Annemarie C.

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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

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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!

Last updated Oct 04 '13 at 14:13

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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
Last updated Oct 04 '13 at 14:11

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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.

Last updated Oct 04 '13 at 14:12

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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!

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 14:40

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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:)

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 14:43

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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.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 14:43

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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.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 14:39

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Hi!

I grew up and attended studies in Toronto, Canada, but I hope that I can still help you out with my own experiences. I went to the University of Waterloo which is well known here for their co-op / internship program. Included in my program and degree, I was required to complete a number of internship job positions at different companies, coming to a total of 2 years in working experience before I graduated. Colleges that offer internship programs are not uncommon and are actually very helpful in getting you your first job. My current job is my first job, and although I did not do it through my school, I was able to build connections through my school that ultimately allowed me to get here a lot easier than if I were stumbling along on my own. I highly recommend taking programs at colleges that offer internships as those places tend to help you out with jobs a lot better.

Last updated Oct 04 '13 at 14:27

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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.

Last updated Oct 04 '13 at 16:33

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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.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 14:38

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My university's career office didn't help me at all. I got a job because a friend of mine (from university) was hiring.

Last updated Feb 14 '14 at 18:43

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College is almost a must for some companies. A degree is preferable when considering any applicant and most times a requirement. I have been lucky enough to get positions at good companies without a degree but I have had to work extra hard to get there. Also while I have experience it will only take me so far so I recommend spending the time on getting the degree first if you can.

Last updated Feb 15 '14 at 00:02

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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/

Last updated Feb 17 '14 at 17:52

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I would say that in my case college didn't necessarily help me get my first job, but it provided me with a great foundation of education which gave me an advantage when going out to get my first job.

My college gave me a basic foundation of education and I also learned some critical skills along that way that can be applied to any job. Similar to others, my college also had internships and programs that you would work for to get credit toward your degree. However, when it came to getting my first job, my school didn't help me. This may just be my own situation as I went to school in Boston and re-located back to California (where I'm from) for my first job. I utilized my school's career center, went to numerous career fairs and even talked with career counselors and these were all great things my school provided. However, for me, I graduated and had no idea what I wanted to do, and my school didn't do the best job of preparing me for this type of scenario. They were great for people who has very specific paths and knew exactly what they wanted after college, but not for others who didn't really know.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 11:29

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Unfortunately my college didn't find me a job but it wasn't for lack of trying. They did however help me create my resume and took me through mock interviews so when I went through a real one, I would know how to react. I would still highly suggest that you go through your college to try to find a job because they will give you different ideas and different ways to look for one.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 14:02

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The career services department in a school don't guarantee a job. But they can still be very useful to you. You should meet them and get an understanding of the openings and the companies that are hiring. As Tushar said they can review the resume, give valuable feedback and prep you up for interviews. You should also explore internship and co-op opportunities that may be offered by the school. These part-time opportunities give you real-world expertise and a lot of times lead to a full time job.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 14:27

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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!

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 15:33

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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.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 15:43

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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!

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 15:45

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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!

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 15:56

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College definitely helped me. It first helped me get summer internships in my area of study. My last internship led to a full-time position doing what I love. There are those companies that specifically recruit college interns and new graduates so it's a great place to prepare yourself and to secure a job.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 15:21

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I think your college may be able to help you in getting a job but the number one possibility to get a job is still networking. Make sure you attend fairs, trade shows, seminars, gatherings in the areas you are interested in, join networking groups and generally ask all the people you know about career advice/choices (family, friends, parents of friends, etc.). Then ask for any potential job openings.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 15:22

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Yes, I first started as Foothill Community College. They had a career center that I visited and after meeting with my counselor I took some job postings and followed up.

It's important to use the resources available to you in High School and in College. If you don't know where to start, begin with your counselor, they can provide you with direction.

Once you know your resources, follow up and go for it. You may get declined a few times, but that's okay, it's in pursing what you want and getting back out there.

Getting a job is a combination of opportunity provided and taken by you. You can do it!

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 15:24

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Hello Annemarie,

Happy Friday!

Having a college degree definitely helped me get my first job! While getting a college degree didn't guarantee me a job it did help me get interviews. It is up to you when you get your interviews to do your research and make sure you come prepared and interview well.

My four years in college were some of the best times in my life, not only in the things I learned but in all the relationships I made. I got my first job out of college at Enterprise Rent A Car and was referred by a good friend who I MET WHILE IN COLLEGE.

In today's world I feel like Companies at minimum require a college degree, in this competitive market I would recommend you get a 4 year degree.

I hope this helps

Best,

Sergio

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 15:28

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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.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 16:02

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My degree was specific to a job, which makes it a lot easier to find one after college. I graduated as an Occupational Therapist and you are required to do internships which your university finds and sets up for you. Most people get a full time job at one of the places they interned at. If you want to be nearly guaranteed a job after college, getting a degree in a field that requires it is a good way to do it - Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Pathology, Nursing, Education (to be a teacher). These careers have historically also been in high demand, specifically because not everyone can apply, only people who have the right college degree. The same can be said for doctors and lawyers, though depending on where you live it can be easier or more difficult to get a job.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 16:21

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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.

Last updated Feb 21 '14 at 16:22

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Hi Annemarie, my first job out of college was thanks to my professor and classmate. So network when you can, you never know who will help you land that first opportunity out of college :)

Last updated Sep 01 '14 at 23:59

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