You’ve learned to separate rumor from fact when it comes to career services. But what are some of the best ways to use this office to your advantage? See below for some tips to guarantee you are making the most of your career services office on campus.
1. Develop relationships
Getting to know a career services advisor on campus can be instrumental to your career success. Your counselor is someone who can serve as your advocate, coach and sounding board. If you don’t click with the first advisor you meet, schedule an appointment with someone else until you find someone with whom you connect. Nurturing this relationship can ensure that you will always be in the know about programs and opportunities related to your interests.
2. Check out workshops
Career services offers a schedule of programming to meet diverse student needs. Workshops range from skills based—“Building your LinkedIn Profile”—to discipline based—“Jobs in the Special Events Industry.” Attend these programs to learn new things and network with experts.
3. Connect with alumni
Your school’s alumni base is a built in network of contacts of people who have been in your shoes. Many career services offices offer alumni mentor programs, networking nights, panels and other events geared at helping you develop these valuable relationships. Wouldn’t you feel flattered to speak to students from your alma mater once you have a job you love?
4. Attend career fairs
When else do you have the opportunity to be in a room with employers lined up to hire you for jobs and internships? Whether your school offers one large fair per semester or several smaller industry-specific fairs throughout the year, take advantage of career fairs to meet professionals and practice your pitch.
5. Ace the Interview
No matter how strong your communication skills, it’s not natural for most of us to talk about ourselves in an interview setting. Interviewing is a skill that can be honed through practice whether for your first internship or a post college job. Some career services offices have technology to video tape a mock interview and then watch back together, providing feedback along the way.
In the outside world, job seekers pay thousands of dollars for assistance with their resumes, cover letters, interviewing skills, networking, internships and job leads. As a student, you are receiving these services as part of your tuition. Make an appointment and start reaping the benefits today!
Jennifer Bobrow Burns is the Director of Industry Relations, Administration and Career Services at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management. Learn more about the NYU Tisch Center at http://www.scps.nyu.edu/academics/departments/tisch.html and http://nyutischcenter.wordpress.com/.