Computer Professionals Program Newsletter
Master of Science in Computer Science

Maharishi University of Management, USA

Maharishi University of Management
Fairfield, Iowa
52557 USA
(641) 472-1153

July 2015

Jim Garrett: Preparing Professionals for Success

The Computer Professionals Master's Program at Maharishi University of Management has experienced very rapid growth in recent years, with 1600 graduates since 1996. The majority of new students come because they have friends and colleagues who came to MUM before them who had happy, life and career-advancing experiences here.

A major reason for the program's success, producing a 99% placement rate for students in Curricular Practical Training internship positions in U.S. companies in the past two years, is the extremely professional, practical and timely knowledge given to each student by the Department's Computer Career Center staff during the program.

Industry Background

The individual in charge of preparing students from many varied backgrounds for entering the U.S. internship job market is Jim Garrett. As Director of Training and Coaching, Jim brings 10 years experience, with four as Recruiting Manager at Human Factors International, the world's largest company specializing in user experience (UX) design. In 2009, when the U.S. IT market had slowed down, Jim was asked to join the Computer Career Center and develop the Career Strategies program.

Under Jim's leadership, the two-week workshop offered to all MSCS students after finishing on-campus courses, has evolved and advanced into an ongoing series of short seminars, culminating in the 2-week workshop at the end of students' time on-campus. This has made a significant difference in engaging the students and giving added value to the workshops. The main purpose of the workshops is to teach students to present themselves professionally in the U.S. job market, and to teach them skills for successful interviews.

Over the years Jim has continually changed/improved the content of the workshop. This involved creating structure and format where students could really get what they needed to excel in an interview. He created engaging, fun exercises with a corresponding workbook to aid students in gaining ownership of material presented .

As the numbers of students have grown due to the success of the program, Jim has hired and trained three more coaches. Jim leads the workshops, manages the coaches, and directs them in training/coaching students. They sometimes have over a hundred students in job search at one time, whom they stay in touch with and help with all the questions that come up.

Another workshop refinement has been for Jim to train coaches and create new materials for working in small student groups to keep learning intimate and connected. As a result, coaches have also grown and are enjoying the added professionalism they can pass on to students. The popularity of the classes and workshops has really increased over the years. Jim has set a professional tone and expectations, while making it fun for students. The coaches really connect to the students and their involvement with the workshop. Student commitment is now 100%.

Comments from Appreciative Students

"[Before coming to MUM] I got 2 opportunities for 2 great jobs and I ended up losing both of them. I was totally technically qualified for both jobs but didn't get an offer due to behavioral questions! In Career Strategies workshop, I learned how to deal with behavioral questions, how to behave professionally in interviews. Jim Garrett and his team trained us in all matters related to the interview process. If I had attended this workshop before, I wouldn't have lost both opportunities. I am now more confident that I will not miss my next job opportunity after all I have learned in the Career Strategies workshop under the leadership of Jim Garrett." Michael Saleeb (Egypt)

"I had lots of questions and confusions like what really is CPT, how do I explain it to others, how do I start job searching, interactions with the recruiters, interviews etc., and I got all the answers in 2 weeks of the career strategy class. I gained lots of confidence through the mock interviews that we practiced during the class. Later when I got the calls from the company, it was so easy! Surendra Bajracharya (Nepal) Software Engineer

"Before we started working on the job search seminar I had no idea how to look for jobs in the US, and the process seemed a huge task for anyone to bear. This was because I had not worked in this country prior to coming to MUM. I felt lost and confused. But the help that I received from you was full of easy steps and small tasks to be done one at a time. I also felt your approach in guiding me to know what I needed to know was easy and fun. Before I knew it, we were done. Now I am confident about finding a job, because I find myself in line with everybody else who has taken this seminar." Tsega Shimeless (Ethiopia) Junior Developer

Jim is very much appreciated for the contributions he has made to the success of our Computer Professionals Program. Dr. Julie Stephens, Co-Director of the Career Center says, "I really appreciate all the great work you have done with Career Strategies. I know where we were in 2005-08 and I know where we are now - light years ahead."

When Jim is not guiding our software developers in preparation for successful internship interviews and careers, he enjoys golf, biking, hiking, movies, having fun with friends, writing screenplays.

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