Ready for Spring Semester? Freshman to Senior Year Job Search Planning
A lot of students face their career issues in between semesters (i.e., during the winter intercession or summer break), but in order to effectively be prepared for your graduation, you need to be doing things all year long. The key is to manage your time in a way that you can fit in important career oriented activities. Don’t avoid doing these things because thinking about it makes you feel anxious or scared. The only way to reduce those feelings is by doing something positive to move forward in this area. If you avoid it, you can escape the feelings for a short period of time, but eventually they are only going to get progressively worse which will make the avoidance worse. Face it! Here’s how:
- Attend Career & Job Fairs, corporate events, professional association events.
- Reach out to your networking contacts-ask them for advice on the process of job search.
- Attend a job search workshop and if you still need more support afterward, see a career counselor at the SCDC.
- Hone all your job search skills-interviewing, networking, salary negotiation-attend workshops and events, read about it, check out Optimal Resume (you can even do a mock interview for yourself with video interviewing on this program)
- You need to start applying for jobs early–don’t start after graduation.
- Apply for internships for the summer. The summer internship between your junior and senior year is the often one of the most important experiences during your undergrad years that will have an influence on your career opportunities after graduation. It’s a critical opportunity for learning, making networking connections and obtaining valuable recommenders. Typically, this internship is more intense, involved and many employers are looking for candidates to hire upon graduation–so it can be an audition for the real thing.
- Attend corporate presentations to get to know companies and recruiters. Build relationships. This will be a critical building time for networking contacts that will be useful for your senior year.
- Apply for Leadership Programs like:
- Apply for Diversity Programs like:
- Apply for Mentoring Programs like:
It’s critical at this stage in your academic career to get involved strategically with organizations and groups that will help you learn more about the profession(s) that you are interested in and assist with opportunities for internships and mentoring in your field.
Consider a summer internship or volunteer experience. Getting more experience is always a plus.
- Start attending workshops given by the SCDC and other organizations on campus and professional associations regarding major selection and career. Exposure is critical to determining what types of careers might be fit for you.
- If you are feeling particularly confused and the workshops have not fully clarified the issue for you, see a career counselor for career testing and assistance with the major and career choice process.
- You may also want to consider a summer volunteer or internship experience to explore the career possibilities or get your first professional experience on your resume.
Check out the Starr Track for more information on things you should consider at every step of your academic career. Don’t wait until the end. Start today! Make yourself a plan and get started.