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Another Pop Culture Edition to Career Development…

If you haven’t heard already, Disney’s “Mary Poppins” has gone Broadway and our very own city of Chicago is currently hosting a limited run of what I hear is an “over the top musical production.” In fact, performances have been staged all over the world, including London, New York and Sydney; and now University Career Services? Well, not exactly.

Mary Poppins dates back to the 1930s, and ever since the series of children’s books were published there have been highly successful musical film and stage adaptations. Within all these productions, fans have been able to relate to the themes and lessons from the characters and apply them to their own reality. So although it would not be feasible for UCS to house such a musical, we can at least draw out the career lessons presented by Mary Poppins!

Know how valuable you are.

For those of you unfamiliar with the main character, Mary Poppins, she was the ‘magical’ nanny for the five Banks children. She appeared during times of struggle for the family and brought some much needed harmony and fun for these unruly children. Mary Poppins also flew in on an umbrella and departed when the children learned enough lessons and promised to return whenever they needed her. Okay, I know this concept may seem juvenile, but Mary Poppins was well aware of how valuable she was to the Banks family. Have you felt the same way at your internship or work site?

Whether you are currently at your internship or have months of work experience under your belt, you should spend some time assessing the skills, interests, and values you have developed or what contributions or achievements you have made. By doing this, you could identify your strengths that will eventually set the content foundation for your resume, cover letter, and interview responses.

Always carry a “carpetbag”

Most images of Mary Poppins depict her flying with an umbrella and carrying a bag, a.k.a. the carpetbag. This bottomless carpetbag was full of magical tricks and somehow, she managed to have a solution to a problem (and kept it entertaining!). Why not carry your very own carpetbag that contains your strategic tools, i.e. unique skills and experience, elevator speech, business cards, portfolio, etc… Whether it is an abstract or tangible tool, these items will come in handy when you attend career fairs, networking events, or accidentally run into the CEO of your dream company because you will be prepared and eventually could impress employers!

 “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.”

Mary Poppins was responsible for the typical nanny chores but she always added an element of adventure to her mundane work. This could ring true when it comes to your career development process and practicing self- care. Whether
you are spending time reflecting on your values and interests, developing your
cover letter, or practicing your interview skills, you are juggling many
responsibilities and commitments. Why not add an element of fun to the process
to feel more relaxed and refreshed? During my own career development, I would
reward myself with a manicure or massage whenever I completed a task. Consequently, this helped me relieve stress and stay motivated throughout the process. What activities or rewards could encourage you throughout your career development?

So if you are stuck in a rut and need a “Mary Poppins” in your career development, visit University Career Services to speak with a career services staff member. It may just make your experience very “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” 

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