Transition: Life from college to the career world

After college, students have many choices and opportunities for what to do next. Westminster has many resources available to help students of all ages work toward their futures.  Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

After college, students have many choices and opportunities for what to do next. Westminster has many resources available to help students of all ages work toward their futures.  Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

In the spring, millions of recently graduated college seniors will start their careers. Some students will have a job lined up right after graduation. For others, it might be more difficult to find their dream job.

Whether a senior or first-year student, being proactive throughout school can help the transition from college to the career world.

“The [first-year students] who have good jobs when they graduate are the ones doing all the right things to get a job upon graduation,” said Jan Lyons, assistant director at the Career Resource Center (CRC). “Those right things are getting in leadership work through clubs and organizations and taking seasonal and part-time jobs that matter to their careers.”

Westminster has many resources available to help and start students’ careers in the right direction. Whether it’s applying for internships, helping write resumes or connecting with alumni, the CRC can assist.

Internships

“Internships are one of the best ways to explore various careers,” said Jon Davis, associate director of the CRC. “Internships show potential employers students are motivated and have an eagerness to learn new skills.”

If students are unsure of what career they might want, internships can provide an opportunity to explore and find likes and dislikes.

Kim Zarkin, head of the communication department, uses a shopping metaphor when talking about internships.

“When you pick your college, you pick your mall, and then when you pick your major, you chose your store,” she said. “And then for three or four years, you try on things to figure out what you’ll like. Internships are all about trying on the different careers to figure out what’s going to make you happy.”

Resumes

Writing a resume consists of writing draft after draft until all the pieces are put together. Having a quality resume can be essential in the career world.

It’s very important during the time at school to compile a list of work experiences and achievements, according to staff at the CRC. They recommend taking five minutes out of the day now and then to make a note of newly acquired skills or work achievements.

The CRC staff said they would love students to come in who need help with their resumes. Also, many teachers and facility are happy to assist students with writing resumes and cover letters.

Networking

According to Lyons, assistant director at the CRC, 75 percent of jobs come from networking, and it’s imperative for students to reach out and find new connections that can benefit them in the long run.

Networking can give students the opportunity to make new friends throughout college and possibly a job in the future. Starting networking early is recommended and can teach students to learn about new careers and build relationships.

Students can seek networking opportunities that they are interested in, whether it is through clubs on campus or job fairs.

Leaving college can be complex time for many students; it can be a unique period in one's life. However, being prepared by taking the proper steps during school can make the transition smoother. Whether a first-year student or senior, many can take advantage of the opportunities Westminster provides.