By CAROLINA ARIAS
Many college graduates struggle to find their first opportunity to get their career started, while some college grads seem to not have a problem getting their foot in the door. So, why the drastic difference?
Kennesaw State University Alumni Career Center coordinator Tarrance Mosley said students who are about to graduate usually fall into two categories.
Some are prepared and focused on the job search. These would be students who have done things such as internships, co-ops, networking, volunteer work or community service.
“Those are the folks who are postured for success because they are already in the road to their next job,” said Mosley. “These are the things that will make you a well-rounded student and a great candidate for your first job.”
The second category would be the students who didn’t have to work through college, had families or other commitments or didn’t have time to do internships.
“These students tend to struggle a little bit more finding their footing in a career field and these are the graduates who we find coming back to the career center as alumni in order to get the requirements those jobs are looking for,” said Mosley.
Common mistakes undergrads make
The first mistake among undergrads is they don’t analyze their work values. It is important to assess those values before entering the work field so that you can recognize what you are looking for in a career. Are you the person who wants to be working with the public? Or do you want to work alone in your office and minimize contact with the public? If you are aware of your work values, then you will be more successful in your job search.
The second mistake most college graduates make is not being comfortable in a networking situation.
“Eighty percent of the jobs students get nowadays come from networking, knowing someone who brings them in,” said Mosley. “Folks who are not comfortable talking to others [or] being in a social environment find themselves struggling to find those opportunities.”
Finally, not getting internships or co-op opportunities is one of the most common mistakes undergrads make.
“The main point of getting an internship is to become familiar with the type of jobs you want to do,” said Mosley. “Although, you can do that in a million different ways [and] just not through an internship.”
As an undergrad you must understand internships are a big thing; you must have a realistic experience in the field you will be entering and an internship would be the best way.
Utilizing the programs available at the Career Services Center
The Career Services Center at Kennesaw State University has a primary focus of getting students prepared to start their career, or their college journey.
The counselors offer many resources that are beneficial to undergraduate students.
“The career fairs are by far the most important programs we offer at the Career Services Center,” said Mosley. “They provide the students the opportunity to go out and network directly with employers.”
These fairs are only available twice a year and have been useful to many students who have found jobs and internship opportunities.
Once a year, the center sponsors a panel discussion called “Food For Thought Panel on Alternative Careers,” which allows students to explore areas that they may have not looked at.
“We are aware that only about 20 percent of students work in the field related to their major,” said Mosley.
These different events allow students to ask questions to the people directly doing the hiring.
The center also provides one-on-one advising, which allows students to develop their resumes and interview skills.
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