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Make a Good First — and Second — Impression

Advice from Diana L. Bennett, Silver State Award winner

Campus News  |  May 10, 2016  |  By UNLV News Center
Diana Bennett

Diana Bennett (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

Diana Bennett is the CEO and co-founder of Paragon Gaming, which has developed and currently operates several Canadian gaming properties. She has held numerous executive positions in the local gaming industry and also oversees the Bennett Family Foundation. Silver State Award is the highest honor awarded to a nonalumnus/a by the Alumni Association. It recognizes significant support to the university and the community at large.

The advice I’d give myself as a new graduate … Find a way to stand out of the crowd, especially when it comes to job searches. For every job today there could be 20 applicants. What makes you stand out? It’s not your resume. It’s often the homework you do before the interview. Do you know your future work place? Do you know your new boss? Are you prepared? It’s cliché, but true. You only have one chance at a first impression.

That said, second impressions are important, too. After an interview, remember the “thank you” note. I’m old fashioned and really like handwritten ones, but an email will do the trick, too. Of those 20 applicants, the two that took the time to write a “thank you” note just improved their chances of a call back — even if they may not have been the first choice after an interview.

I’d also tell myself to start thinking about how to give back to my community. As a new graduate, it’s easy to get caught up in looking for work, but volunteering is personally invigorating and can even help you establish valuable, life-long relationships. It will all come back to you in so many ways.

The Alumni Advice series is part of our special 2016 commencement week celebrations, which include the annual Alumni Association Awards Program May 12, and the spring graduation ceremonies on May 13 and 14. Join us in congratulating our newest alumni on social media with #UNLVGrad.