative:

Pace yourself when you speak. Avoid rambling while keeping an appropriate level of enthusiasm. Let your personality show and remember to smile!

5. Follow-Up / Business Card: 

Before your conversation has ended, exchange business cards. This is a great way for you to follow-up with them after your “brief introductory” meeting. If you do not have a business card, share your contact information with them via smart phone/email. Whatever your goal is, if you are interested in a job with their organization or becoming a member of their club, remember to follow-up!

Did you know that interview preparation includes a great elevator pitch?  One of the first questions asked during an interview is, “Tell me about yourself.” Think of your elevator pitch as a condensed version of your answer to that question.

In addition to a job interview, you can you use your elevator pitch at the following:

  • Community or Transfer Fairs
  • Job and Career Fairs
  • LinkedIn summary
  • Networking events and mixers
  • Professional association programs
  • In a classroom and at college club meetings
  • Workshops

You do not get a second chance to make a great first impression, so make your first impression memorable! To learn more, attend our Elevator Pitch / Interview Preparation Workshop on Tuesday, July 23, 12:30pm to 2pm, second floor of the Library, room 209, Clearwater Campus.  For more information, contact Wanda Kimsey at

Follow us on Instagram or Twitter at #careerspc,  #spcintern,  #workforcespc.

Interview Anxiety – Interview Preparation

Photo of a man and woman shaking hands

Interview anxiety is a real thing. Let’s be honest, no one likes doing interviews. Why is that? Perhaps if we felt better prepared, we would not have this innate fear of interviews. Instead, we would confidently take part in an interview. Clearwater Career Services department will be hosting an Interview Preparation Workshop on:

Thursday, April 4th at 12:30 pm in the Library, 2nd floor, Room 209

What is an interview?

An interview is what separates you from other applicants. It is your chance to prove you are the right person for the job and gives you a chance to shine. Whether you are a fan of interviews or not, it is imperative you do everything possible to ensure you are prepared. You will never have a second chance to make a good first impression.

First Impression

You are being evaluated even before the first question is asked. The first impression begins the moment you walk into the building. It begins with the first person make contact with through the handshake of the interviewer. Some helpful ways to do this are:

  • Initiate handshakes
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Warm smiles
  • A confident introduction of self
  • Good posture
  • Acknowledge each person along your journey: the parking attendant, the receptionist, those in the elevator, and of course the interviewer(s)

By implementing these positive gestures, these help build your confidence in interviews and everyday life. The goal of the interview is to leave knowing the interviewer(s) are confident in your abilities to perform the job successfully. Being able to communicate your talents, skills, and experiences can help the interviewer(s) know why you are the right fit. Just like you want to begin the interview on a strong note, you want to end it the same way.

Company Research

However, it is not enough to be able to talk about yourself. You should also do research on the company. Utilizing company websites, LinkedIn, Glassdoor and others can give you insight into the company culture. Look for their mission statement and how they work within their community. At the end of the interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. Use the research you did ahead of time to compose your questions. A good rule of thumb is to have three questions on hand (in the event one or two are answered during the interview). By having your questions ready, you show your interest and more importantly, you are prepared. A few good questions are:

  • What do YOU like about working here?
  • What types of training opportunities does this department provide?
  • What can you tell me about your new products or growth plans?

It is not uncommon to worry about how to answer interview questions. Optimal Resume is a great resource for SPC students to practice answering interview questions. Some of the interview examples included are initial face-to-face, hiring manager, and panel interviews. Each type of interview has at least 10 practice questions to help you be more prepared. You can learn more about it at: (click on student login, then click on the My Courses tab, scroll down and on the far right-hand side you will see the link to Optimal Résumé).

For more information about the Clearwater Campus workshop, contact Wanda Kimsey, Career Specialist. A special thank you to Adam Kayne, Clearwater Campus student worker, for creating this blog article.

Follow us on Instagram or Twitter at #careerspc#spcintern,,  #workforcespc.

Degree Programs Open House

degree programs SPC Transfer Fair

Which degree programs are for you? Is your interest in Associates in Science or Bachelor’s Programs at St. Petersburg College?

Clearwater Career Services is hosting an Open House Wednesday, March 20 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm. We are focused on SPC degree programs. This event will be held in the Library Building, 1st Floor, Community Room.  Take advantage of this great opportunity to meet one-on-one with professionals.

Associate in Science Degree Programs

  • Biomedical Engineering Technology
  • Biotechnology Laboratory Technology
  • Building Design and Construction Management
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Programming and Analysis
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Engineering Technology
  • Environmental Science Technology
  • Paralegal Studies

Have you been wanting to get your bachelor’s degree, but not sure where to start? Learn more about some of the great bachelor programs offered at Clearwater Campus.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs

  • Biology (B.S.)
  • Business Administration (B.S.)
  • Education (B.S.)
  • Paralegal Studies (B.A.S.)
  • Public Policy and Administration (B.S.)
  • Technology Development and Management (B.A.S.)

Consider these facts when you are pursuing different SPC degree programs:

  • Computer Programming and Analysis programs provide hands-on training on specific languages you will use as a programmer with flexible scheduling and online options.  All programs can be applied to our Technology Development and Management B.A.S. degree.
  • Our bachelor’s degree in Biology prepares you for careers in health care, education, conservation, research or advanced study.
  • Paralegal Studies program offers an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, and an advanced certificate program.  And, these programs have been approved by the American Bar Association.
  • SPC’s bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Administration prepares you to make decisions and influence a wide variety of public policies.  You learn the ins and outs of policy making and how to become a leader.  You also gain strong skills in policy analysis so you can design effective policies. 
  • Early Childhood Education programs follow a pathway to prepare you to work effectively with early learners (birth to age 4) and their families in both the public and private sectors.  SPC can also meet your professional development needs for early childhood credentials.
  • SPC Business programs gives you the leadership skills to succeed in business.  Our programs are designed with input from local business leaders who know what it takes to succeed.
  • Engineering, Manufacturing and Building Arts programs give you the cutting-edge skills and industry certifications you need for jobs in growing fields.  SPC’s engineering technology program is recognized as a model for associate in science programs around the country.

Mark your calendar. Stop by our Open House on March 20.  Discover the great degree programs available to help you succeed in your career!

Follow us on Instagram or Twitter at #careerspc#spcintern,  #workforcespc.

Handshake: Not Just a Greeting Anymore

handshake typeset logo

Handshake is a powerful career management tool to help students find jobs and internships.

What is Handshake?

Did you know that over 14 million students and alumni from more than 700 colleges and universities use Handshake?  Only 13% of SPC students have completed their profile in Handshake!  If you still haven’t activated your account, take 5 minutes to do so.  You will be surprised to discover the amount of great employment and internship opportunities you have access to in Handshake.

Have you activated your account?  If not, what are you waiting for?

Why Handshake?

  • Search for jobs or internships by employer industry, by your major, and even look for jobs by location. You can also search by employment type, such as part-time or full-time positions.
  • Build a strong profile, receive personalized job and career recommendations, and track deadlines.
  • Connect with more than 250,000 employers, including Fortune 500 companies.
  • Gain access to information about online and on-campus career events available in one place, such as Job and Career Fairs.
  • Have convenient access through the Mobile App (Use it on the go!).


Where can I find Handshake and how do I activate my account?

If you are a current student:

  1. Log into MySPC
  2. Go to MyCourses
  3. Scroll down to Additional Resources
  4. Find Handshake hyperlink on the bottom, right corner of your screen under “Career Planning” heading
  5. Use single sign-on to access your pre-loaded profile


SPC Alumni are also able to create and request an account on SPC’s domain at

Choose, “Sign up for an Account,” and this will then push to the registration page where you can select your  user type and school name:

Once you choose your school name from the list, a set of instructions will appear – the default being:

“Your school may have already created an account for you, which is pre-filled and ready to go. This account will be registered under your school email address (your .edu email address). Please try logging in using your school email first.”

Next, Students/Alumni will complete the registration details:

Congratulations, you have created or activated your account.

Take 5 minutes and activate your Handshake Account today – you will be glad you did!

Follow us on Instagram or Twitter at #careerspc#spcintern,,  #workforcespc.


Job Fairs: Calling Job and Internship Seekers

Job Fair Graphic

Get ready for upcoming Fall 2018 job fairs at St. Petersburg College.

Looking for a new job or a new career?  Looking for an internship? Then mark your calendar for Oct. 16 from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. for the Job Fair at the SPC Clearwater Campus. If you can’t make the Clearwater Campus Job Fair, you will have a second opportunity at the Seminole Campus Oct. 23 from 12 – 3 p.m.

Clearwater Campus Job Fair

Clearwater Campus Career Services is hosting a Job Fair in the ES Building, Room 104.  We are expecting 30 employers who are looking to hire for part-time and full-time positions. They are also looking to secure interns. Stop by and meet with employers from a variety of career fields, including:

·         Business ·         Instructional Teachers ·         Education
·         Management ·         Biological Sciences ·         Quality Control
·         Technology ·         Accounting ·         Manufacturing
·         Marketing ·         Sales ·         Auto CAD Drafter
·         Hospitality ·         Detention Deputy Recruit

Take advantage of this great opportunity to network with local employers, participate in face-to-face interviews, and have an engaging conversation with a potential employer.  Everyone is invited!  Bring plenty of resumes with you and dress to impress!  Remember, you will never have a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure your first impression is a great one.

Would you like your resume reviewed prior to the Job Fair?  Stop by our Resume Review workshop on Sept. 26.  Clearwater Career Services is hosting the workshop from 12:30 – 2 p.m. on the second floor of the new library, Room LI 209.  Bring a printed copy of your resume and a professional will review your resume.

Tips for job fairs

On Oct. 16, be ready for on-the-spot interviews and remember these important interview tips (they’re true for most job fairs!):

  • Wear appropriate business attire (no shorts or ripped jeans)
  • Introduce yourself with a confident handshake
  • Make direct eye contact
  • Maintain good posture, stand upright, and do not fidget
  • Be prepared with your 30 – 60 second “elevator pitch”
  • Be confident and positive
  • Smile!
  • Remember to thank the employer/interviewee for their time

Some of the employers who will be attending are:

·         Raymond James ·         MIDFLORIDA Credit Union
·         Tech Data ·         Northwestern Mutual
·         Sandpearl Resort ·         Warner Architectural Associates
·         Winn Technology Group, Inc. ·         Childcare Careers
·         Pinellas County Schools ·         Enterprise Rent-A-Car
·         Pinellas County Government ·         Hertz Corporation
·         Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office ·         GSP Retail
·         Network Insurance ·         Valpak
·         Eyekon Medical ·         Bluegreen Vacations
·         JMI Resource ·         J.P. Morgan & Chase
·         Fastenal ·         Startup Space

For additional information or any questions, please contact Wanda Kimsey at Clearwater Career Services via email at

Seminole Campus Job Fair

If you can’t make the Clearwater Campus Job Fair, you will have a second opportunity at the Seminole Campus.

Join us Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 12 – 3 p.m. in the Conference Center located next to the library.  Students and alumni, plan to use The Ready Room for last-minute advice, resume review and an appearance check. Contact Jacob Wortock, SPC’s Employment & Internship Coordinator, at

Follow us on Instagram or Twitter at #careerspc#spcintern, and #workforcespc.

Flier for Fall 2018 Job Fairs

Public Service Career Options for ALL Majors

career choices public service

Ever consider a public service career or a position in local government? In the busyness of school and life, we get distracted and miss some great career opportunities. Did you know that every major offers the possibility for a position in public service? Whatever type of degree you are pursuing, you have the potential to develop a rewarding career in public service.

Public Service Career Opportunities – Save the Date

Clearwater Career Services is hosting its Third Annual Government Forum on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 11 a.m. in the ES Building, Room 104. We invite you to join us to learn more about the wide variety of positions and opportunities available in public service. This event is open to the public as well as students.

Career Examples:

Accounting Communications Emergency Management
Engineering Information Technology Network Administration
Urban Planning Public Administration Risk Management

The theme for this year’s event is, “How to find, hire, and retain men and women into public service.” This forum is a great opportunity to meet and engage with local city managers from Dunedin, Pinellas Park, and Tarpon Springs. Discover why and how they chose to enter into public service. Our guest panelists will share their insight, knowledge, and first-hand experiences about working in public service and in government. The guest panelists include:

Local governments have excellent career options available and these agencies offer rewarding careers with competitive salaries and benefits. With low unemployment rates, local governments are faced with the added challenge of competing with the public sector for recruiting and retaining qualified personnel. According to the survey findings in the 2018 State and Local Government Workforce: 2018 Data and 10 Year Trends Report, 82 percent report that staff recruitment and retention is a top workforce priority.

Mark your calendar for Nov. 13 and come listen, meet and network with our guests. Learn first-hand how working in public service and in local government can be very rewarding!

Flier for public service career event

For any questions regarding the forum, please contact Wanda Kimsey in Career Services.

Follow us on Instagram or Twitter at #careerspc, #spcintern, and #workforcespc.

Why Should I Register Early for Classes?

Fall 2018 Early Registration Information

Did you know there is a relationship between early registration for classes and student academic and career success? Registering early for classes can have a positive effect on students, and the earlier you register for classes the more benefits you receive both in college and beyond.

Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” – Bobby Unser

At St. Petersburg College’s Career Services, our goal is to help students acquire the necessary preparation to achieve long-term success beyond college. We want you to get the most from your education and ensure you reach not only your academic but career goals.

Here are three benefits to early registration:

  1. Get the schedule YOU want

How many times have you tried to look for a class and the schedule you wanted was not available? Class openings typically fill up quickly, so registering early will increase your chances of finding classes that are the most suitable to your wants and needs. Registering early gives you the advantage of having the best class selections. You also have more options in selecting your instructors and the type of classes you want to take when you register early.

  1. Have time to plan and prepare

By registering early, you can plan ahead and make adequate preparations. If you encounter a hiccup, whether you receive a hold on your enrollment or your financial aid doesn’t go through, you will have more time to handle unexpected problems.

  1. Save time, money, and frustration.

Avoid long lines, lengthy waiting times, and the stress that comes with it by registering for classes early. Registration season increases student traffic in Student Services. You will also have more time to apply for the Tuition Payment Plan and won’t have to pay tuition all at once.

Did you know that you can also receive a $10 textbook voucher for the school bookstore by paying your Fall Term tuition by July 13? Save time, money, and avoid stress by registering early for classes.

Why wait? Sign up for early registration.

Fall 2018 classes start Aug. 13.

Take advantage of these opportunities and register early. Check out our academic calendar, browse through your MLP (My Learning Plan), or set up an appointment with your academic advisor, and register for Fall Term classes today!

Follow us on Twitter at #careerspc, #spcintern, and #workforcespc.


Make Your Resume ‘Optimal’

Bullet Proof Your Resume

Do you have a resume?  When was the last time you updated it?  Think of your resume as an excellent marketing tool to help employers see your value.  Clearwater Campus Career Services will be hosting a Resume Writing workshop. Learn about Optimal Resume and other tools that take the stress out of your job search. Get the know how that will get you hired!

March 29 at 12:30 pm in the New Library, 2nd floor, Room 209

Webster’s College Dictionary Defines a resume as, “A brief account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience that is prepared by a job applicant.”  Anyone who is seeking employment needs a résumé.  The Résumé Writing Workshop will show you how to use Optimal Résumé, an online tool located in “My Courses.”  Optimal Résumé  has more than 500 templates designed to help college students and graduates prepare their résumé.  Résumés should be tailored to the job you are seeking, not generalized.  Career Services is here to help you create a resume that is targeted to the profession you are seeking.

Learn more about the three standard résumé styles and find out which style is best suited for you:

  • The Chronological Résumé – most recent employment is listed first
  • The Functional or Skills-Based Résumé – best for first time job seekers or career changers
  • The Combination or Hybrid Résumé – merges both the Chronological and Functional Résumé styles

Every résumé should include these sections:

  • Personal information including full name, mailing address, email and phone number, and military status if applicable
  • Qualifications and Professional Profile
  • Employment history or work experience including job title, employer’s name (address may also be required), starting and ending dates(month/year), and employment status (full-time or part-time or hours per week) for government jobs
  • Education, skills,  and accomplishments including related knowledge, attributes, publications, volunteer work, certifications and awards

For more information or to attend the workshop, contact Wanda Kimsey, Career Specialist by email at or by phone at  727-791-2431.

Links: (click on student login, then click on the My Courses tab, scroll down and on the far right-hand side you will see the link to Optimal Résumé).

Follow us on Twitter at #careerspc and #spcintern.