Career Column

Career Corner with Coach Diane: What to do this Fall?

Welcome Back! Although the semester has just begun, it’s never too early to visit the Career Center in Frese Hall. There are many counselors available to speak with you about your career aspirations and goals for the future.

Here are 5 things you should do to prepare for your visit:

  1. Make an appointment and come prepared with all your questions. Write these questions down on a piece of paper or in a notebook.
  2. It doesn’t hurt to get started on your resume now, even if you will be making many changes down the road. Begin the process of writing a resume before you visit the Career Center so you have something to work with.
  3. Share your true interests and what’s important to you. You don’t have to pick a major or have a job in mind, but start to think about what you like to do. Tip: don’t just think in terms of resume building activities, for those don’t always reflect your interests.
  4. Find out what other students did this summer. Begin to network with other students and think about joining a student club. In addition, you should think about talking to your professors about their own networks.
  5. Learn about resources. Career Centers have extensive online libraries to access information about internships, career tracks, and more.
  6. Take a personality assessment; there are a few free assessments online and they help you to understand your likes and dislikes. At the Career Center, we have an assessment tool, Focus, that we use to help students match their skills with careers.

It’s not all about building the perfect resume or deciding on a definitive career path when you’re just getting started in college. Rather, this is the time for you to explore your interests and consider how your experiences—even if they seem random at the moment—may be related to your aspirations for the future. The sooner you start having conversation about your interests and ambitions, the greater the possibilities and the more you can get out of your college experience. As you begin to understand what you want out of life, you can identify potential internships, fellowships, alumni connections and other opportunities.

Networking is so important to help you build and cultivate relationships that you will need when you start looking for your first job.  LinkedIn is a great tool for students to use for networking; you should build a profile and begin to reach out to peers, faculty, friends and anyone else in your circle. Building a profile is fairly simple, but if you need any help, we can assist you.

Joining a club or society on campus is another great way to build your network and will help you strengthen many professional skills, such as communication, teamwork, organization, work ethic, punctuality, critical thinking, and adaptability.  All of these sills are important for you to be successful in your everyday life and your career.

If you’re interested in learning more about some of the information mentioned here, I recommend checking out Lindsey Pollak’s book, Getting from College to Career: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World.

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