How You Can Go From a Backpack to a Briefcase
Our 4-year plan to securing a great job out of college
Even as freshmen, students need to think about how to get a full-time job one, two, three or four years from now.
That’s right; on top of everything else, they need to have a plan at the very beginning for how to secure a job upon graduation. It is no longer sufficient to wait until junior or senior year to start considering life after college. The more experience and internships a student has, the more desirable he or she is to an employer.
According to the “Class of 2012 Student Survey Report” from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 63 percent of paid interns got at least one job offer and 41 percent of unpaid interns got at least one job offer upon graduation. In contrast, only 36 percent of graduates who have no internship experience received at least one job offer.
Still not convinced? NACE’s “Job Outlook 2013” survey states 71 percent of employers prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience and nearly 60 percent of those surveyed want new graduates to have internship experience.
Internships aren’t the only thing that matters — how you position yourself online is also important. Close to 60 percent of employers surveyed plan specifically to use social networks more often as recruiting tools.
A main focus of the St. Edward’s University strategic plan is to educate students for the opportunities available to them after graduation. For this reason, we have a “Backpack to Briefcase” plan to help our students begin building a competitive career profile the moment they first set foot on campus. Career and Professional Development works in conjunction with each student’s academic advisor to complete a career program plan, in order to help the student secure a job at graduation.
“It’s important to start preparing for a career from the very beginning of a student’s college experience, not simply in the senior year,” said Mary Boyd, vice president of Academic Affairs at St. Edward’s University. “The ‘Backpack to Briefcase’ plan helps students obtain the experiences necessary to be a strong job candidate, and it provides opportunities for students to reflect on the careers that match their skills and interests.”
If your university doesn’t offer a program like this, not to worry; you can take the initiative and complete a similar program on your own. Here’s what you need to do:
No college or degree can guarantee you employment — like everything else in life, it’s all up to you — but your Career and Professional Develpment office and academic advisors can guide you through the best way to secure a job.
Emily Salazar is a career counselor and adjunct faculty member at St. Edward’s University