By Hannah Sassi, EVP and GWSB Senior
As a sophomore and junior, I was lucky to be friends with several seniors in the business school. Besides being my friends, these people were huge motivators for me when it came time to planning out my career search. They were all going through the recruitment process and essentially their focus on finding a job rubbed off on me. Looking back, I am very happy that I started seriously exploring internship opportunities and potential career paths early on in the spring of sophomore year and fall of junior year. It encouraged me to go through all of the professional development activities (resume reviews, mock interviews, informational sessions, etc.) and prepared me for more serious recruitment processes later on.
Each school and each major has a different timeline when it comes to finding a career after college. For some, the goal is to have an offer before senior year even begins. For others, few students have a job right out of college and focus on continuing their education in grad school. Whatever your career timeline may be, I would suggest finding a way to get a head start. It helps spread out the work you will need to do and could potentially make your senior year much less stressful. It also differentiates you from the majority of your peers who are waiting for the typical career search process to begin. For example, this is seen when comparing summer internships to full-time positions. Far less students interview for the internship positions than do for the full-time jobs, even though typically these internships turn into full-time offers. The point is, no matter what your post-grad goals are, it is always good to get in early.
So what are some other ways to jumpstart your job search/post-grad plans? A great method is to talk to seniors in the same school or with the same major. This gives you an opportunity to hear their experiences and learn about the different options you could pursue. If you don’t know how to reach out to seniors, try going through your career center staff. It is likely that they will have several senior students they have interacted with recently. Another method is to attend workshops and informational events that interest you. They don’t have to directly pertain to your major and can help widen your scope or solidify what appeals to you when considering different options. Lastly, find a way to track your progress. Keep a list of companies or organizations you’ve interacted with and highlight the ones you are excited about. Research careers paths or post-grad programs and seriously evaluate how each would fit with your goals.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that any time spent now during your sophomore or junior year will save you time and stress in the future. In the end, deciding what you want to do after college should be exciting rather than burdensome. Take it in stride and you will be well-prepared once senior year arrives.