Timeline Off-Campus / What You Should Be Doing Over Break

by | December 17, 2008

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Posted By Caroline Ceniza-Levine

Seniors who have a job offer lined up, use the break to thank everyone who helped you.  If your prospective employer gave you a book list or other tips on how to prepare, start tackling that. 

Seniors who don’t yet have an offer, you have five months before graduation, plenty of time to execute a proactive search.  Spend the break identifying your preferred industries, companies, and functional areas so you can hit the ground running when you’re back at school.

Juniors, you have five months to land a summer internship, and this is a critical internship.  Your competitiveness in senior year recruiting is very dependent on how strong this junior summer internship is.  So take the same care of seniors looking for full-time.  Spend the break identifying your target areas and be prepared to launch an aggressive search when you get back to school.

Freshman and sophomores, many (but definitely not all) internships are exclusive to juniors.  You will need to be more creative and find companies that are open to underclassmen or who might have less ability to attract the juniors (perhaps smaller companies as opposed to brand names).  If you intend on doing your internship at home rather than at school, the break is a perfect time to scout out companies that may have summer needs.  You can be the first to inquire.  If you will work where you go to school, then at least identify these companies by name so you can start calling on them after break.

All class levels should also plan for logistics such as where they will live and what financial resources their parents will provide.  For interns whose home geography is dramatically different from their school geography, this could mean a dramatic difference in the choices available.  If the support isn’t what you planned, you can start planning for alternatives.  For seniors, you can start budgeting and may decide to save your holiday cash gifts, depending on prospects for after you graduate.


Timeline On-Campus / What You Should Be Doing Over Break

Posted By Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio

Students love it when the holiday break comes around because some schools offer about three to four weeks off.  Leisure is good, but productive is better!  The holiday break can be critical to your job search and here are some things you can consider.

Seniors:  If you have a job lined up, enjoy the season – but don’t forgot to send out holiday cards to all of those involved in your job search:  from hiring managers to the administrative assistants who prepared your offer letters! 

For those seniors who are not gainfully employed, work with career services to see which companies have potential openings.  Perhaps the openings are last minute or perhaps students have reneged on their acceptances.  Perhaps career services has contacts at businesses that are shrinking back a bit from campus recruiting, but still may have some unique and/or non-traditional openings.  If you are interested in finance, and the financial services firms haven’t panned out, consider a finance position at a pharmaceutical or sports and entertainment company.  For those of you who want to conduct on an off-campus job search – check back to Caroline’s Off-Campus tips and there will be plenty of time for you to be successful. 

For juniors, Jan/Feb are prime interview months on campus.  Find out which companies are interviewing and drop your resume for those positions.  If the schedules are already full, and at this point, they may be, speak to someone at career services and ask if they can help “squeeze” you into the schedule – even if it’s just for 15 minutes if the interviewer will spare that time during either a break or during lunch.  Many times, if asked nicely, they will do it.  If all else fails, show up that day – early - and ask for 5 minutes with the interviewer before, during lunch or at the end of the day.  Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to fill a spot if a student cancels at the last minute.  Leave your cell phone number with the coordinator and maybe you’ll get lucky.  If the interviewer arrives just before the first interview or has to run immediately after the last interview (to catch a train/plane) be polite and perhaps follow up with an email – but that email should make the case for why you should be considered.  If written properly, with enough passion and heart, they may just include you in the 2nd round interviews or provide an informational interview.

For underclassmen, you would be surprised at the opportunities that are available.  Some of the financial services firms hire freshman and sophomores to work in investment banking and global markets, rotating throughout the two businesses over an eight week period of time.  This is an exceptional way to grow and get exposure at an early stage in your college career.  If a paid internship isn’t an alternative, see if you could work as an unpaid intern.  If that doesn’t work, see if you can shadow someone for a week and you can definitely put that on your resume and make amazing contacts in the industry.  Internships lead to other internships, which lead to full-time jobs. 

Remember, lucky is when “opportunity” meets “being prepared”.  Do everything you can to make contacts in a meaningful and sincere way and things will come back to you that will benefit your career.  Now is the time to be proactive as most executives have some breathing time just before and immediately following the holidays.  Some may even be around days before and after the holidays.  Go for it!

Filed Under: Job Search

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