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Did your college help you a lot to get your first job?

Hi, My name is Annemarie and I am in highschool. I heard that colleges have job offices that help students get jobs, but they do not guarantee jobs. Some of my older cousins said that they didn't think their college was very helpful for getting a job. Did you get your first job from your college or did you have to get it on your own? #college #jobs

Thank you comment icon I got lucky after high school with networking! I was a valedictorian (just a label, don't sweat the stats) and my classmate's dad hired me as an intern with a cool company and I love going to work everyday! Also, I met with the CEO of Going Merry, Charlie (Stanford Business Graduate) who has a passion to help students graduate without debt. Also got to meet some sponsors who were doctors, engineers, etc. If you are motivated you can start to earn $cholarships too! My advice is put in the effort now so you do not have to worry in the future! https://www.goingmerry.com/c/caitlinp-l0dy (free swag referral) The big take away is pick something you are passionate to study! It is your determination and networking that will land you the job! So be diligent and kind... Caitlin
Thank you comment icon I would definitely take advantage of the job offices at colleges however you nothing is going to be guaranteed! I definitely agree with the networking aspect as that is one of the most important things when submitting a resume to a big company with many people applying. If you know someone at the company you will have a much better chance of actually being offered the job. Caroline

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Elena’s Answer

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That's a great question. I believe college did help me get my first job as college offers networking and the education to teach the appropriate technical skills. I went to the University of California, Berkeley and the school had a career center. I was able to find an internship through the school's career center related to finance. It was great as I was able to do an internship while attending school at the same time. By attending college, the Company already knew I am getting an education and that helped, especially since the Company can see the related courses I've taken or taking.


In general, have an idea of what you want to do, and you can try different courses that can help you eliminate to the specialty you want. And definitely join the multiple student organizations offered at each college as it helps you build a network. Good luck!

Thank you comment icon Thank you Ms. Lam. I definitely want to join lots of clubs if I go to college. My family wants to take loans to help me pay for it, but I want to know that I can get a job after college so it will be worth it. Thank you! John
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Lana’s Answer

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Hi Annemarie,
My school definitely helped me look for a job post graduation. They were very good about bringing companies on campus and giving us a chance to network with them. If you have the chance to choose between colleges, I would recommend investigating which one has the best recruitment program. It just makes things a bit easier at graduation.


That said, I think there are things you can also do if your college is not very good at this (which many are). For example, searching for alumni at companies where you might want to work is always a great start. Alumni tend to be very open to helping recent grads. One way to find alumni for whatever college you choose is on LinkedIn's new university pages. Another way is to ask the school if they have a list that they can share with you.


Hope this helps!

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Luke’s Answer

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Hey Annemarie,


Yes. But, you're only going to get as much out of the career office as you put in, and it's only one of many tools. Take advantage of that tool, it's a great one, but don't limit yourself to it.


I spent a lot of time revising my resume with the career office, and it helped me build relationships with their team and to stay informed on things that were going on on campus. My experience is that the career offices are under-utilized which means you'll have a lot of people eager and happy to help you. I attended the career fair and actually got two quality job offers through it, one of which I accepted.


I actually wrote an Instructable on this when I went through it that contained similar advice http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-get-your-first-job-as-a-recent-graduate/

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Leeanne’s Answer

Hey Annemarie,


Good question. I would like to start by saying all eduction is good education :) I found that having the credentials to back up my experience definitely made me stand out more and made people take me more serious, but my first job relevant to my education came while I was in school. It was a volunteer position that I found posted at my school which I took to gain on the job experience and allowed me to better understand what working in my field was really like :)


Hope this helps!

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Eric’s Answer

In my case, yes: In my last year of university for Computer Science, I did a part-time (10 hr / week) internship with a professor, who helped me get a job interview at a company writing computer software that was directly related to the internship work.


I think the important thing to keep in mind is taking advantage of every opportunity during your job search, whether it's provided by your college's job office or not. For example:



  • using the resources that your college might provide, such as a resume writing workshop, networking workshop, interest and skills assessments

  • building relationships with lots of different people (your family and friends, your college job office) and letting them know you're looking for a job and to spread the word

  • taking relevant courses, internships and volunteer positions to make yourself more marketable

  • attending job fairs put on by your community or city, or by an industry group

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Dave’s Answer

I went to the University of Waterloo in Canada and it definitely helped me get my first job. They have an internship program that allows the students to spend 4 months at a time working at various jobs that relate to the students' fields of study. This allowed me to have a lot of relevant experience on my CV when I started applying for jobs after graduating.


The university didn't get me my first job in the way that you implied in your question (that there was a job office that found a job for me) but the knowledge and experience I gained at university was the biggest factor in getting my first job.

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Omar’s Answer

Hi! I agree with Tushar, but remember that a lot of the 'value' of a college to you / return on your investment in terms of getting a job afterwards depends largely on you. It's about being proactive, networking, and doing informational interviews to understand what might be possible and what kinds of jobs are out there (and to position yourself for them). College can be a really great way to get tapped into a network of alumni who have gone on to do interesting things and might be able to help you get that first job -- the minute you step on a campus (or even decide to enroll!), you are part of that network. Alumni usually continue to feel a strong connection to where they went to school and are generally willing to help out current students or other alumni -- it's how I found my very first internship! Play that student card as much as you can! You'll be surprised at how excited people are to talk to you -- just look at this forum!


One way to explore how valuable this network could be to you is to explore what graduates from any school are doing by going to www.linkedin.com/alumni -- it's a really neat way to see where they work, where they live, what skills they have, and more. It might help you make decisions about college and beyond.


And as previously stated, ALL education is good!

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Swathi’s Answer

Hello Annemarie,


Some colleges do help you get a job. I did get my first job through campus but there is nothing to worry incase your college does not help you find a job. You can always try volunteering and prove your ability to find a job of your satisfaction. Firstly you need to know what you want to pursue and based on that attend the courses that will help your specialise in your respective field which will help you get a job easier. Also their will be placement officers at each institute who can help you build a network.I believe in the statement "If there is a will, there is a way" Good luck:)

Thank you comment icon Thankyou for the good luck! John
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Thureen’s Answer

My college was fairly helpful in lining up my first job. I got a degree in computer science. Through out college I got the following internship/job opportunities:


1.) Software Development for Salvation Army Harbor house


2.) My advisor led to me getting an 'offer' for an intership at Los Alamos National labs


3.) The degree helped me get an internship at Boeing's NASA Project


4.) Finally, helped me land my first job out of College at Raytheon


That said, I will admit the job search was done on my own. The college DOES NOT guarantee a job just for graduating. And having a degree doesn't seem you can get job.


If you go to college make sure you have skills that are in high demand. I hear doctors, nurses are pretty good. The software/IT sector seems to be a hit or miss. Other subjects like sociology or english is not a good idea to get a degree in.


What ever you do make sure have skill that you can market to a future employee and which will be in demand.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice about getting a job in college. I am hoping to go to college when I finish high school, and I will try to get an internship during each summer to get lots of experience. It's scary to go to college when it costs so much and nothing is guaranteed. Thank you for ht eadvice John
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Kevin’s Answer

Annemarie,


Ultimately, the responsibility for finding your first "job" lies with you. There are a lot of different avenues to success in landing that job and a college placement service is just one of them; an important one, but not the sole avenue to success. When you enter college, you will (or I hope you will) begin building relationships and networks within your academic circles, possibly leading to internships or work with professionals who can help you network and expose you to career opportunities. Those are at least as likely to lead to your first real lead than anything, but (again) only one of many sources you need to look into.


Will your college placement office play a big part in this for you? Hard to say, as I'd venture to guess that success is defined differently by each individual office and the results vary widely. But they usually have internship postings, actual job postings, information about interviewing and company/organization contacts or information. Plus you've paid for it already. Take advantage of it as best suits your situation.


And you may also end up having to do some of your own networking, applying for positions, interviewing, finding your own internships, etc. Remember, it's YOUR career and you own it. See something interesting in your field? Write to people working in that specific arena and note your curiosity. Look up profiles of people who are doing what you want to do on LinkedIn (for example...) and see how they got to where they wanted to go. Check the career paths of graduates of your college and seek their advice or see if you can find a similar job for that first berth. Almost everyone is anxious to talk about themselves or their passions and share it with other devotees.


Don't assume it will be easy, as it may end up being hard work (and a bit frustrating at times). Keep at it and be persistent.


Good luck!

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Tushar’s Answer

Yes, it did. I would recommend leveraging the career house in the college, who help you work on your professional resume, position yourself and train for the interviews. It's a great asset.

Thank you comment icon Thank you I will. I did not know that I could train for interviews. That's cool. Is it like a class or a club? If I go to college, I definitely want to get a job, because it's really expensive and if I don't then I don't think I can pay anyof the loans John
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Thomas’s Answer

Hey there, It depends on your college but I will say the more active you are in the college you go to in pursuing a job the better chances of getting a job you have. I went to a huge university and it was very hard the help was very generalized, but still helpful. After I went to a small art college and that was very influential in me getting my job now. The Career services people knew by name as well personal facts about me and my interests. I went to every event to learn as much I could on how to land a job and thats key. Seek as much information and get to know your professors and Career services people because networking is also key in getting that first job. Networking is using the people you know to find out about open jobs you will fit.


So overall, wherever you go to college, even freshman year get involved with your career services people. That relationship with me that developed over 4 years going to each company presentation and applying for almost every one that visited help create that relationship. They also have many tools to help you....you just have to ask them.

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Han’s Answer

Hi Annemarie,


The short answer is that yes, my college did help me get my first job.


Detailed answer: The consulting that I ended up working for only goes to 10-15 universities every year to recruit students.You can apply online for a job if you don't go to one of those schools, but thousands of people apply and it's hard to stand out that way. If I had not gone to the school I went to, it would have been very difficult for me to land a job at that particular firm.


In terms of what my career services office provided in terms of resources, I found the following items most helpful:
1) Connections to alumni in my field of interest who could help me understand how they achieved their careers
2) Practice interviews with older students
3) Listings of internships and jobs, which I supplemented with my own research.

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Chad’s Answer

Great question! It is true that a college degree is not required to land a job, but my college degree did help greatly in placing me in the jobs I wanted.

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Nicolas’s Answer

Background: I studied Computer Science in Germany, so my view might differ a little.


I think college (especially undergrad) only gives you the basic skills to get the job done. As a grad student it was easier to specialize into certain fields. Overall it was most important to apply those acquired skills on personal projects not directly related to college. I.e. I developed games for mobile phones, built and programmed robots, etc...


My advice is: Have a vision what you want to do with your life and choose a study that gives you the skill set that brings you closest to being able to achieve that vision.

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Phi’s Answer

I do think that college can help you get a job or at least get you a little bit closer to a job. When I was at the University of California Irvine, I did field study (an internship) for school credit and I did some research with professors for credit. I was able to reach out to the local community, met new people, and gained some experience. This all indirectly helped me get a paid job. Career services do offer a lot of support in terms of resume help, interview assistance, and there are job fairs on campus as well. I think that you have to make the effort to utilize all of the services and opportunities provided and you will certainly be able to land that first job one way or another.

Thank you comment icon It sounds like you got the job yourself, but your college helped at lot. Thank you for the help! John
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