What was your major at CI? What was the month and year of your graduation?:

Business Administration. I completed my last class in August of 2016.

What is your job title and the name of the company where you are currently employed?:

I am a Business Services Coordinator at The Trade Desk

What particular skills or talents are most essential to be effective in your job?:

A positive "can do" attitude and an open mind for those that are not familiar with the ad tech industry

Why did this type of work interest you, and how did you get started?:

It wasn't so much the work that interested me, but more the way in which the company takes care of their employees and the culture that really interested me. I did not know much about the company other than that they had an opening related to business operations. I got the position through the career development center with the help from Dr. Amanda Carpenter.

How well did your college experience prepare you for this job?:

It is hard to say. I'm so grateful for my degree and all the hard work I put in to get it, but I feel that is has helped me in some ways, and also that it didn't completely prepare me at the same time. I don't think a person can ever be truly prepared for what real world experience can throw your way, and it is not a bad thing! What is important to remember is that employers are willing to train you with any skills necessary.

Did you complete an internship while at CI? If so, what was your position? How did the internship help you in your career development?

I did, and two for that matter. I was a market research intern at Accessory Power in Westlake Village, and a Business development intern at GBL Systems Corporation in Camarillo through the HLI program at CI. They both definitely helped me in my career development. The real world experience in a temporary role helps you to decide where you want to go after graduation. Do I like what I'm currently doing now? Do I need something new? Could another department suit me better? Although I had previously worked in business operations, I had always been curious about what marketing or business development had to offer. Working in these temporary roles gave me the insight I needed in the kind of company I wanted to work for and also to be most confident in pursuing my career in operations.

Did you utilize Career Development Services (CDS) during your time at CI? If so, please describe how engaging in programs and services (e.g., Career & Internship Fair, CI Connection Luncheon, Drop-In Career Counseling) offered through CDS contributed to your career development:

YES! THEY'RE AMAZING! I can't tell you how many different services I have taken advantage of during my time as a student there. I did everything from my resume and cover letter, to other services such as career lunches, the HLI internship program, employer seminars, mock interviews, job search the list goes on and on. The girls (Patty, Lisa, and Amanda) are great to work to with and are willing to help in any way they can with whatever you need. If it wasn't for their help and guidance, I would not have gained the insight that I did and be working at The Trade Desk.

Did you go to graduate school? If so, what program and university did you attend?

No I decided against graduate school for now. Even though I do believe it has its benefits in certain situations, the financial aspect of it concerned me the most. I wasn't quite ready to take on the loans I would need if I wanted to go to graduate school. I also wanted to explore my options in terms of where I'd be working and see whether pursuing my Master's would help me in further advancing my career.

Do you have any advice (job hunting or otherwise) for CI students?

Explore your options and work as closely as you can with the career and development center! Don't accept the first position that is offered just because you're worried about immediately starting that income stream. Its ok to hold out for that one position you truly want versus the one you might feel iffy on just because you "need the money." That doesn't mean you'll be happy. This was one of my most favorite yet scary bits of advice that Patty gave me; scary, in the way that I'd be passing on one opportunity in the hopes that another would come along. And I'm so glad I listened!

Would you be willing to connect with current CI students who have questions for you on LinkedIn? If so, please include your LinkedIn url.

I'd definitely be willing to connect with any students. My LinkedIn is https://www.linkedin.com/in/melanie-milam-628609b5?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic