That’s how we begin to answer the question that every senior starts to ask: Where are you planning to work? If you are already signed to a banking or consulting job, we hate you. For the rest of us who have merely chosen the industry in which we want to work, here are some tips for focusing that idea into something useful.
One of the easiest ways to find a job is to consider the contacts you have made through past internships or jobs or acquaintances you have met. People often find that their former employer often has ties to several other companies. Work this to your advantage when you think you want to work Proctor & Gamble and remember that your boss at Dundermifflin used to work there.
This is a session where a company brings in employees to speak about the company culture and positions available. Often, these are fun to go to just because you instantly realize that this is what you don’t want. This gives you the freedom to ask bold questions that all of the other students sitting around in suits are too afraid to ask.
“People try to suck up to us at information sessions because they get this idea that somehow, we are going to affect whether they get hired or not. The truth is, our job is to give informationals to prospective employees. HR does the hiring.” said a NYC banking affiliate at a recent information session.
Universities work hard to keep a strong alumni network that takes care of its new graduates. This sort of system works great when graduates “repay the favor” by preferably hiring new alumni graduates. However, many students go out into the world of careers applying to companies without considering where they might find a helping hand. Look up your alumni network in the industry you are interested in, give a few of them a call and get advice and insight into this industry, the jobs available, etc.
It might be hard to think objectively about your strengths when it’s just you looking in the mirror and noticing how out of shape you’ve let yourself get senior year. Luckily, your professors can be very objective by looking at your grades. Did you ace every bio lab you ever took? Maybe stick around for a year after graduation doing a fellowship at your university working in labs. Or, if you have a passion for business, ask a professor what companies might be the best to work at given your interests. They are, after all, experienced professionals who are most certainly more intelligent than you. Take advantage of this resource.
“One of the things that surprises me most is how students think that simply having an idea of where they want to work, yet do no investigating in how to get there. They think that sending your resume to a couple places will magically get you to your dream job. These days, that’s not the case. It’s about making connections and showing the right people that you are enthusiastic about said industry,” said Mimi McCarron, Director of Alumni Affairs at Tufts University.
Get out there and start making moves. Utilize your resources and don’t try to take on the world all on your own.