A successful career begins with careful and dedicated planning, and the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center has developed a road map to help SMU students in their journey.
The career center’s four-year plan outlines steps students should consider as they prepare to choose a major, a career and a job. The guide, which begins in the fall of a student’s first year, shows it is never too early to begin preparing for a career.
“As with any big undertaking, making decisions about your area of study and ultimately your career takes planning, dedication and time,” says Caryn Statman, assistant director at the career center. “And all of these things are much easier to do when you are not rushed or under a fast-approaching deadline of graduation. So first-year students are highly encouraged to get engaged in the career planning process early.”
Statman said the plan is not necessarily a rigid set of guidelines, but a model for students to build on as they assess their individual needs. She says, for example, that some students are relatively certain of the career they will choose, while others are searching – and they are likely to take different paths.
An important part of the career plan is attending SMU’s fall and spring career fair prep days and career fairs. This fall, the fair is set for noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, September 16, in the Hughes-Trigg lower level, and more than 80 employers are expected to attend. The event is open to all SMU students and alumni.
Below is the career center’s four-year plan:
SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center is often asked, “What should I do to find my first job out of college?” This is quickly followed by the next request: “The Spark Notes Version, please!”
If your graduate is short on time or just needs a refresher course, the center offers this 4-step process to increase graduates’ odds of getting the career they want:
Nothing beats networking when it comes to landing the right job. Studies show that 80 percent of jobs are found through people the job seeker knows – or through people the job seeker’s family, friends, former classmates or colleagues know.
The Hegi Family Career Development Center offers students tools to build their networks online. While a face-to-face meeting is still the ultimate in networking, these online tools can provide powerful additional ways to make contacts and explore career resources:
Good news for all of you procrastinators who have not yet begun your internship searches: It’s not too late! Here’s a look at the logistics and psychology involved with finding a “last-minute” summer spot.
Sophomore Andrew Hendrix has an impressive resume: University Honors Scholar; triple major in political science, public policy and economics with financial applications; internships with U.S. Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Representative Michael Burgess; an on-campus job as a Student Technology Assistant in Residence; and numerous activities and awards.
Hendrix built his resume with support from SMU’s Hegi Family Career Development Center, where counselors meet one-on-one with students beginning their first year to review their cover letters, portfolios and resumes.
“The counselors tie what you’re doing now with what you hope to be doing in the future,” says Hendrix, who is considering a law or graduate degree in international economics after he graduates. “They know how to market you.”
(Or “Confessions of a former Job Fair Jockey…”)
SMU’s annual Spring Career Fair is set for February 19 at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Do you ever wonder what happens on the employers’ side of the proverbial job fair booth? Let me give you a rundown, in hopes that it will help students prepare.
I’ve dissected the fair into three categories – pre-event, the event itself and post-event – and examined each category from the perspective of a job fair recruiter (that’s where the “confessions” come in).
Also find “Seven Lessons Learned” from past career fairs. Here we go:
Most job hunters have minimal success with getting interviews from Internet, newspaper, or employment magazine help-wanted ads during the holiday season. One factor is that December is just too early in the fiscal year for most companies, who hope to hire new employees at the end of a fiscal year or just prior to the new one.
Many companies celebrate the new fiscal year on October 1. As a savvy job hunter, you should position yourself for interviews during late summer – at a time when corporate budgets have discretionary or leftover budget lines and many companies are submitting their budget proposals for the upcoming year. This is the time of year when positions are opened and planning for new hires is approved.
“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.”
– Abraham Lincoln
One sign of our times is to get things done as quickly as possible. We’re all guilty of succumbing to “instant gratification society.” Gone are the days, apparently, when quality mattered. When customer service was more than an outsourced phone call. When going the extra mile and adding value were the rule rather than the exception.
When was the last time you invested extra time preparing for a meeting or finalizing a report? If you had eight hours to work on a report for your boss or instructor, would you spend six hours researching the topic, having experts proof and edit it, collecting additional information for follow-up … in other words, developing a plan to exceed expectations by providing those rare “value-added extras”?
“The five most important words in the English language are: I AM PROUD OF YOU.
The four most important words in the English language are: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?
The three most important words in the English language are: IF YOU PLEASE.
The two most important words in the English language are: THANK YOU.
The least important word in the English language is: I.”
In an age when common-sense and conventional wisdom seem to be thrown to the wind, it’s appropriate to have a reminder now and then about what we learned in preschool but forgot along the way.