At this point you are probably saying to yourself that’s easy for her to say, she has a job. Let me admit something, I was that girl in 1980 who ran through the department store out into the parking lot wailing like a banshe because someone asked me if I had a job yet. Yes I do get it. Fun times! In some ways you are in much better shape statistically because back then the bulk of the recruiting did take place while you were still in school since everything was done with paper and fax machines and there were no other ways to get in touch with candidates. These days the majority of college graduate hiring actually begins now…when you can actually start the job.
Your accounting and finance friends who have had jobs since early in the school year are in a different siutuation. Many of the firms they are interested in hire “classes” the same way some companies have “leadership programs.” If you were accepted into one of them congratulations; but that isn’t the majority of people. Most firms hire based on need and have little idea in September what they are going to need come May or June. Consider the ad agencies; they hire and release people based on contracts they have won or lost. Similarly, when they have an opening they want to fill it ASAP…not in three months when you graduate. Are you beginning to see the picture?
Rather than panic this is a wonderful time to have Career Planning go over your resume one more time, hone your interviewing skills, or help review your search strategy. Remember that great internship you had last semester where they said keep in touch? Call your supervisor and buy her a cup of coffee. Be honest and say that you are working on your search and are hoping she would offer you some guidance on companies that might be hiring or how to even get into that particular organization.
Have you put your list together of companies target companies? Are they realisitic? Too narrow? Think outside the box, sometimes the smaller companies will provide you with the greatest opportunities to learn a lot of skills that can help springboard you to working at that dream Fortune 500 job. Consider all of your options.
Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? The Career Center is a great place to come for a breather, a joke or a SNAP OUT OF IT! (But only in a good way.) Don’t forget, the Center is open all summer long for appointments, phone calls or skype meetings with you. Now breathe!
Director, Career Planning Center
In my estimation, April and May are the most stressful months of the entire academic year. You come back from spring break, only to go on Easter break, and the last day of classes is looming. This means you probably have a back-breaking amount of reading, studying, and paper writing to be doing. You are also figuring out summer or post-grad plans, registering for class, attending events, selecting housing (that’s a particular joy for a group of friends), and trying to enjoy the random nice days outside after a miserable winter. If there was a mantra for this time of year, I think it would be “There’s never any time!”. You may be too young for that particular Saved By The Bell reference but if you have 2 minutes I encourage you to check out this quick run through of the episode on YouTube, you won’t be disappointed (Cue the intense music & spandex) – SAVED BY THE BELL.
So, if you are counting yourself among the completely stressed out then it’s time to do something about it. The truth is that if you can learn how to deal with stress in college than you are going to be in a much better place when you’re working 60 hours a week, clients are on your case, and you’re trying to retain some semblance of a social life. Trust me.
Eat and Sleep Well
There are a hundred excuses why you don’t have the best eating habits right now ranging from not finding what you want in the dining hall to not being able to afford a ton of produce from the grocery store. Instead of trying to do a massive overhaul of your eating habits focus on one or two things. Eat more fruits/veggies, drink more water, try not to eat a ton late at night, eat breakfast, etc. Your next step is to try to get one some sort of consistent sleep schedule. It’s not easy to do but not getting enough sleep is likely the number one thing preventing you from feeling like a fully functioning human being.
If you have work to do then you need to get out of your room or social spaces. Go reserve a private room at the library or find an empty classroom and get to it. If you’re feeling particularly brave, leave your phone at home. Your Instagram feed will be much more interesting if you’re not looking at it every 15 minutes. Oh and we all have that friend that isn’t exactly the best influence on us when it comes to buckling down and getting school work done. Avoid that person like the plague.
Give Your Brain A Break
All you need to is 30 minutes. If the gym is your thing then head on down to RecPlex for a chance to release your stress on the cardio machine of your choice. Lift a weight, maybe a few times. Heck, walk around campus at a “I woke up late for class” pace. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety/depression, improve self-esteem, and improve sleep. Go sweat it out! You can also just take a break and relax. Go find a quiet place on campus and give yourself a moment to reflect. Do you know there’s a zen garden on campus? Find it.
You have a lot of things to get done but they all have different deadlines. Break big projects into smaller parts and give yourself deadlines/check points so that you’re not pulling all-nighters to get things done. Things are going to pop up throughout the next few weeks and you need to decide now how are you going to respond. Some things you’re going to need to deal with immediately, others you can postpone, and some you should just plain ignore.
Seek out support.
Who do you trust on campus besides your friends? Sometimes our friends can be a part of our stress so it’s always good to have some other mentors and resources to chat with. These can be professors, staff members, or Jesuits that you know and trust. In addition, take advantage of free resources that exist to help you deal with stress including talking with someone at Counseling & Psychological Services. Some day you will pay a pretty penny to talk to a therapist so enjoy your free sessions now!
If an internship or job search is contributing to your stress level, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Career Planning to talk more about that. We can help you get on the right track and bring your anxiety level down so you can focus on making the most of the last weeks of the school year.
Meredith Tornabene, Associate Director
If you are currently on the hunt for an internship I know that you have probably researched countless sites. The last thing you probably want is another website, but I am here to tell you that there are four websites that you should definitely add into your favorites.
Lauren Berger, also known as the Intern Queen, completed 15 internships before graduating college. In 2009 she created InternQueen.com, which is a free website that will assist you in finding an internship. All you have to do is sign up for an account and upload your resume and cover letter. The website lists internship opportunities not only around the country, but it also features some internships overseas. An added bonus are the countless articles that are written by Lauren, her staff and even Campus Ambassadors ( I am a proud Campus Ambassador myself!). I would also recommend following her twitter account @InternQueen for useful tips.
Youtern features some of the best career related articles around. If you are looking for information on creating a resume, what to wear to a job interview and tons of info graphics, then this is the website for you. Although this website does post great internship opportunities, its greatest posts are definitely their informative articles. I have learned so many additional tips from Youtern that have helped me with interviews or questions I had about creating a resume or cover letter. I would also recommend following their account on @YouTern on Twitter because they often tweet out their articles multiple times a day.
This is one of my favorite website to find internships. Many of the internships that the @FairfieldCPC twitter account retweets are from this website. At times things can be overwhelming because there are a lot of internships to apply for. But I believe that is a good thing because then you have a variety to apply too. When applying to internships remember, it’s always better to have a variety to apply too compared to not finding any at all. If you aren’t looking for articles to read and just want a list of internships, then this one is definitely for you. Keep in mind though; your twitter feed will have a lot of great internships that you will want to apply too. So make sure that you keep an excel sheet to keep everything organized.
FindSpark, formerly NYC interns, was founded by Emily Miethner. This interactive website is great because it combines internships, helpful articles and networking events. I love this account because you have the best of everything. Not only is the site very interactive, but I also enjoyed attending one of the FindSpark conferences. If you ever get a chance, I would definitely recommend attending one of these conferences because they will be helpful for when you start your job search and allow you to connect with some really impressive people in different creative fields. If you want additional tips from this great site follow their twitter account @FindSpark.
Good luck on your internship quest! It may seem overwhelming now but if you keep everything organized you will definitely do a great job making it through this process. If you need additional help with your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn account make sure to stop by the Career Planning Center. Or you can even follow us @FairfieldCPC if you have any questions, want to see what articles we retweet, or want to hear our quick tips on your #RoadtoStagcess.
Allanah Dykes ’16
Social Media & Marketing Intern, Career Planning Center
Are you a person that likes to plan ahead or prefer to leave things open? Putting together a template on what you want to do over this Easter Break to contribute to your career plans can go a long way to give you a jump start on securing an internship or getting that job. This long weekend can be a tremendously productive time in any job or internship search.
No matter where your destination is this break – at home or visiting friends – chances are that you will have an opportunity to connect with others. Even family members can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to networking – take the time to ask Uncle Joe or Aunt Sue what they do or about their career – you never know you might be interested in doing something similiar!
In preparation for any networking event it is important to craft your elevator pitch (a.k.a.”Tell me about yourself”) so that you are ready to introduce yourself and share career aspirations.
- Give them your name
- Tell them something about your background. internships, involvement with activities and interests
- Ask for information about an industry, company or career area of interest.
Manage Your Brand
Take some time this weekend to review your social media sites and update them. If you haven’t created a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to do that. Here is a great check list for crafting the best LinkedIn profile – LINKEDIN PROFILE CHECK LIST. When crafting your LinkedIn profile, think of your personal brand as your calling card—your unique promise of value. It’s what you’re known for and how people experience you. If you haven’t thought about your personal brand, these questions might help you spark an internal conversation:
- What are your unique strengths, skills, and attributes?
- What do you want to be known for?
- What will make you stand out in the eyes of potential employers?
If you do anything this weekend, take some time to evaluate your social media profiles to be sure they reflect a positive image of you and are providing consistent messages. Just this week Cath sent out an email regarding another senior losing a job offer because of what a potential employer found looking at a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram account left open for public view. You don’t want this to happen to you, so review your privacy settings and begin to use social media as a professional branding instrument and not just a social tool. One way to “professionalize” your social media account is to connect with groups related to your career interests on LinkedIn. You could join the Fairfield Alumni Group and your high school group to broaden your connections.
Prepare or Update Your Resume
Visit the Career Planning Center website for sample resumes and information on how to begin or you could check out our handout here – RESUME HANDOUT. After writing your resume draft set up an appointment with a career counselor or stop by drop in hours – Tuesday through Friday 1:30- 4pm to get it reviewed.
- Review organization websites and identify internship or employment opportunities. Use this time to apply for positions and read up about organizations
- Hit the malls, and purchase professional clothing for the interview
- Thank all those you networked with for their advice and suggestions
Just carving out the time this long weekend to begin some of these suggestions will give you a boost in taking charge of your career planning!
Associate Director, Career Planning Center
Remember that time you were working on a project late at night and if you knew how to use the software correctly you would have been done hours earlier? There is something on MyFairfield.com that could have helped you all along, Lynda.com. This is a learning site that provides instructional videos that teach a myriad of topics. Whether you are learning how to utilize the animation feature in a PowerPoint presentation or how to better balance your work within a team project, there is a presentation for you.
So you are asking yourself, how can this help me? Depending on your major there are areas you are going to want to know more about before you enter the workforce. For instance, if you are a communication major you had better know how to create a website or a blog. You also are going to want to be proficient in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (and really proficient, not just say you are). Luckily, you can learn how to do some of those things you might need in the comfort of your own room. Lynda.com releases about 10 new courses a week to add to its already large 2,400 across a variety of categories not just technical. And it is open for business 24/7!
Web Design Fundamentals with James Williamson
Dreamweaver CC and WordPress 3.8: Core Concepts with Joseph Lowery
Managing Your Time with Todd Dewett
Office for iPad First Look with Jess Stratton
Excel 2013: Macros in Depth with Dennis Taylor
Building an Online Community with Justin Seeley
QuickBooks Pro 2014 Essential Training with Jess Stratton
Up and Running with Bootstrap 3 with Jen Kramer
Video Script Writing with Rick Allen Lippert
Up and Running with Adobe Story with Jeff Sengstack
If you are looking for jobs and you don’t know how to use certain types of programs that are required for the position, this can help both help you learn the program or skill and help you to be prepared for your interview. Check it out, you have everything to gain.
Director, Career Planning Center