Campus Resources to Take Advantage of in Your Career Search

By Amanda Cohen on January 11, 2018

Even though most of us are still in winter break mindset, there are some other things that should definitely be on your minds, like finding jobs or internships! I’m not writing this article to stress anyone out because I myself have yet to find a full-time job for after I graduate, but, rather, I am writing this article to help you jumpstart your career search. This article focuses on the different campus resources that you must take advantage of because they will truly make your life and your job research process so much easier and, overall, less burdensome mentally. So, read on if you are wanting to start your job search process, but are having trouble deciding how to begin!

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First and foremost, you must talk to your advisor. Advisors are there for so much more than just scheduling issues and graduation concerns. Your advisors can help in a variety of ways, but they will ultimately help you gain some direction. They will help dissect your interests, your college major(s) and minor(s) and guide you to the resources that will most benefit your job and internship search. Advisors are in tune with just about everything that goes on throughout campus and they can help to facilitate conversations with professors, career centers, and, ultimately, they can help you with easier stuff, like making an appointment at the career center.

Your professors and your graduate student instructors (GSIs) are also great resources because they are high up in their fields and they will know how to help you in a way that is in coherence with your busy college schedule. Professors and GSIs are especially helpful resources for those of you who want to pursue research opportunities and different post-graduate programs (like medical school) because they can give you guidance as well as write you a letter of recommendation, if you have a good relationship with him/her. Professors also are great people to network with because they most likely have friends, family, and colleagues who work in similar fields as them and they could help you find an awesome job, internship, or volunteer opportunity.

University career centers are obviously the most relevant resources in this article because it literally has the word “career” in its name. Career centers are free and they offer a plethora of resources to help you with any and all steps of the job search process. You can go here for resume review, wardrobe reviews for interviews, mock interviews, cover letter review, creating/writing a resume and cover letter, and, ultimately, they can help to give you advice on where to look for jobs and they may even provide you with job listings. In addition, if there is something that they can’t do or that they don’t know how to do, they will send you to the right person or people to ensure that you are getting the help that you need. Career centers offer both professionals as well as students/interns, therefore you can get different perspectives in regards to the job process and what exactly you should be doing to help jumpstart your career.

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Even though there are a lot of individual people and places to help you with your job search, the best advice I can give to you all is to constantly be networking and to constantly be prepared to talk about yourself and your career prospects. College campuses are filled with people who are either currently employed in a career that interests you, or they have been in the past… take advantage of this! Carry around extra copies of your resume, print business cards with all of your contact information, be prepared to talk about why you want to pursue a certain career or field of study. You seriously never know who you will run into and being prepared is that best thing you can do for yourself. In addition, be sure to take advantage of career fairs and go to certain speakers/events that either interest you or that could potentially have people that you could talk to in regards to different career opportunities.

Ring in 2018 with a strong drive to find out what you want to do after college or what you want to do during the summer before your next college semester. Be sure to also look into opportunities that don’t involve you sitting behind a desk all day filing papers. You can also talk to people who have had experience traveling, volunteering, doing freelance work, and so much more. Jumpstarting your career does not necessarily mean looking for an office job… I cannot stress this to you enough. Look into opportunities to give back to the community and, if money is a huge factor, pair this with a part-time job so that you have both the paycheck and the community service aspect. The world is truly your oyster!

I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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