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Graduating Soon – Choosing a Career and Starting the Job Search Process

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Its graduation time - are you ready to start your career?

Summary: Here are questions from two soon to be college graduates. One wonders how to start the post-graduate job search and another asks how they can decide what they want to do after they graduate.

Question: I’m entering my junior year at Syracuse University with a major in marketing/entrepreneurship and a minor in information studies. My freshman and sophomore years flew by, and I’m sure my junior and senior years will be over in a blink of an eye. What do you suggest I start doing now to search for a post-graduate job?
Jay, Syracuse, N.Y.

Jay: Start by getting connected with your campus career-guidance office. It’s already paid for (part of your tuition dollars), and the folks there will do everything they can to help you select a career direction and land job interviews. Next, start lining up internships for the next two years. If consumer marketing is your bag, target product manufacturers with great training programs. If you’re hoping for a more entrepreneurial environment, identify small companies where you’d have exposure to company founders. Just remember two key points: you’ll need an impressive resume before graduation to attract the best offers, and make sure the experience you gain is relevant to the field you hope to enter. Of course, this is a great time to experiment with career paths you may abandon soon after. But don’t expect a summer spent taking drive-through orders at Burger King to count for much among company recruiters.

Question: I need direction. I’m graduating in December with an MBA, and I have a BA in English with a concentration in creative writing. I’ve got experience in database programming and real-estate development, and I’ve completed several internships and co-op programs. Still, I’m just not sure what I want to do. I’ve spoken to counselors in my college’s career center and to professors, but I haven’t gotten much help. Do you have any suggestions?
— Lisa, Orlando

Lisa: I’d suggest completing a detailed career-assessment exercise. There are several, but Myers-Briggs and Strong-Campbell have both proven to be effective tools for helping people set career directions that reflect their true interests and abilities. It’s possible your campus career center offers one or both of these exercises for free or at a low cost, but just completing the tests isn’t enough. You must be sure to seek interpretation of your scores so that you don’t make conclusions based on partial or misleading information. Many private career counselors also offer these exercises.

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Authored by: Granted Contributor