Career Moves: Successful career search involved looking beyond job postings

Sofia Stanchina '21 turned to the staff in the Student Professional Development Center after unsuccessfully pursuing internship opportunities, and found the help she needed to land a meaningful internship experience.

Discouraged after receiving internship rejection emails, Sofia Stanchina ’21 consulted with staff in the Student Professional Development Center and now enjoys her time interning for New York Model Management Group in New York City and she gives much of the credit to the Student Professional Development Center.

Sofia Stanchina ’21

Stanchina, a business management major from Mooresville, North Carolina, is the latest person to be featured in a series of Today at Elon profiles on the successes of students and alumni who have used the Student Professional Development Center to find job and internship openings, polish application materials, build online profiles, prepare for interviews and graduate school placements and life after Elon.

She recently answered questions from the SPDC about her experience.

What were you trying to accomplish when you met with the professional staff in the Student Professional Development Center and what specific help did you receive?

Over the course of my time at Elon, I met with the staff in the Student Professional Development Center, specifically the Porter Center, several times. Going into it, I had no clue where to start nor did I know what I wanted to get out of meeting with the SPDC staff, besides the fact that I wanted a job. However, they were able to help me pinpoint where to begin and what areas I could use improvement. They helped me tailor my resume and other professional documents, as well as, building my online profile. With their help, I also learned how to show off the skills I have in an appropriate manner. Once I had these under my belt, I frequently went to the SPDC when starting my internship search.

What have you learned from the experience?

I have spent fall semester of this year, my junior year, participating in the Elon in New York City program. I am so thankful for this opportunity, as I have learned a great deal in my time here. My internship with New York Model Management Group has taught me a lot about the casting side of the entertainment industry.  With this position, I have built talent portfolios and assisted with casting talent for projects. Although there is still more time to come, I have already learned a lot about the entertainment industry and what the behind the scenes are like.

What recommendations would you share with other students about the Student Professional Development Center?

I would advise other students to take full advantage of the SPDC no matter where you are in your academic or professional career. Thinking about internships and life after Elon can be really intimidating but the SPDC is there to help and genuinely wants to see students prosper. Meeting with them has really made me grow and has given me the resources to better my professional self.

Tell me about your experience in landing this opportunity at MMG talent management agency.

With the help of Kiara Hines, graduate apprentice for career development, I scoured the internet for all the entertainment management internship postings there were. She advised me to search beyond these job postings and look at specific company websites. In doing this, I came across the New York Model Management Group website and saw the internship tab. It said to send your resume and cover letter to this email, so I did, and sooner after, a talent manager from MMG reached out to me. Had I never dug I little bit deeper, I would have never gotten the position I have.

How did your interest in the organization, company, or career path develop?

Ever since I was little, I’ve had a fascination with film and music. This passion has made me interested in working in the entertainment industry. Working in talent management has been something that I’ve considered pursuing as a career. Because of this, I thought it would be great for me to get the experience and exposure to what it’s like working with talent management. My internship provided great insight on this career path and showed me a little bit of the behind the scenes of the entertainment world.

Which faculty members did you work with to prepare and what help did you receive?

The Porter Center staff has been a lot of help to me and has really advanced my professional self. I took the Aspire to be Hired course with Kiara Hines, Brooke Buffington and Danielle Golinski. With that course, I learned a lot about building a professional portfolio, networking, and how to make yourself stand out from other applicants. Most importantly, going to the SPDC and taking that course really helped build my confidence. Additionally, I was frequently meet with Ms. Hines to go over different internship opportunities and review my cover letters. I’m so appreciative of her and all her help. I felt discouraged after receiving so many rejection emails from internships I had applied, but Ms. Hines always kept me motivated.