Katherine Fang – Specialist Spotlight

We continue with our Specialist Spotlight series with Katherine Fang, a junior psychology major. Katherine is originally from China and has always loved helping others — That’s how she found her home away from home at the Career Center! Read her full interview here:

How did you join the MU Career Center team?
As a freshman I didn’t know what the Career Center was or what they did, but my roommate convinced me to go the information session anyway. I didn’t have much experience coming in, since I am an international student and where I’m from in China, you can’t work until you’re 18, so I had very little experience. When I went to get my resume reviewed, the career specialist was so welcoming and helped me realize I could use volunteer experience as part of my resume. I felt so grateful that day and I thought that if I could make someone’s day just as she did for me, then I’m giving back and doing something good.

What has your experience as an international student been like?
It’s been great! There are a lot of international students here and I’ve made many American friends working at the career center. Everyone here is very unique but we all have something in common, which is that well love to help one another. Something that I share with my international students- I think we all have a stereotype. People tend to see Chinese people are more shy than American people. I have a lot of friends in the engineering program and I always tell them, don’t just show your skills, show them your personality and show them who you are. I adjusted very quickly but the friendly environment at the career center. I learn quickly when I feel comfortable and confident in my environment. The career center has a lot of resources that helped me feel included. Just talking to others and not being afraid to ask for help.

How would you describe the environment at the career center?
Friendly and warm. There’s lots of love going around. This is my first job and it’s been a great experience so far. In fact, I was very surprised when I got it. It was my first interview in my entire life and I’m not a native speaker. The interviewer was very understanding and made me feel very comfortable. People here are willing to help you and it’s important to realize when you need help and when you want to learn. This environment gives everyone the opportunity to learn and it’s something you can’t replace.

What are your strengths?
Harmony, empathy, input, positivity, developer.

How do you use those strengths in your daily life?
I use my harmony and empathy strengths to make others feel included when working in a team. Although I may not be a team leader since I don’t feel comfortable in that position, I like because I use my strengths to make others feel valued.

What advice would you give to students looking to improve their professional skills?
Put yourself out there and find people you look up to. I feel like I can always learn something from my co-workers. When I’m working with them, the way they’re both professional and friendly, I always learn more. I would also say study abroad, if you can. I went to Japan last semester and it was a journey for me to see and explore myself and to be able to understand and know people from other countries and how things work. Most of all, it helped me with teamwork and understanding how to be a good teammate.