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Chico State

How To: Nail that Next Job or Promotion

A student shakes a hand of a potential employer at a career fair on campus.

Megan Odom (MBA, ’02) is living her dream job.

For more than 20 years she has been a pillar of the Chico State Career Center, assisting students and alumni through all phases of career development. More than anything, she wants folks to know that “we’re more than just resumes,” she said, noting that her team of nine serves students and alumni at all levels, providing access to job fairs, career counseling, and more.

“Fifteen percent of our clients are alums,” Odom said. “We’ve worked with alumni ages 21 to well into their 70s!”

Whether you’re on the brink of graduation or making a late-stage career move, the center offers lifelong—that’s right, lifelong—services to all Wildcats, free of charge. The best part? Zoom makes staff accessible to meet whenever and wherever works for you. Odom offers up a few tips to help professionals of all ages and life stages leverage the Center to maximize their career potential.

  • Use LinkedIn to connect with more than 124,000 alumni. Whether you are looking for employees, that next job opportunity, or a professional mentor, the Career Center can help you navigate the social media platform to find the best match for you. We tell people, “Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.”
  • Practice interviews. Staff will help navigate questions both basic and mind-boggling—and get you thinking in ways you might not have considered. And call us before your interview. We will pump you up!
  • Explore a new path entirely. It’s never too late to live the life you’ve always imagined! If someone is interested in a career pivot, staff can help identify alternative job options for more fulfilling work. We’re here for all of your employment conversations!
  • Negotiate salary. We can tell you what acceptable salaries are for the job and geographic area. Knowing what you ask for and how to ask for it helps you get the salary and benefits you deserve. Ninety percent of what we do is building confidence. We are your cheerleaders.
  • Get a better understanding for your field. While her team are more generalists than specialists, there are career advisors for every college so they have specific knowledge about various fields. They might know of career paths you never dreamed of that are a perfect fit for your degree or experience.
Career Center Director Megan Odom (right) talks with graduating seniors as they file for graduation and other services during GradFest 2023. (Jason Halley / University Photographer)

As a child, Megan Odom (MBA, ’02) wanted to own her own business when she “grew up.” Little did she know her path would take her from a BS in Business Communications from University of California, Davis, to graduate studies at Chico State, to what would become her true passion—witnessing Wildcats land the jobs of their dreams around the world. She has been the director of the Career Center since 2014.