Getting a job after college can be quite challenging. New graduates might have a difficult time finding jobs they want if they did not do anything to prepare during their college years other than their studies. Some might expect their degree to be enough, but many fields are now looking for potential employees who already have some experience in their field.
Some might think this is something they will think about in their senior year, when it is much closer on the horizon for them, but starting out early can help students prepare for their future. While it may be much closer for seniors, juniors, sophomores and even freshmen can start thinking about what opportunities they can pursue and take advantage of the resources CBU has to offer.
Nathaniel Hovda, senior chemical engineering major, said he started preparing as early as his sophomore year by applying for internships, and he offered advice to students.
“One is starting early and having a timeline in the back of your head or where you need to be,” Hovda said. “Figure out if you want to have a job right out of graduation. Try interning the summer before or the year before, and that means applying a year before that so you can get that internship, which could lead to a full-time role.”
Hovda said there is a lot he would not have been prepared for if he had not been talking to his professors and mentors about opportunities. He also recommends using the resources that CBU offers in networking with professors and fellow students in your desired field, and with outside resources.
“You can use the services that CBU has to offer, such as the Career Center, which has things like career fairs, resume editing and mock interviews,” Hovda said. “Additionally, I would say having people in my network like professors, fellow students and external connections helped me with some of those things. Namely, resume review and mentorship.”
Joel Bigley, assistant professor of CBU’s school of business, said employers want employees who can generate value.
“Opportunities in business are short lived and there is little time for the learning curve,” Bigley said. “Be involved in leadership opportunities that create measurable value for others. Build something. Organize something. Influence something.”
Jeannette Guignard, professor of organizational leadership and director of organizational leadership for CBU Online, said she suggests students approaching their senior year clean up their social media, and that important things to develop are having a positive attitude and a reliable work ethic.
“The desired attitude breaks off into two branches: having a positive attitude and a learner attitude,” Guignard said. “That means if it’s an entry-level job, come in excited to learn, not just wanting to prove what you know.”