Press: UMD Career Center Testimonial 2009

Justin Fair, Art Student

I was headstrong with a heavy weight on my shoulders, the day when I interviewed to work at Jungle Grille. I knew if I wanted to work somewhere that I liked to go to, make others happy with my personality, and help put some green in my wallet, this interview was the key to it all. I just had to know how to find and open the lock. When I entered the restaurant after having filled scheduled my appointment days before, I was worried as to whether or not I would be accepted. But soon I found myself chatting with the owner of the restaurant, smiling at me and just talking to me. With his “no worries” approach I watched my own actions as I did my best to truthfully answer his questions, show him who I am, and just be myself. My mother’s always told me to learn from every experience and only to get better as I grow older. Remembering my interview days shows me how far I’ve grown even in such a small period of time. Too often students forget just how young and naïve we really are. I remember only months before, at the end of my freshman year, sitting in the University Career Center speaking to someone about interning somewhere, speaking to someone about my resume, and even involving myself in a quick mock-interview for an internship. As I look back on it, while at my interview at Jungle Grille, I was just doing my best to be as charming and honest as possible; I was also using those skills I had reviewed at the Career Center. Standing across from someone in a green-wall-jungle-painted restaurant with only ambition and hoping you’re good enough to work there can really tax on a person. But soon enough I found at the interview that just by keeping myself direct, naturally friendly, and relaxed, I was offered a position. It’s been months now and I’m happily working at Jungle Grille, but even a few days ago I was told to take initiative and that they enjoy having me as an employee. It is good to know of the impact I can make on an everyday basis, but even more knowing of the people I impact everyday. While at my interview thinking about the University Career Center didn’t enter my mind, but I am certain that actually taking the time to involve myself in the Career Center’s programs did help me along the way. I’ve learned since my first day of working that having natural respect for your fellow man, always having your manners, and taking the time to ask questions, will always benefit you. While applying for a job somewhere may be worrisome, the interviewer will only want to see you for who you are and see what you have to offer to the establishment. If you always act in a professional and kind manner, you’ll find you have a key inside of yourself to open any lock you may encounter. Just be patient, honest to everyone and to yourself, and know who you are and who you want to grow to become; and you’ll be free. Say goodbye to all that weight and all those chains and hello to strength and freedom.

Justin Fair

Live Soulstrong discusses and shares posts on art, design, technology, pop culture, movement, health and good living. With Travels from Baltimore to DC. In addition to Soulstrong Design, Justin has an online visual traditional/plastic arts portfolio at

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