Tips for Students to Kick-Start Career Planning in the New Year

With a new year, it is time for juniors and seniors to buckle down and make career plans. One thing that Dan Schrader, senior assistant director in the Rhodes Office of Admission, recommends is for students to connect with Rhodes via LinkedIn. He explains that “LinkedIn now provides a search tool that allows current students and alumni to search for profiles that have Rhodes College attached to them. The search engine allows its users to narrow down the profile search of people connected to the college by where they live and their work, profession, majors, skills and connections in an easy to use bar graph.” He says that this will be helpful to students in terms of networking as well as finding connections with people or companies where they may want to work.

Dan Vanaman, assistant director in Career Services, suggests that students keep these tips in mind while job-hunting:

Start Now-Vanaman says “a job search typically lasts 3-10 months, and so putting out applications now is not too early.” If students need help finding places that are hiring, the Career Services website offers a tool called CareerLynx which is an excellent resource in looking for jobs.

Test the Waters-“Ideally juniors will have a spring or summer internship focusing on certain careers that they want to pursue. Sometimes an internship turns into a career, and sometimes it turns out that a student realizes he/she does not like that career,” Vanaman explains. “Either outcome can help lead the student towards a fulfilling occupation.” For students who want to consider internship programs abroad through the U.S. government, Vanaman suggests as a resource.

The “Funnel Approach”-“Career Services recommends that seniors consider numerous jobs and then narrow their focus once offers have been made,” says Vanaman, “For a student to get their ideal job right after graduation doesn’t always happen, and so taking a job that may not be a first choice is something that can be beneficial.” He adds that this method is a way to network and build experience, which also can be beneficial in the long-run.

Finally, Vanaman says that a student can always set up an appointment with Career Services to map out a plan. Career Services offers a variety of assessments that can make recommendations for certain careers based on a student’s personality or interests. For students who are confident in their career endeavors, they can always set up an appointment to look at various internships, and work on a résumé.

(information compiled by Rhodes Student Associate Sophie Anderson ’15)