Written by Terri Ramirez, Executive Assistant, UC Davis, Internship and Career Center
Spring is a time for new beginnings, and spring break is an ideal time for your student to reflect on accomplishments they have achieved and the next steps they need to move forward on their career path.
In my role at the Internship and Career Center (ICC), I have encountered many students – whether they are first-year or getting ready to graduate – with misconceptions about how to conduct their job search. While uncertainty among college students is common, the ICC has tools to help every student launch into a career they find meaningful. We recognize each student is unique and career paths vary broadly. With that in mind, here are three important steps to encourage your student to spring into action.
Build a Resume
A comprehensive resume is a snapshot of the writer, showcasing skills and education, along with career related activities, such as volunteer work, internships, professional organizations or student clubs, leadership positions, international travel, and military service. The ICC’s most requested resource tool is our Career Resource Manuel (CRM), which will help your student start on their resume and cover letter. It also includes career and professional development tips, from the beginning stages of exploration through the internship and job search process.
Networking can be one of the most important steps in your student’s career development. Keep in mind that 70-80% of jobs are found though networking. It involves meeting and getting to know people who can assist your student in finding the skills necessary to succeed in various types of careers and help clarify career interests and next steps. The idea of asking a professional to take the time to speak to them about a career can be very intimidating to your student. You can help by suggesting they ask for an appointment with someone you may know personally. The ICC connects students with professionals who enjoy the opportunity to share their experiences and professional knowledge with someone interested in entering the same career; many are UC Davis graduates who are enthusiastic to share their stories and professional experiences with fellow Aggies!
Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience and then reflecting on the experience. Internships, research, volunteering, and job shadowing are all types of experiential learning. Participating in these types of experiences will give your student the opportunity to gain hands-on application of their coursework, develop and strengthen professional relationships, and explore careers of interest. Studies have shown students graduating with internship experiences are more likely to find employment upon graduation than students without those experiences (NACE 2017). As parents and guardians, encourage your student to begin their career exploration and preparation early so they can take advantage of experiential learning opportunities.
Career development is a lifelong process that evolves as situations, goals, and opportunities change. Students can visit the Internship and Career Center to find helpful tips and career resources, learn how to use Handshake to register for career fairs, ICC workshops, networking events and schedule appointments with career advisors. Recognizing we are living in challenging times due to a worldwide pandemic, and working to remain accessible, the ICC has taken steps to ease the stress and anxiety associated with job search by offering our in-person services virtually.
Regardless of where your student is on their academic journey, encourage them to keep developing their career and professional skills and spring into action!