In the coming days and weeks millions of high school graduates will pack up and move to a college. If you, or your child, are one of these students, congratulations! Achieving this milestone required studying day and night and the pursuit of activities to help load college applications with “all the right” experiences. The race to graduation has been all consuming but don’t rest yet, you have one lap left.
Beginning Day 1, tackle your college experience with the following goals in mind: to graduate with a strong sense of self; pursue a profession reflective of your interests, skills, personality and values; and land that first full-time job – or graduate school – with confidence.
Here are 5 steps to achieve your college goals:
- Engage with faculty. Seek out professors and advisors and talk about more than the assignment. Talk about life, careers, etc. They chose their careers to help guide and teach young adults so take advantage!
- Take a variety of classes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 80% of college students change their declared major at least once. Course corrections cost time and money, so consider all options before finalizing a decision. Take a class in anything that interests you, look for trends or themes in what you like and dislike.
- Join a club, attend a guest lecture, go to a TED Talk. Explore your interests. If you find a topic, profession, or social issue intriguing check it out. These experiences will lend tremendous insight into what you want to do, and you’ll begin building a network in the process.
- Secure internships. The best way to explore possible majors and career professions is through internships. The rewards are immeasurable! These hands-on experiences, will inform what you do and don’t want from a career, help establish a network of industry contacts and meet fantastic people.
- Make Friends. During the college years some of the most impactful learning comes from peers. Be open to new people, new experiences and all the growth that comes from them.
So, get to campus and make a strong finish! You will grow, transform, and lay the foundation for a rewarding career.
We are grateful that our work was recently featured in the Edina Magazine. Check out the article at: http://edinamag.com/local-experts-prepare-students-job-search
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Thirty-eight students recently took part in an intensive, three-day boot camp at business locations across the Twin Cities.
Read all about it at:
Calling all December Grads, if you read Part I of this article you have spent the last month with RR&R (Redo, Read & Research). You have Redone your resume and LinkedIn Profile. You have Read and Researched to learn all you can about your 10 Target Companies. You have held at least 5 Informational Interviews. Well done!
By mid-January employees are back from holiday vacations and companies are looking to the year ahead. This includes evaluating gaps on their current team or who they will need on their team to achieve their 2017 goals. With all of your RR&R you are well prepared to seize this moment!
Schedule time each day to work on your job search. I recommend at least 1 hour, preferably 2…some experts say up to 8. Whatever your schedule allows make sure you set aside time each day to apply for jobs, reach out to contacts, schedule informational interviews and update your network.
Continue to reach out to, and meet with, your “prospect list”. Meeting informationally with industry contacts can bring endless benefits including insights into the industry/company, introduction, validation or even a referral for your dream job. Make sure you let your contacts know your job goals, who they recommend you talk to, and how you should go about applying to work at their company.
Check out all job boards, postings, and LinkedIn creating a daily routine to work your way through your regular sites. Your Target Companies will post positions on their social media sites so make sure you are following them as well.
Manage your referrals, once a contact has referred you to someone in their network your behavior now reflects on them and they are invested in your search. Update them once you reach out to and/or meet with the person they referred you to. A simple thank you and update goes a long way to strengthening and preserving your relationships.
Keep your network updated! Post a fun but professional update on your social media sites. It not only keeps contacts updated on what you are doing but also reminds them that you are available. Email occasional updates to anyone you have met with. This can be as simple as sending them an article that made you think of them or a note wishing them a great start to their week.
When you apply to a position follow it up with an email to anyone you know/have met with at that company. Let them know how excited you are about the position, briefly why you would be great, and ask them to help you network to the hiring manager or recruiter. Make sure you reference the exact title and include the job number if there is one. Also attach a copy of your resume so they can quickly and easily forward it to others at that company.
We hope that helps! Good Luck!