Working Wonders: Asking the Right Questions in Your Search for a Job


At CIP Bloomington we are getting excited for the changing seasons. Football, pumpkins, and colorful leaves are some of the subtle joys of the Midwest. With new students comes the chance for new partnerships at CIP. 

There is a lot of trial and error in any career search. One may reach out to a business, send in a resume, and never get a response. This is all part of the process – and something we definitely try to stress with our students as they continue to look for viable careers – but when a connection is made it can be as exciting as a full harvest moon.

A partnership began this fall with CIP Bloomington and Scotty’s Brewhouse in Bloomington, after Parker G, a student from Louisville, Kentucky decided that he wanted to work in food service. Parker loves football and chicken wings, and had previously worked at Buffalo Wild Wings, so with the help of our career department, he began the process of applying to Scotty’s Brewhouse.

We discussed Parker’s career goals and by answering several questions, we decided on what was important to Parker. We always want to make sure we are making suitable internship and job matches for our students by listening to their needs and wants. A few questions to help steer us in the right direction were:

    • What's more important - money or experience?
    • What type of atmosphere do you like?
    • What are some tasks you enjoy doing?
    • What are some tasks you don't enjoy doing?
    • What did you enjoy about your last job?

Through getting to know Parker and asking the right questions, we were able to come up with some important conclusions:

    • He wanted to make money and save up for an apartment
    • He wanted to work at a place where he could eat
    • He wanted to be around people
    • He wanted to be able to balance work and his CIP schedule

After getting a little help modifying his resume and filling out the online application, Parker was granted an interview! In order to prepare Parker for the face-to-face meeting, we went through a mock interview and picked out an outfit that would be appropriate for the interview. Through the prep work, he did a great job and was offered a job on the same day!

“My coworkers are awesome. I host, bus tables, roll silverware, run food, fill up the ice machine, and wash towels when I work. The managers are laid back and very nice; I have five of them. After I clock in, I go to the host station, update the IPAD, and greet people as they walk in. It is the best job I’ve worked so far. I like it better than Buffalo Wild Wings.”

Parker has done a great job in this position so far – he is adept at navigating from table to table, seating guests and handing out menus with ease. He is making friends, and with CIP’s support, is able to balance work with his active personal life.

About the Author

Charles Culp is the Career Coordinator at CIP Bloomington. After receiving his degree in Education from Indiana University in 2008, he joined the Americorps. Since then he has been an advocate for non-profit and community education in Colorado, Tennessee, and now in his home state. He is passionate about making a lasting connection with the students at CIP, and he believes every person has an opportunity to grow and thrive as they discover their passions through the most formative years of their life.

About College Internship Program

The College Internship Program is a comprehensive transition program for young adults on the Autism Spectrum and with Learning Differences. Our Mission is to inspire independence and expand the foundation on which young adults with Autism, ADHD, and other Learning Differences can build happy and productive lives.