Name: Karina Paul

Graduated high school from:  Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School (HeLa High for short).

School and area of study: Clark College, Nursing

Year in college: Sophomore

You’ve had some career-related opportunities recently. Could you tell us about those experiences? WSOS hosted the first Eat, Drink, Talk Event in Vancouver where many executives and employers were invited to learn more about the Scholarship and Scholars! I got to meet and network with people from a variety of careers and specialties. I formed a close connection with one of the employees from Legacy Health Systems. She provided me with her business card and within 24 hours I followed up to thank her for coming to the event. I also asked if there would be an opportunity for me to shadow a nurse at the hospital. She introduced me to another staff member who coordinated the emergency room shadowing experience. Labor and delivery experience is next on my list in September. However, most importantly, I get to keep a network of connections that I am sure will be useful when I will be looking for a job after my graduation. It all started with a single person!

WSOS and new Scholars got to know more about you when you volunteered as a Lead at Opportunity Launch 2017. What was that experience like? I had a beyond wonderful experience. Lots of talks, food, and fun! I met some amazing Scholars and other Leads. Everyone was so friendly to each other; it was incredible. Each one of the speakers was very empowering, inspirational, and motivational. They proved the sky is not the limit! I networked with a few individuals from the field of nursing, medicine and beyond. I will be in touch with those individuals as future encounters will be beneficial for my educational journey and career path. In fact, one of the panelists reached out to me first! Guess what? Business cards do work!!! This conference expanded my horizons and I learned to stay open to opportunities. My view on education expanded and now I am more than ever motivated to pursue dreams, goals, and plans!

What would be your advice to new Scholars? Network and do not underestimate the power of connections. Where I am today is mainly due to the result of networking. Trust me, it works! Hard work is important, but do not forget to let your skills and talent shine. Take advantage of professional events offered and meet as many people as possible. Keep in touch with those with whom you find a common ground, drop a note once in a while and do not forget to ask for opportunities that interest you. There cannot be enough mentors because we can always learn something new and improve our weaknesses.  Create and develop a LinkedIn profile, make some business cards, and use professional email when reaching out. In other words, be prepared. You just do not know when the opportunity will knock. And if it doesn’t knock, build the door!

Can you tell us about being a student at your school? Clark College is a community college so our student population is very diverse! Students come from a variety of different backgrounds. Personally, I like the small school feel because I get to know my professors and classmates closely. Clark College offers a variety of resources to their students ranging from financial aid to job search to networking opportunities. I work as an office assistant lead and I and my team oversee five computer labs on campus as well as 57 computer aids. On this job, I improved my soft skills including public speaking, interpersonal communication, and teamwork. I am sure this skill set will be useful to me throughout my entire life! A few quarters ago, I participated in the human cadaver dissection class where we dissected the muscular, integumentary, vascular, and nervous systems. I was privileged to learn human anatomy in such unique ways. Right now, I am a treasurer for the Student Nurses Association at Clark College where we as a team promote health-related activities both on campus and in the community, support incoming nursing student students, and explore health care trends. In other words, even though Clark College is a community college, the opportunities are limitless, but you must search for them!