All posts by Lynne Wolf

Career Planning Process

career planning bulletin board

Have you begun the process of career planning? Many students find themselves in college with no identified career in mind. Students know they need additional education but not what that degree looks like. Here are six steps to your career planning. Check it out!

Explore Careers

Begin by taking career assessments like Focus 2.  Discover careers that match your results. Learn about skills, values, interest codes and educational requirements. Review what you learned and meet with your academic advisor or career specialist for further discussion.  Do you need additional assessments?  Go to your campus Career Center for these.

Conduct Online Research

Research your matching careers in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. Here you will learn about education needed, salaries, growth, similar occupation, professional associations and more. Then check out the Occupational Information Network.  This site connects to skills, values, interest code, local salary and growth, as well as educational institutions.

Begin Informational Interviewing

The old saying, with a new twist, is this: “It’s not just what you know but who you know.” Do you have any who’s in your area of interest? Begin connecting to professionals in those areas that you matched AND researched. Find these professionals and conduct informational interviews.  Discover what “a day in the life of a …” looks like. What degree is needed to enter the field and how much experience should you have to get the job? Reach out through email and phone calls to schedule time to talk. Don’t forgot to follow up with a thank you. Target those companies that you desire to work for to help find your professionals. Ask your friends and family for contacts they may have. Check in with your college professor and campus clubs. You can even use your social media to find contacts (especially LinkedIn). 

Join a Club on Campus or a Professional Association

Get involved with campus activities and meet like-minded students who share your interests. Add to your leadership and communication skills by getting connected and add this experience to your resume. Not sure what campus clubs are available? Check it out here. Look for professional associations with a student membership. 

Meet with your Academic Advisor to Update Your Program Plan

Talk with your academic advisor about your future career and degree program.  Receive help to create your MLP. Activate your Workplace account on your SPC landing page (blue tile). Join in your academic community events collegewide. Make sure you know when to apply for scholarships and graduation.

Check out Volunteer and Entry Jobs to Build Your Credentials and Professional Presence

Activate your Handshake account located in your MyCourses to find SPC’s online internship and job bank. Use the job bank for informational interviewing connections, jobs and internships when you are ready. Come to campus events like Working Wednesdays and Job Fairs to connect with early employment opportunities. These campus events are another way to build your professional network. Begin to create your resume and continue to add to it as you add experience. Check out the resume builder tool in MyCourses called Optimal Resume.

Flowchart of the career planning decision making process.

If you need help with any of these steps, contact the career professionals on your campus or online.

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

Top Workplaces in Tampa Bay

top workplaces

SPC students, graduation is upon us.  Do you have a job? Who are your dream employers and what are they looking for in an employee? As you start your job search, you may want to look at the Top 100 Workplaces in Tampa Bay.

Every year, beginning in September, the Tampa Bay Times opens a survey for employees to identify the top places to work in Tampa Bay. Anyone can nominate their place of employment. Employees answer a series of 24 questions related to workplace and culture.

 The topics include:

  • Alignment – where the company is heading, its values, cooperation
  • Connection – employees feel appreciated, their work is meaningful
  • Effectiveness – doing things well, sharing different viewpoints, encouraging new ideas
  • My manager – cares about concerns, helps learn and grow
  • Engagement – motivation, retention and recruiting
  • Leadership – confidence in company leaders
  • The basics – pay, benefits, flexibility, training, expectations

Energage, the research partner for Top Workplaces, compiles the results and delivers their report.  This is the 10th year the Tampa Bay Times partnered with Philadelphia-based Energage to determine the area’s Top Workplaces. The results are based solely on a scientific employee survey process. 

This year 191 organizations completed the survey. They have a combined employment force of 96,636 employees. Of these employees, 40,363 responded to the questionnaires. Energage used these results to determine those top workplaces. 

Employers were ranked based on workforce size:

  • Small companies: 50-149 local employees
  • Midsized companies: 150-499 local employees
  • Large companies: 500-plus local employees

Top Workplaces Live

Top workplaces live photo
SPC employees Carissa Roldan and Leah Deranian with Lightning Mascot ThunderBug at Workplace Live 2019

Next, the Straz Center for Performing Arts opened its doors on April 30 for the Top Workplaces Live event. A panel of employers talked about the secret of their success.

Top Workplaces Live Panelists

John “JC” Connolly – President and Chief Executive Officer of NAC Group, Inc (NAC Semi). This is a global electronic components design and service distribution company in St. Petersburg. Mr. Connolly earned his AA at St. Petersburg College before earning his bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University. 

“It’s not about what you have but what you give,” and “the most important part of a successful organization drives in and out of the parking lot everyday” states Mr. Connolly.

He believes that this philosophy is partially why the company was named in the top workplaces. 

Robert Fisher

Robert Fisher – Chief Executive Officer of Grow Financial. Mr. Fisher is recognized as one of the most experienced CEOs in the credit union industry. He has served on many industry boards in Florida. Mr. Fisher earned his B.S. in Business from Miami University in Ohio and attended Yale University School of Management for advanced management studies. He has mentored many university students as well as other CEOs. Mr. Fisher believes that “little things add up for the employee experience.” He likes to engage his employees in casual conversation daily.

Steve Griggs

Mr. Steve Griggs – Chief Executive Officer – Tampa Bay Lightning. Mr. Griggs joined the organization in 2010 as the COO. He oversaw the organizations business operations including concerts and events at AMALIE Arena.  He has been serving as the CEO since 2015. Under his watch, The Tampa Bay Lightning has sold-out every single home game since the 2014 – 2015 season. Mr. Griggs states “through disappointment, leaders must lead.”  He leads through a positive attitude and places the best people in the best positions. 

Jason Hill

Mr. Jason Hill – Chief Executive Officer of Parallon Shared Services. This company brings operational knowledge to hospitals, physician practices, and healthcare systems. Mr. Hill holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance, and an MBA from Indiana University. He has over 20 years’ experience in the healthcare industry. Mr. Hill states you must “let employees know about change BEFORE change happens.” He states engaging employee’s builds trust. He is a believer in promoting from within. 

So SPC grads, check out these amazing employers. Make sure your resume is updated and ready. Look at your professional attire, practice your elevator speech and handshake. Check out the career webinars for help. Your best is right in front of you. Congratulations on your graduation. Go Titans! 

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

Two Events to Polish your Leadership Skills

leadership graphic

Leadership and communication skills are two of the most important skills according to employers. Training on the job along with your education helps complete the picture. So how does a student go about learning leadership and communications? How are your leadership skills? Are they in need of help? You are in luck. St. Petersburg College is offering two leadership training events during the month of April.

The first event is the Graduate Leadership Academy.

This event will be held on Friday, April 12 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the Clearwater Campus. The program is geared toward students graduating this spring or summer terms. Participants will learn leadership from the “inside out.” Topics and tools of the Graduate Leadership Academy are personality assessments, teambuilding activities, mock interviews and an etiquette lunch. The Graduate Leadership Academy has limited seating. Apply right away and secure your seat.

Register for the today!

The second event is Lead 365.

Lead 365, will be held Friday, April 26 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the Clearwater Campus. This leadership event is open to faculty and students around the college. During this Lead 365, participants are invited to “explore, engage and evolve.” Participants will learn more about who they are as well as be inspired to make a difference in the world around them.

Lead 365 will feature three guest speakers. The first speaker is Michael Miller. Mr. Miller is a Certified True Colors Assessment Facilitator. As a facilitator he can help groups identify personality preferences and create strategies for better communication. The second speaker is Dr. Jermaine Davis. Dr. Davis is a renowned professional speaker, best-selling author, documentary filmmaker, and award-winning Professor of Communication Studies and Organizational Leadership. The third speaker is Nancy Hunter Denny. Ms. Denney is a nationally recognized keynote speaker, author, and educator. She is dedicated to empowering others to maximize their personal influence, to inspire others and seek happiness. 

Save your seat! Register for Lead 365 today!

leadership flyer

Both events are free but you do need to register. For further information, please contact Stephanie Henningsen at 727-791-2623 or e-mail

A special thank you to Stephanie Henningsen for the contribution of this article. Ms. Henningsen is the Coordinator of Student Life and Leadership on the Clearwater Campus.

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

Career Professionals: Who’s Who to Serve YOU

Did you know there are career professionals –  a whole career crew – ready to help you at St. Petersburg College?  They can assist in areas such as career decision-making, employment preparation, internship opportunities,  and finally landing that dream job.

Do you know who they are?  Do you know where to find them?  These are SPC Career Services professionals located on campus and online. Let me introduce who’s who in the Career Crew.

Kerry Carter – Career Outreach Specialist

Joe Benavides – Career Outreach Specialist

Wanda Kimsey – Student Support/Career Specialist

Downtown and Midtown:

Michael Jean-Felix – Career and Academic Advisor

Destinymarie Alicea-Richardson – Career and Academic Advisor

Health Education Center:

Monica Roberts – Career Outreach Specialist


Jason Nicholson – Career and Academic Advisor

Terri Hogan – Career and Academic Advisor

St. Petersburg/Gibbs:

Leah Deranian – Student Support Specialist (Career Specialist)

Rosaria Pipitone – Career Outreach Specialist

Richard Smith – Employment & Internship Coordinator

David White – Career and Academic Advisor

Lucy Williams – Student Support Assistant


Sandy DeCarlo – Career Outreach Specialist

Jacob Wortock – Employment & Internship Coordinator

Lynne Wolf – Career Specialist

Renee Hansen – Student Support Assistant

Tarpon Springs:

Carissa Roldan – Career Outreach Specialist

Michael O’Berry –  Employment and Internship Coordinator

Who should I talk to?

Have you made a career decision?  Do you know the education needed, the starting salary, and future growth? How about employment skills?  Have you connected to professionals in the careers you are interested in? Do you know how and where to meet career professionals for informational interviewing or job shadowing? Do you know what soft skills are compared to hard skills?  This is the job of the Career Specialist.

Are you seeking an AA (Associate in Arts) degree?  What is the bachelor’s degree that you plan to transfer into?  Are you staying at SPC or looking to transfer to another college or university?  Do you need help to create your MLP (My Learning Plan)? Plan to connect with a Career and Academic Advisor.

Are you seeking an AS (Associate in Science)? Do you know the difference between an AA and AS?  What are the classes you need to earn your AS degree?  Who are the employers?  How can you connect with professionals to shadow?  This is the specialty area for our Career Outreach Specialists.

Are you connecting with employers and finding opportunities to land your job once you graduate?  Did you know that you will need an internship prior to graduation?  Do you know how to secure and register for an internship?  Have you crafted your resume and practiced for your internship interview? Connect with an Employment & Internship Coordinator.

Not sure who you need to talk to or how to connect?  Check in with our Student Support Assistants.  

Give us a call or email. Stop by our areas on campus. Reach out to us and ask us for help.  The Career Crew is here to help you make the most out of your college and employment preparation experiences.  Come meet who’s who in The Career Crew.

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

What are the Top Interview Questions?

interview group

How can you prepare for an interview when you don’t know what questions that might be asked? Interviewers in different companies often ask similar questions. Knowing the top interview questions and having a prepared answer will help you be more confident.

Here are 10 of the top questions that you might be asked with suggested answers.  We encourage you to find someone to role play with for mock interview practice. Use these questions and practice your answers. This will help you learn to be more effective when having a real interview. SPC students, you can practice a mock interview with career professionals on your campus and through the Optimal Resume tool found in your MyCourses.  Let’s check out those questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself

The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short statement prepared. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest back and work up to the present.

  1. Why did you leave your last job?

Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking reasons.

  1. What experience do you have in this field?

Speak about specific skills that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.

  1. Do you consider yourself successful?

You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good explanation is that you have set goals, and you have met some and are on track to achieve the others.

  1. What do co-workers say about you?

Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific statement or a paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at Smith Company, always said I was the hardest workers she had ever known. It is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview herself.

  1. What do you know about this organization?

This question is one reason to do some research on the organization before the interview. Find out where they have been and where they are going. What are the current issues and who are the major players? What is their mission or vision statement and how does this resonate with your goals and values.

  1. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?

Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.

  1. Are you applying for other jobs?

Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus on this job and what you can do for this organization. Anything else is a distraction.

  1. Why do you want to work for this organization?

This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the research you have done on the organization. Sincerity is extremely important here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your long-term career goals.

  1. Do you know anyone who works for us?

Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This can affect your answer even though they asked about friends not relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well thought of.

To view the more common questions, check out this article: 50 Common Interview Questions. For additional help with interviews, resumes, dress for success, job search and more; contact Career Services on your campus or our online at our Career Services On Demand Webinars in MyCourses and Student Services Hub.

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

Come Play The Game of Life – Seminole Campus

If you had a crystal ball, would you look into it to see your future? Come play The Game of Life and get a glimpse at what your future could be based on the decisions you make. What career will you choose? Will you marry and have kids? Will you buy a house or rent a home?  What will you drive? How will these decisions effect your financial standing? Join us to play a life size version of this classic game.

There is no need to pre-register for this event just drop in:

  • Date: Tuesday, July 17
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Location: Seminole Campus – UP Lobby

Choose an occupation and then build your life by visiting nine stations.

Each station will provide financial implication information as well as current resources available to students. If you are a student who is unsure of your career and occupation, this is a fun way to “try before you buy” and if you are a student who is sure, then come get a look into your “crystal ball.”

Women holding giant die for The Game of Life The Game of Life station for buying a home Game of Life car station

SPC students from all campuses are welcome to join us for this fun interactive game. Once you finish the game, stay and enjoy a refreshing Klondike Bar and share with your fellow students your “glimpse of the future.” Was it what you thought it would be? Are there some changes you might like to make based on what you learned?

Check out The Game of Life, have some fun and enjoy a summer treat. For more information about this event or the Seminole Campus Career Services, please contact Career Specialist, Lynne Wolf. Follow us on Instagram or Twitter at #careerspc, #spcintern, and #workforcespc.

We look forward to seeing you there. Bring your SPC friends!

Major Question: 4 Steps to Picking a College Major

2015 Job Fair flyer

What is your major?  It’s a question you hear everywhere you go. Your parents ask, your friends ask, even social media asks this question. Career decision-making is a process that has several steps.

Step one: major self-discovery

Do some self-discovery.  This can be accomplished through career discovery tools such as Focus 2 found in your MySPC. If you have not done this assessment, Career Services encourages you to do this. Login and choose the MyCareer tab and proceed to using Focus 2. Once you have completed this tool, go see a career professional on your campus or online. The career professionals on campus have additional tools to help you with your career decision process.

Step two: major research

Research careers of interest to “get the skinny” on these careers. Two good sites are The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook which will give you information on education, expected growth of occupation, education needed, salary range, and much more. Another good site is the Occupational Information Network. This site will give you state specific information along with skills and abilities needed, daily tasks and more.

Step three: major first hand info

Find professionals in the fields of interest and interview them for information. Asking friends and family for contacts in these fields is a good way to start. Leverage your social media to find your contact who have contacts. Other resources are job search engines like Indeed or CareerBuilder  to find employers who employ these positions and LinkedIn.  Make the connection and ask about informational interviewing. If you need help with questions, please see a career professional on your campus.

Step four: choose your major with an advisor

When you have made a career decision, see an Academic Advisor on your campus to update your program plan and create a “My Learning Plan.” This is a list of classes needed to obtain your degree in a semester by semester worksheet.

Congratulations on making one of the biggest decisions of your life. You are on an exciting path and we are here to assist you and cheer you on. We want you to be able to confidently answer the question, what is your major and better yet, what is your future career.

Follow Career news at SPC on Twitter at #careerspc, spcintern, workforcespc.

Making the Most of Your Future When You Have a Past

Join St. Petersburg College faculty and Career Service staff for a lunch and learn workshop that will help you overcome past mistakes so you can make the most of career planning for your future.

Flier for career planning workshop that addresses past mistakesAre you haunted by past legal mistakes?  Do you know someone who has hit a roadblock because of past choices? We all have said or done things we wish we could take back.  Sometimes it’s just words exchanged in the heat of the moment. Other times it’s life-altering actions. This workshop, open to SPC students, faculty, and staff, can help you overcome these issues when you are planning ahead for your future career.

When: Tuesday, June 12

Time: 12:30 to 2 pm

Where: Seminole Campus, UP-176

During this workshop, Dr. Christy Powers, Chair of the Paralegal Studies program on the Clearwater Campus, will address topics such as:

  • How to account for your background issues
  • What the State of Florida does regarding past convictions
  • How to interview when you have background issues

Get great information and then share it with everyone you know. We will be serving pizza to all who attend so come and fill your brain and your belly.

Titan Thursdays

Can’t make the event? Don’t stress.  Titan Thursdays, featuring live webinars with Q&A sessions, will host this same workshop again on June 14 for our ONLINE audience. 

Dr. Powers will be the guest speaker for this upcoming Titan Thursdays session. The live session runs from 6- 7 pm.  Tune in at to view the webinar and participate.  This is an interactive workshop, and your questions answered in real time.

Don’t let past mistakes stop you from making future plans

This workshop is brought to you by Career Services on the Seminole Campus.  Stop by and see your career professionals in the Student Services Suite in the University Partnership Building at this campus or meet with career professionals at other college locations.  We are here to help with your career planning and employment preparation.

To RSVP for the workshop on June 12, please contact Career Specialist Lynne Wolf at 727-394-6034 or by email at

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

The Elevator Speech – Who Are You?

Photo of a man and woman shaking hands

Are you at a loss for words when someone asks you about your future plans?  Have you attended a job fair or networking event only to become tongue-tied or too shy to approach the employers?  Are you competing in the Business Plan/Elevator Pitch Competition? Then this Elevator Speech information is for you!

The origin of the elevator pitch/speech is attributed to the time it takes to ride the elevator to the top floor.  This is how much time you have to make an impression or to present your idea with the hope of an invitation to hear more.  The elevator speech consists of three parts:

  • The Hook – A clear and concise opening that shows how you add value to the listener. This will change as your audience changes.
  • Your Passion – How believable are the words you are saying?
  • The request – What action do you want the listener to take?

Getting all this delivered in just 30 – 60 seconds will take time to create and practice.  Let’s look at the steps to create an elevator speech for a networking or job fair event.

  1. Take a few minutes and write down short phrases or adjectives that describe you. Let the words flow.  You will pair these down later.
  2. Write down the current targeted position or opportunities you are seeking (entry level or part-time job in your field of study, an internship, a volunteer opportunity). It is important to also write down your future career goals.
  3. List your educational goal and any training you have completed.
  4. What are your strengths and accomplishments? Do you have specific skills that are useful to your listener?  Can you use numbers or percentages to add value to these accomplishments?
  5. Finally write down what you want from your listener.

Now it is time to edit your thoughts.  What is the most important information you want to share with your listener?  Do you have a short story, 1 or 2 sentences that support your goals?  Then, the big finish.  What action do you want your listener to take?  Do you want him/her to give you a business card, schedule a meeting, ask you for more information?  Once you have a rough draft, practice, practice, practice.  It should not sound rehearsed or mechanical.  It should sound natural and passionate.  Check out this example:

My name is Lynne Wolf and I am a Career Specialist at St. Petersburg College. I help students figure out what they want to be when they grow up and then to hone their employment skills to nail that dream job.  I would love to sit down with you and see how we might partner for the betterment of all SPC students. 

 Students, connect with your career professionals on your campus and let us work with you to create your elevator speech.  Follow us on Twitter at #careerspc and #spcintern.


Career Planning: How to Prepare for the Future When You Have a Past

Join us for a lunch and learn workshop to help you succeed at career planning for your future and overcome past mistakes.

Are you being haunted by past legal mistakes?  Do you know someone who has hit a roadblock because of past choices? We all have said or done things we wish we could take back.  Sometimes it’s just words exchanged in the heat of the moment and other times it’s life-altering actions. This workshop, open to SPC students, faculty, and staff, can help.

  • When: Tuesday, Jan. 30
  • Time: 12:30 to 2 pm
  • Where: Seminole Campus, UP-154 

Career planning event flier During this workshop Dr. Christy Powers, Chair of the Paralegal Studies program on the Clearwater Campus, will address topics such as:

  • How to account for your background issues
  • What the State of Florida does regarding past convictions
  • How to interview when you have background issues

Come get great information and then share it with everyone you know. We will be serving pizza to all who attend so come fill your brain and your belly.

Work on career planning with Career Services

This workshop is brought to you by Career Services on the Seminole Campus.  Stop by and see your career professionals in the Student Services Suite in the University Partnership Building or the career professionals on your campus.  We are here to help with your career planning and employment preparation.

To RSVP for this event, please contact Lynne Wolf, Career Specialist, at 727-394-6034 or by email at

Don’t let past mistakes stop you from making future plans.