Identify your ideal job function, industry, type of company and location. Not only is this experience important to help you identify and improve your skills, it also helps you shape and to solidify your career goals. Whether you gain experience through an internship in your field, a campus job or a student organization, you will be developing transferable skills that you can market to future employers. Whatever you do—do something! If you need help deciding between the many options available to you, stop by for a drop-in session or schedule a 30 minute appointment with one of our career coaches.
Informational Interviewing is an excellent first step in finding out more about a career path that is of interest to you. It is important to spend time thinking about what you would like to ask someone who is currently in the career you are considering. Your questions should be thoughtful and should leave room for the other person to contribute information they think is relevant. Informational Interviewing can be done with just about anyone—a family friend, former physician, parent's lawyer—or any other member of your network.
For more information about networking and informational interviews check out our Networking page.
Job shadowing is a great way to see what "a day in the life" is like for someone in a particular career field. It can help you narrow down your interests, decide for or against a potential career option, and perhaps even open the door for an internship. The key is to reach out and ask. Make sure you give enough time to plan before the shadowing experience.
Part-time jobs are a common way to build transferable skills during college. Holding a part-time job shows that you can manage your time between work and school (and for many of you, student organizations, too!) A variety of jobs exist, both on and off campus. For more information about on-campus jobs, visit the Ohio University's Human Resource page.
For many employers, internships have become crucial in deciding which new graduates they will hire for entry-level positions. Their reasoning is simple. You have done more than just learn about what a company does, you have actually worked for the organization and can give real, practical examples of putting your skills to use in your specific field of interest.
The number one thing employers look for is leadership skills. Involvement on campus builds leadership and independence and often involves community service. These experiences help make you a well-rounded student and competitive job candidate. For more information on getting involved, check out these links.