With thousands of recent college graduates scrambling to find a job, you may be a little concerned about your ability to find a job during and after college. The good news is, there are a ton of resources on most college campuses to help, but most students fail to take advantage of them. Here’s a list of forgotten college resources you should know about . . .
- The financial aid office isn’t the only place to look for money. Ask which campus office is in charge of internships and fellowships. While other students are asking for loans and scholarship dollars, you can be lining up a summer internship or a post-graduation fellowship. Not only are scholarships and fellowships a great way to make some extra money, but they also provide the experience and connections you’ll need to start your career.
- Make the career office one of your first stops. Many students wait until they are juniors or seniors to stop by. Big mistake, because the career office can also help you find work during the school year or summer.
- Find the schedule of employers who are visiting campus. The career office has it on file, so ask for it. Employers visit campuses to hire graduates and many are also looking for students to work during the summer or school year. Students who have worked for a company are the first to be considered for jobs after they graduate.
- Network into the alumni association. Alums love to meet current students. You can appear on panel discussions or perform with your a cappella group at alumni functions. As you meet alums, network with them like crazy. They can be your most important source of job opportunities and more.
- Align yourself quickly with the professor who can do the most for you. If you’re interested in city planning, for example, find the prof who is the campus star in that area. Don’t wait until you are enrolled in his or her class – drop by and have a conversation. That prof could be looking for research assistants or interns over the summer months and may be well networked within the industry. Don’t let other students get to the front of that professor’s queue. Get in line fast and start working your way up.
- Leverage your way into the right leadership positions. Quickly join the organizations that can help you reach your career goals. If you want to work in government, for example, join the campus organization that brings politicians to campus to speak – it’s a great way to make contacts in government.
As soon as you hit campus, find ways to stand out. And remember, most people make their most important career connections while they are in college, not afterwards.