How Your College Career Office Can Help You Reach Your Professional Goals

On-campus career development centers are an invaluable tool to help prepare you for the professional interview process. Career centers will give feedback on resumes and covers letters, and conduct mock interviews. They can also assist you in finding internships and jobs. Using this resource is highly recommended. Career advisers focus on helping you put that hard-earned, and often expensive, degree to good use. It is nice to know that as you prepare for the “real world,” you have helpful career counselors and advisers on your side.

Certain university departments may also have specific career or internship offices, as is often the case for business schools. Going through your business college’s internship center is important for disciplines such as accounting or finance professions. Firms love to form partnerships and go through school programs to handpick their interns and future employees. Walk into the office today and start interacting with advisers that will get you on the track to achieve your professional goals. Services career centers offer may include:

 

Career fairs

Colleges often host career fairs, where you can meet with representatives from various companies. This allows you to make a contact at a firm you are interested in and get your foot in the door for internships or even your first job after graduation. Look for area-specific career fairs: media and communication, and design; agricultural, food, and life sciences; STEM; and nonprofit, government, and helping professions are all possibilities. These fairs can be useful for maximizing your time and narrowing down your options to your specific interest.

 

Panels

Look out for those career fairs, but also stay in touch with the news feed to see when panels will be meeting on campus. A panel is typically a moderated, question-style seminar where professionals come in and talk about their paths and experiences. Students may attend these panels and listen to possible career paths, ask questions, and learn more about careers they can pursue with their area of study. For example, a panel for humanities majors could include professionals in media, communication, or teaching fields. This panel could feature professions such as social media manager, marketing account executive, museum educator, copywriter, newspaper reporter, nonprofit fundraiser, and many others. Additionally, after listening to professionals speak about their careers, you can interact with them and perhaps make a connection or two. One-on-one face time can be an amazing opportunity to show your stuff and make a positive, memorable impression.

 

Career center web pages

Many schools provide information pages on the web complete with links to career assessment tests, stories about other graduates’ career paths, and events or employers soon visiting campus. Other resources include job search links, videos on various professional topics, and the school’s involvement on social media. Also check out sites such as Optimal Resume, which provides templates and examples of resumes by field. A resume for an engineer can have a very different structure and objective than a resume for a graphic designer.

 

Graduate/professional school application help

Graduate school program information may be available through your career center as well, including how to apply. If you need help with writing a personal statement, for example, career office advisers can provide information on the format and give great feedback. Applying for graduate school can be a strenuous process, and your career center can help make it a bit easier. Also consult your professors and stop by the writing center for additional feedback.

 

Career center website

Many colleges have a website dedicated to students looking for employment that includes internship and job postings. After you pick out some opportunities you want to apply for, you can schedule a mock interview or a review of your job application materials with a career counselor. Schedule an appointment or visit during the walk-in period. Before your appointment, check out the career office website, as these sites often include cover letter and resume templates that can help get you started as well. Then, when you go in for your review, you can get more out of your session. Sign into your student account and get looking!

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