When it comes to finding a job after graduation, the best things to do are start early and gain experience, said Brett Beal, associate director of employment at the Career Center.
“The sooner you can get started on an internship the better,” Beal said. “It’s rarely too early.”
Beal said the first thing employers look for is experience.
Cathy Smith, director of certified employment at Poudre School District, echoes this opinion. For Smith, experience is the most important thing she takes into consideration when looking at applications.
References, activities and getting along with people are numbers two, three and four on the list.
“Anything that sets you apart from someone who just went through in four years will help,” Smith said.
To get started Beal suggests that students begin their freshman year by developing their skills and interests.
Determining a career path is a process, Beal said, that involves choosing two, three or four paths based on one’s values and interests and job availability.
Once they are a sophomore or a junior, students should start focusing on internships, and seniors should start looking for their first job in the fall.
Katie Getzelman, a senior graphic design major who just finished an internship with the Colorado Avalanche, started her first internship in the athletic department right after her sophomore year.
“It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Getzelman said. “I loved working there.”
Not only does Getzelman enjoy her internship, but it also helped her realize that graphic design in sports was what she wanted to do as a career.
For further help in choosing a career, Getzelman went to the Career Center.
“I don’t think a lot of students realize how helpful (the Career Center is),” Getzelman said. “They help me out with everything; what to say, what to ask.”
The Career Center offers a number of workshops to help students in all areas, including how to develop a resume and prepare for an interview.
“A resume needs to jump out,” Smith said, who sees 1,400 resumes a year. “I need to be sure I can get a feel for that person.”
Smith also stresses the importance of a strong interview.
“They need to come in to an interview ready to go with questions,” Smith said. “knowing they’re in there in there to compete and have a lot to offer.”
An interview is an opportunity for employers to see if someone has teamwork skills and strong communication, Beal said.
At the Career Center, located in Ammons Hall, students can make an appointment with a career counselor and receive help preparing for an interview.
To help students make the first connection and possibly get an interview the Career Center is holding a job fair Sept. 17 and 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom.
“It’s helpful to go and watch and see what’s going on,” Beal said. “You can begin to build your network and make connections with companies.”
Throughout the rest of the year, the Career Center will be holding panels and seminars to aid students in getting a job at graduation.
“Be sure you’re taking advantage of all the opportunities in front of you right now,” Smith said.
This might be a good info box if you want one. On the Web site there are a bunch of dates for workshops etc. http://www.career.colostate.edu/students/2003GuidetoFallFairs.pdf