Advice from a 2018 Grad: How To Jump-Start Your Career at St. Lawrence
This blog was originally published on August 10, 2017. I have made some edits (italicized) to include tips on how to land a job as a recent graduate.
Working in the Admissions Office at St. Lawrence, I have come across some questions that are asked on almost every tour. Often, prospective students and their families ask me about how students get summer internships and jobs after college. Fortunately at St. Lawrence, we have many opportunities to meet potential employers. Here are some simple steps I have taken to gain some “real world” experience prior to graduation as well as some advice for post-grad life.
1. Take Advantage of Everything Career Services Has to Offer
Conveniently located in the Student Center, the Career Services Office offers a variety of services for students. I have visited Career Services to have my resume and cover letters looked over, and to discuss potential internship opportunities. The staff also conducts mock interviews and even takes professional headshots for students’ LinkedIn profiles.
They also host events such as Alumni Council Mocktails and Professional Etiquette Dinners. Each semester, there is also Laurentians in Residence, a career panel where alumni and parents give career advice and talk about the industries they work in. These events are open for all students, so get involved!
2. Look Out for Networking Opportunities Over Breaks
We often receive emails about programs, such as SLU Connect and Shadow-A-Saint, which allow us to spend breaks productively and build professional connections with fellow Laurentians. Other spontaneous SLU receptions take place over breaks in major cities all over the country. I know a handful of people who have landed summer internships by attending one of these.
I went on the SLU Connect-San Francisco program over spring break of my senior year. Through the program, I met alumni who were able to refer me for jobs or link me into their professional networks. I now work in San Francisco at AspireIQ, an influencer marketing startup where a fellow Laurentian (Bryan Brennan ’12) also works.
3. Explore Off-Campus Programs
A unique aspect of St. Lawrence’s off-campus programs is the internship component that is entwined into the academics component. Off-campus programs such as London, Kenya, New York City, and Washington D.C. all have opportunities to get hands-on experience working in a field you are interested in.
I spent my entire junior year studying off campus in London and in New York City and interned at industry-leading companies like London & Partners and American Express. There’s no doubt that these experiences helped me feel more confident about applying and interviewing for jobs.
4. Utilize Online Resources to Find Opportunities
Check your SLU email frequently, connect with people on LinkedIn, and use Handshake to stay informed about career-related events and internship/job openings. If you see something that catches your eye, sign up or apply! There’s nothing to lose in applying for internships and jobs that you’re interested in. The more you apply, the higher your chances are to get an interview (and, eventually, a job)!
5. Use Your Network
Through everything, I’ve noticed that Laurentians love to meet other Laurentians wherever you go. However, networking goes beyond meeting alumni and connecting with them on LinkedIn. Making genuine connections with people will get you much further. Also, don’t forget that your St. Lawrence friends are also part of your network. Currently, there are nearly 20 members of the Class of 2018 here in the San Francisco Bay area, and we’re always keeping the SLU network alive by helping each other with job referrals and professional connections.