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If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Ever wish you could go back in time and do things over again? We may not be able to do that, but we've got two graduating seniors offering advice about what they would do differently in their career searches.

Liz Neudeck, B.S. Environmental Engineering ‘19

  1. I wish I would have known how important connections are! The majority of people get jobs and internships not from applying as faceless resume online, but from knowing someone or reaching out to someone at the company. Even if it feels nerve-wracking or weird, if there's a job you really want, you have to [visit or reach out to] someone at the company until they recognize you.
  2. Internships are just as important for knowing what you don't want as much as knowing what you do want. Cast your net far and wide, and don't be afraid to take your chances with positions not 100% up your alley; things are more interconnected than you think, and any internship is preparing you for professional experiences.
  3. You have so many resources available to you here: if you don't have luck applying online on your own, go to ECS, do a job shadow, talk to your professors about research opportunities, ask your friends if there's openings where they work, email people on LinkedIn.
  4. Don't get caught up too much in the word "professionalism." Believe it or not, these people in suits and heels at career fairs are real people too, so don't put up a mask when you're talking to them. Yes, employers want you to perform valuable work, but a huge part of the process is seeing if you will fit into their work environment. Working with someone that is personable and that brings up the positivity of the work environment is huge. So put some of your personal passions on your resume; it will make an easy talking point in an interview, break the ice, and make something memorable to associate you with.
  5. Recognize when you're pursuing something just because you feel obligated to. If you keep heading down the forced path, you will not only find yourself unhappy, but also your work ethic will drop as time goes on. 

Patrick Travis, B.S. Computer Science & Engineering ‘19

  1. Utilize ECS more. ECS has tons of information and services that can really help, especially the mock interviews.
  2. Look for companies that you share values with. Not every company is created equally and putting in extra effort to look into a company’s background and culture will really help when writing cover letters and interviewing.
  3. [Handshake] is great, but not the only place you can look for jobs. There are other job sites out there. Also, ask around. Talk to friends, family, classmates. It’s a great way to find out about companies you have never heard of and possibly get a referral.
  4. Know what you want when looking for a job. If you don’t it will be hard to find companies that would be a good fit for you.
  5. Interviewing is a two way street. It’s not just about them judging you, you are also evaluating the company.

Still have questions? Consider connecting with other engineering students using Handshake or reaching out to alumni via LinkedIn. 

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” - Confucius

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