For seniors, post-graduation plans have become a daily topic of discussion. Surrounded by this constant and collective stress, it can be hard to remember that we will take different paths after graduation, which means we are all in unique phases of the search process. I have had too many conversations in which peers compare themselves to each other, even though they are pursuing completely different careers.
Something I have learned from working as a Peer Career Advisor at the CCI is that every industry has their own hiring schedule. For example, finance and consulting firms typically recruit for vacancies a year or more in advance of a start date. Their applications open as early as June or July. This means that right now students interested in these fields are overwhelmed with internship and job search tasks.
However, it is important to remember that not every industry works this way. For those of us interested in politics, non-profit work, media, and more, we will likely be submitting the bulk of our applications in the spring. The opportunities are out there, even if they may not be front and center on job listings. For example, even over the course of the semester, I’ve noticed a gradual increase in job and internship postings from these sectors on Handshake.
Another way to respond to the stress is to take proactive steps when you have a little free time. Take five minutes between classes or on the weekend to make sure you are ready for deadlines that will come up in the winter or spring. Here are several ideas to get you started!
- Get a sense of the jobs/industries that are exciting to you. Browse postings in Handshake. Research organizations. Identify places that would be a good fit and keep track of them. Stay organized so that when you want to apply, you already have this information collected.
- Consider a broad range of options. Don’t narrow your focus just yet. Keep all options on the table by researching a variety of industries and functions.
- Stay in touch with your network (or create a network!). Alumni, employers, teachers, and advisors. Just like you would with any friend, check in with the folks who have been helpful in your academic and professional journeys. Ask how they are doing and give them an update on your life.
- Edit your resume. You never know when you’ll meet someone in the field that interests you. Take a few minutes to make sure your most recent jobs, internships, and activities are included. Stop by Quick Questions (M-F, 12:30pm-4pm) at the CCI to meet with someone (like me!) and review your resume. No appointment needed! If you’re busy throughout the day, we also have evening hours – visit go/cci for times and locations.
This is a stressful year for many of us (as if I haven’t already stated the obvious enough). When I feel nervous, doing one of these tasks helps me feel balanced again. I hope it helps you too.
Hazel Millard ’18 is a Peer Career Advisor at the CCI and is a History major. In her role, she helps students develop resumes and cover letters, prepare for interviews, and access helpful job and internship search resources such as Handshake.