A few words for the underclassmen who think it’s too early to start preparing for the job search: It’s Never Too Early!
But wait, you say, I’ve barely decided on a major and now I’m supposed to start thinking about a job that’s a couple years away?! No, sophomore year is not the time to conduct the job search. But it is the perfect time to start preparing for that big event.
Preparing for the job search means learning about the resources you’ll have at your disposal when you’re a senior. Many students never set foot in the campus placement center or career services office until they sign-up for their first interview in their final semester. By then it’s too late to make the most of the information and guidance the center can provide.
But sophomore year? I need to go to the placement center two years early? Yes. Just an hour there as a sophomore will help you understand what the place is all about. As a junior you should spend a bit more time there. Along with exploring internship opportunities, learn how to find information about companies, how to get first crack at interview sign-ups, and how to register for interviews. Create a resume and update it with each new success. Find out if practice interviews are available. Learn about career resources on the Web.
Ask questions. Talk to seniors who are in the interview process. Talk to placement counselors, even on an informal basis. Being a familiar face in the placement office may even help you get a high-demand interview in the case of a last minute cancellation. In short, by the end of junior year you should fee entirely at home in the placement center. You should, because you’ll be “living” there as a senior.
Chances are good that a bunch of your tuition money is going to the placement center. So why aren’t you? It’s never too early to explore how your college success can lead to a job. That’s what the career office is there for.