Not only is experience important to help you identify and improve your skills, it also helps you shape and solidify your career goals. Whether you gain experience through a job or 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 or schedule an appointment with one of our counselors.
Informational Interviewing is an excellent first step to finding out more about a career path you are interested in. The first step for you as a student is 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—and of course give you both ample time to plan before the day of the shadowing experience.
On Campus/Part-time Jobs
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 on on-campus jobs, visit the Office of Financial Aid Employment page
For many employers, internships have become crucial to 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 (perhaps even their company) does—you have seen it, and maybe even gotten in on some of the action. You can give real, practical examples of putting your skills to use in your specific field of interest.
At Ohio University, internship programs are decentralized and handled on an individual college-level basis. For more information consult your academic advisor.
Despite the fact that the Career and Leadership Development Center is not directly responsible for internship opportunities, we are happy to assist in preparing a résumé and cover letter for internship applications and to provide assistance to students conducting a self-guided internship search. Stop by for a walk-in or make an appointment to further discuss how we can help in this process. Also, visit the Job Search Resources page.
Involvement on campus or in a student organization builds leadership, independence and often involves community service. These experiences help make you a well-rounded student and competitive job candidate. It is also a great way to make friends! For more information on getting involved, check out these links.