Four years of college can fly before a student realizes it. By junior and senior year, that fateful question becomes ever prominent: what will I do after college?
For most students, taking the time to work closely with the career center adviser on campus can make this prospect less daunting. Students should visit their career center and connect with an adviser at least by January of their freshman year. This is an invaluable step to gain assistance in finding summer internships, employment and even advice on working or studying abroad. All these steps strengthen the resume and help students learn more about professions for consideration. Working with an adviser early and consistently each year of college builds a relationship that will pay off with big dividends by senior year, when assistance with the job search is most critical.
If for whatever reason a student does not make those connections, and finds him or herself needing help and resources by senior year, don't forget to touch base with an independent counselor. Many of us offer career planning and career search services. For example, at my firm, MyCollegeAdvisor.Net, we do interest inventories, provide resume service, and help students research professional opportunities. Mock interviews, job fairs and mentor networks allow us to help students make personal connections to get on the way to full employment.
Just remember that your career will not just happen. In high school, Mom, Dad or school staff prompted students to get going. In college, plenty of people are there to help---but the initiative has to begin with the student. Make sure at the start of each year and again early in the spring semester, an appointment is made with your career adviser or independent college consultant.
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