Coming to the End of the Beginning
There are a lot of question one asks him/herself when approaching the end of their undergraduate year of college. So, when the pressure is on, will you be ready? Do not panic! This is time to get organized, focused, and busy. As a graduate you have a lot of reasons to be cheerful, because you are about to embark on a remarkable journey. Here is some advice from a few faculty members on what to do when feeling the pressure.
1. What advice do you have for students who are about to graduate in terms of the pressure they feel going through the job searching process (including but not limited to resume/cover letter writing, interviewing, salary negotiation, etc.)?
What advice do you have for students who are about to graduate in terms of the pressure they feel going through the job searching process (including but not limited to resume/cover letter writing, interviewing, salary negotiation, etc.)?
Adriana Gordillo: Get help from your Career Development Center and get people to look at your resume that are in your line of work. Be confident in your own words, be assertive but nice, and own your words and experiences. Storytelling is a key component of the job search today. Know how to tell your story and connect the dots for people. Also, know what employers are looking for in recent graduates and check the 21st century skills connect – connect them with your school experience and activities. Get a LinkedIn account! A lot of people are getting job offers through LinkedIn nowadays. Know what you bring to the job that gives you an advantage.
Julie Ann Dittrich: Be prepared! Check out the resources available at the Career Development Center, especially the Job Search Handbook. Talk with recent graduates. It might be uncomfortable or awkward sometimes but the more experience and knowledge you obtain, the easier it will become. Do the footwork and trust that everything will work out. Also be willing to work for a temp agency to get experience.
Maurita Christensen: Resumes and cover letters are to be completed correctly, with exceptional grammar that accurately describes their experience and education. Regarding interviewing, salary negotiation, and job search, I would highly recommend using www.iseek.org, a MnSCU initiative.
Harry Peterson: Learn as much as possible about the company before the interview, and the position you are applying for.
Julie Ann Dittrich: It is important to network early. Volunteer at different organizations. You may not have time for much but do try to do a little since you never know who you will meet and influence. Be kind to others and be humble. Also, put in the time to be successful in your courses. College should be fun but too much socializing may likely negatively impact your GPA and learning. Be sure your priorities allow for success.
Giovanna Walters: Be vulnerable. Apply for a job even if you only meet 75% of the qualifications. You never know what the rest of the applicant pool looks like. Embrace experiences in college that will make you unique. Think about a fellowship! If you know exactly what you want to do, pursue it with your entire mind, heart, and soul. “We are successful when we can wake up every day and go to work saying that we truly love what we do and we are passionate about it.”
What advice would you like to offer to students who aren’t sure and have not found their career path they are passionate about?
Adriana Gordillo: Consider learning a second language to compliment other possible career paths. This is becoming a necessity in the global economy. Review possible career paths and job opportunities. Even though there are many options, explore more alternatives based on what you are good at doing. Also, talk to people about their jobs and discuss what they actually do in their profession.
Maurita Christensen: For students searching for their field of interest, I would recommend a combination of the first two pieces of advice. Use iSeek to assist with choosing several career areas, then do some informational interviews with several professionals in each area.
Do not be afraid to tackle the question “what’s next?” after graduation. It is an exciting one and a long-distance journey one must take. Do not be afraid to change track, or even come to a dead end because you never know where certain opportunities may lead.