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College to Career: My First Job as a Training Specialist

At St. Thomas University, we are committed to the success of our students inside and outside of the classroom. Our College to Career series will feature and celebrate  STU Bobcats and their internship and first job experiences. Get to know STU Bobcat,Dana Nowaczyk, and about her first job experience as a training specialist!

  1. Name: Dana Nowaczyk
  2.  Major: Business
  3. Graduation Year: 2017 (Yikes, I am getting old!)
  4. Where do your work and what is your title?: Hayes Locums in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I am a Training Specialist.
  5. How did you find out about your job and secure it? I found my company through LinkedIn and fell in love with the culture and competitive aspect of the job. I went through two formal interviews and was able to leverage my business degree as well as speak to my experience of being a successful college athlete. I spoke about my personal experience being naturally competitive, having discipline and structure in my everyday life, and my willingness to learn and grow which could easily be applied to the job.
  6. What does a day at work look like? I am responsible for leading the on-boarding and training for our new hires, mostly in our sales department. The formal training process is a two-week nesting period with continued education classes once you’ve completed training. When I am not in meetings or in training, I am helping create new content to help our employees grow professionally and personally. This past year we received an award. The Training Top 125 is the only awards program that ranks companies unsurpassed in harnessing human capital. Our relentless department of two (now three) took home number 119 for the 2020 Top 125 Training in the Country & 5th overall in Florida by Training Magazine. The average company in the Top 125 had an average of 145 Full-Time trainers, we did it with 2. This was a huge success for us as a department.
  7. What’s your favorite part about your job? Being able to watch new consultants succeed and hit their first milestones. I love knowing that my hard work has a purpose and that I am able to help improve the lives of others around me.
  8. What challenges have you faced at your first job and how have you overcome them? There is a huge learning curve going from a classroom setting into corporate America. At times, I have been the youngest in the room managing a project with a team that has more experience than me. It can be intimidating, but the biggest thing I have learned is that it is ok to ask for help and admit that you don’t have an answer. What counts is that you are excited to learn more and help find or create a solution. Some key things that have helped me are to dress for the job you want, not the job you have, be willing to help out on projects that are outside of your department and to make an effort to say hello to everyone. This is how I have built a personal relationship with our senior leaders.
  9. How does your job connect back to your coursework and extracurricular activities at STU? Being a captain during my four years at St. Thomas University helped me become the type of leader that can manage different types of people. It established my core values and has guided me in my work life. I had the privilege of learning different teaching styles from my professors, as well as different learning styles from my classmates. When I’m teaching new hires to be successful, I am able to apply the styles I learned at STU to better relate to them.
  10. What advice do you have for Bobcats that are starting the job hunt? Do not focus so much on the job title, focus on the culture of that company. Be prepared for interviews, always bring resumes, do your research on the company, overdress and over-prepare. Be confident even if you do not feel it and talk about things you are passionate about. It is ok to say you are not sure or have not done something before, but show that you are eager to learn and develop your skills. Be coachable and confident. After an interview, thank your interviewers for their time and ALWAYS SEND A FOLLOW UP EMAIL.
  11. Describe your job in a GIF? 


Learn more about how Career Services can help you find the right internship or job for you!

Interested in sharing your internship or first job experience with STU News? Reach out to Michelle Tulande at

Michelle Tulande

Author Michelle Tulande

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