Katie Volney in her “The Job Search Quandry” article is correct…..your career cannot stand only on your education from a “good” school. Your good education is one leg supporting your career. The other legs are engagement (you need to care more about your career than anyone else), exposure (manage your online presence and get to know people well enough for them to refer opportunities to you) and experience.
The great thing is experience is not only paid employment. It includes service learning and consulting projects you do as part of academic courses, research, leadership roles in clubs and organizations, campus employment, study away, community service, membership in professional associations (groups like Society of Human Resource Managers and Midwest Global Trade Association) as well as part-time and summer employment, career explorations and internships. There is an increasing number of Mankato employers seeking interns.
Having the privilege of reading over 700 Gustavus candidate resumes every year, I have seen an increase in the Gustavus opportunities that qualify as “experience” for employers.
I encourage students to not think of their experiences as only full-time, paid experience. Combine 4 summers (3months x 4 years = 12 months), part-time (40 hrs/month x 9 months x 4 years = 1440 hours) and you are at 21 months of experience PLUS your academic work!
The good news is that the job market is really opening up! There are 208 employers at MN Private Colleges Job and Internship Fair – as many as the Fair has ever had! (You can see these employers interested in MN Private Colleges candidates at www.mnpcfair.org.) There are lots of opportunities – BUT employers are wary of “cold” applications. Meaning the “apply, apply, apply” advice may not work as well as it once did. A better plan is to “network, network, network.” Because chances of being selected for interviews (and then jobs) goes up if you have some connection to the employer.
By Cynthia Favre,
Gustavus Career Development