Whether you have an internship/job for the summer or not, here are 3 career goals that every individual should be thinking about right now, working towards during the semester and checking off by the end of this semester. To get a more individualized checklist, meet with a Career Colleague or a Career Coach via Handshake.
- Add 100+ people to your network and make 20+ personal connections through events or your own networking.
Continue going on LinkedIn twice or three times a week and adding individuals in similar roles or roles that you admire. Use the recommendations LinkedIn provides to grab more connections of people you know. You’ll be meeting students, professors, and professionals throughout your semester, and even if you only see these people virtually, take advantage of expanding your network. As far as 20+ truly personal connections, reach out to alumni for meaningful conversations that may help you gain more insight on what you should be doing or will one day be doing in future roles. Both of these numbers are arbitrary, some students will be able to make over 500+ connections during the semester while others will simply not have time for that. By attending recruiting events and staying up to date with CareerEdge, you’ll be able to reach this goal in at least some capacity. School and classes are definitely so important, but remember that the price of tuition includes these amazing opportunities to connect with employers and like-minded, successful individuals, which you absolutely should be looking into whenever you have free time.
- Enhance your resume with one or several more notable achievements this semester.
School is going to give you more relevant coursework and team projects that you can include on your resume or in intricate interview responses. Make a goal to aim for President’s or Dean’s list this upcoming semester, which you can put on your resume or post about on LinkedIn as many people are now doing from the fall semester. Make another goal to take your on-campus organization to another level by trying out for an executive board position or simply getting more involved to a point in which you can update your application materials, such as cover letter templates and resumes. Sign up to become certified in Bloomberg’s Market Concepts (BMC) for free (typically $249!!!) through Bentley. Look into little ways that you can utilize your time to make yourself a more attractive candidate, even if you already have a job or internship for this upcoming summer. In fact, it’s good to assume that people who don’t have one lined up are going to be working extra hard to improve themselves as candidates, which will make competition for full-time positions harder for you if you don’t put work in, improve, and continue to stay ahead.
- Continue figuring out what your long-term dream job is and make small steps towards that, whether by researching the industry or reaching out to individuals for shadowing/mentorship.
The biggest career secret that I’ve learned along the way is that what you want to do can always change. No matter what you imagine your life and career post-grad being, there’s a huge chance that another interesting opportunity might come along or that you simply aren’t happy in your role. Thinking about this now can start opening up other doors that you may have been turned off from prior to considering the fact that you have so many options. If you’ve decided on a career path that you think will lead to success and fulfillment, make sure of that now! Do this by doing research on the industry or reaching out to individuals who currently work in that field, division, or role. If you’re hesitant to or don’t want to learn more, there’s a good chance that you might not be as interested in that role as you thought you were. This is okay! There’s also no need to panic about your major. Many individuals will tell you that after their first full-time position in a job related to their major, they were able to move to a better-fitting role within a company or industry without changing their major or going back to school, simply because they had credible work experience and could prove their value to any team. So, make sure that the roles that you are interested in are truly what you want to do, but if they end up being not exactly what you thought you signed up for, remember that your career, once you graduate, can be ever-changing, from advancements to directional changes. Any professional in any field will tell you that clear-cut plans just don’t work, for careers or for life.