Vivian Tomlinson’s advice: Make a good name for yourself

Vivian Tomlinson is right at home in a classroom. Addressing a room full of graduate students eager to hear her advice about the job market and interviewing, Tomlinson places both hands on the front desk, leans forward, takes a pause, then almost whispers, “It’s all about your reputation. You have to make a good name for yourself.”

Though this seems like common sense, every grad student in the room is writing it down. Tomlinson knows what she is talking about. Alumni ambassador for the A&M-Commerce Department of Literature and Languages, Tomlinson began teaching at the college level in 1986. She has been at Cameron University in Oklahoma for most of her professional career, and she has, of course, seen hundreds of applicants come and go.

“Take every opportunity to network,” is one of the last bits of wisdom she offers her audience. After a round of applause, a dozen folks surround her, ready to exchange email addresses and business cards.