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How to pursue your career after you graduate college?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Angela’s Answer

My capstone course actually required me to apply for two jobs in my field of major. It worked! I ended up accepting one of those jobs. The process involved researching companies that you want to work for. Look into their values, reviews from other employees, talk to your connections that might work there. Then see what job openings they have available. Identify what you currently see as your dream job and look for anything close to it or that provides a path to it within those companies. Remember you are not only being interviewed, you are interviewing them! Although the landscape is competitive, most good companies are looking for someone who is going to stick around. They will value your interest in being a good fit for both you and the company.
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Haley’s Answer

Hi Ariana - Great question! I think this depends on what career you are trying to pursue, but here are a few tips I think could help anyone after they graduate.

1. Coordinate informational interviews - No matter what career you're trying to pursue, there are always people in the industry that will be willing to share their experiences and tips on how to excel. Word of mouth, internet research, or using LinkedIn are all good ways to find these people. Reach out to as many as you can and schedule quick 15-30 minute informational interviews where you can ask questions about their career progression, what they do at their job, and advice they might have for you. This will help you figure out what interests and doesn't interest you.

2. Learn about your chosen industry - Although the best way to learn something is by doing it, I think it's helpful to be prepared by researching the industries you're interested in. Do certain roles require additional schooling? Testing requirements? A certain skillset? Knowing what you're walking into before hunting for certain jobs and interviewing will help make the process more efficient.

3. Be open minded - Many people enter school or the workforce with an idea of what they want to do, and then realize they would rather be doing something else. Don't get discouraged if the first thing you try doesn't work out, there are endless opportunities out there. Be open to constructive feedback and never be afraid to ask questions.

I hope this helps and wish you the best of luck!
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Carolina’s Answer

Although there are many different ways to approach the start of your career, especially with internship and other fellowship programs, in my experience, it worked best when I remained open to the opportunities available and presented to me as an entry level candidate. I was able to connect with various employment agencies for support in finding contractual or temporary work as a way to get my foot in the door. I found success in this method because it also gave me the opportunity to evaluate the role and tasks that I was taking on to confirm that indeed it is what I wanted to continue to focus my career on. I was lucky enough that my first contract role in HR (which is what I earned my undergrad degree in) as a clerk, became a full time opportunity and I grew from there into a coordinator and later generalist level. My biggest takeaway and tip is, do not turn an opportunity away because it seems "smaller" than what you envisioned yourself doing while in college, or because the pay is not significant. Trust me, with time you will work your way up and earn the salary that you deserve! Wishing you so much luck!!
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Lien’s Answer

Hi there!

This is a collective answer from our group of colleagues who have been working in the industry from 0 years (new grads) to more than a decade.

1. Try different things to figure out what fits, gain real-world experiences to determine whether you like something or not

Getting involved in coursework/ activities/ internships is the great way to figure out your strengths and interests.

At school, try taking courses to explore different fields. Some of our colleagues discover their career interests during college when they found themselves enjoying the course that they’d never taken before. Join activities/ projects to gain more relevant experiences.

Try doing internships in different domains to find what you like doing.

If needed, switch major when you’ve discovered your true interest, which some of us did during college.

2. Have the growth mindset

Don’t be scared to fail or do something that ends up not relevant to your future career.

Everything we learn is useful in some way or other in future. Try to build up skills, both soft skills and technical skills during any of your opportunities.

3. Learn from the more experienced

Talk to other people in your fields to get more career directions.

Find yourself senior mentors who can help you address issues and give career advice.

Read about different opportunities. There are plenty of blogs, articles where people share stories about their career paths and current landscapes in different fields.

4. Be pragmatic

Find a realistic point of view that align with interests. For example, does the career path help you become economically independent if that’s what you expect from a job?

5. Be flexible

Be flexible with where the world is going. One of us was passionate about a specific field and pursued the field in both college and graduate school. However, relevant opportunities were hardly available and they switched to a different trajectory, which they have been on for more than a decade.

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Claudia’s Answer

This is a bit of a vague question. Assuming you are currently in college, I recommend focusing on getting good grades in your major, obtaining relevant internships/summer positions, and building your professional network (through LinkedIn, mock interviews, a business fraternity, etc.). That will set you up for success after college. Many companies have robust college-recruitment programs where they specifically target new graduates. You can also look for opportunities on job boards such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, etc. I highly recommend visiting your career services center for additional assistance.
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Madeline’s Answer

Hi there!
I was able to find my job through my college career center. My university had a job listing website that students and alumni could use to apply for jobs. I would suggest to talk to your counsellor or advisor for more information as well.
Good luck!
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Caitlin’s Answer

I would suggest looking for graduate level internships and/or residencies (these don't just apply to the medical field). With a quick search online, you can find lots of options. Some cities also host job fairs that you may be able to attend. I would also use online job sites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Google Jobs, etc. and apply for as many jobs that you can. Even if you think it's a long-shot, take the chance. Maybe a couple of applications a week. Also, look into companies that you wouldn't think to. Good luck!
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