Life After Guilford: Gearing up for the post-graduation job search

Imagine that you have just graduated and received your diploma. The questions on most minds after all the excitement of graduation are “Where am I going to work? What jobs are there for me? What can I do with the major that I just received?”

The key to getting a job after college is to be prepared before you graduate. The toughest part is knowing where to begin. Guilford’s Career Development Center, in King Hall, can help.

“We like for our students to go by our four-year plan,” said Coordinator of Internships and Career Counselor Megan Corkery.

The four-year plan begins in the first year with a visit to the CDC to talk about possible majors. The CDC also offers a class called Major Exploration, where they help you find out your major and your strengths and weaknesses.

“We also do assessments …  such as the Myers Briggs test, which asks (students) specific questions about their interests, abilities and values,” said Corkery.

According to senior Kieran Brackbill, who works as an office assistant for the CDC, evaluations such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Campbell Interest and Skill Survey are used to help students find out their skill set based on their personalities. Students use this information in determining a career path.

Sophomore year is the time to get involved on campus. The CDC encourages students to engage in educational opportunities such as internships, study abroad, undergraduate research, service learning and student leadership.

Junior year is the time for résumé building, internships and continuing involvement in the community and on Guilford’s campus.

“We like to see (students) keep building their résumé,” said Corkery. “We want them to keep doing internships to get their foot in the door, to do a lot of networking and even get a mentor out of it. The big thing junior year is to get your résumé almost complete and to start thinking about jobs or graduate school after college.”

Junior Tyler Class visited the CDC to get input on his résumé.

“We went over what the most important aspects of a résumé are,” said Class. “I needed to categorize my résumé and also to add more volunteer experience within my fields of interest.”

According to Brackbill, it is important to start looking at jobs or internships that reinforce your career plans even before you graduate. Though Brackbill has been working at the CDC for two years, he does not necessarily think that having a job is the best way to get career experience.

“Once you hit junior and senior year, it is time to start looking for internships that fill your needs,” said Brackbill. “Having a job depends on your major and the amount of time you have, but internships are definitely worth doing.”

If you have been following the four-year plan, you should be completely ready to graduate your senior year with a résumé and some work or volunteer experience.

“The fourth year we hope to be working a lot with (students) on their résumés and job search,” said Corkery. “We will help them do mock interviews, where they come in and do a fake interview with us, and we give them feedback about how they spoke and tell them how to dress as well.”

“If you’re looking for an internship or a job, it’s worth stopping by the (CDC),” said Brackbill. “Even if they can’t find you a job right away, they can give you the skills you need to find a job on your own.”

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