Mar 252004
Authors: Taylour Nelson

Transitioning from college classes to a career in the

professional world can be intimidating.

Preparing for the interview and finding the right job is a

process that should start as early as freshman year, said Bill

Shuster, assistant director of career services in the College of


“Ideally, they should start looking the first day they get

here,” Shuster said.

For students who are not sure where to start, the tips below can

help in the search for the perfect job.

Get the experience

Ann Malen, director of the Career Center, said internships are a

great way to gain experience and expand a resume.

“It gives the students a chance to see what is really involved

in their career,” Malen said.

She also said it is very common for companies to hire past

interns when a job becomes available.

For students who have not had internship experience and are

graduating this spring, Malen suggests meeting with a career

counselor at the Career Center as soon as possible to discuss

alternative ways to expand their resume.

Internships are not required for mechanical engineering

students, but are greatly encouraged, said Vicki Jensen, academic

adviser in the engineering college.

The yearlong senior design projects help engineering students

acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for their careers,

because the projects are so similar to their future job, Jensen


“It’s a smoother transition from academics into their careers,”

she said.

Do your homework

Taking the time to know a position’s history and background is

an important factor in matching the right job with a student’s

qualifications, Malen said. This will develop a strategy for the

interviewing process.

“They have to take the time to figure out how to sell

themselves,” she said.

Shuster said networking is a good step to being more comfortable

with a career choice and can also lead to job placement.

“Well over 60 percent of (business) students get jobs through

networking,” Schuster said.

Confidence in the interview

Students knowing their interests, values and abilities when

going into the interview is an important part of building

confidence, Shuster said.

“Make sure you know what you can take to the table,” he said.

“Know what you like and don’t like and what will be a good fit for


For more information on finding a job and career opportunities

in your major, call the Career Center at 491-5707 or visit its Web

site at

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