Welcome to the new school year everyone! You’re settling into classes, joining clubs, and trying to get your mind back into school-mode. This time of the year can always feel a little awkward, and you might find yourself with huge pockets of time where you could be doing homework, but you just end up staring at your phone or binging Netflix for hours at a time. While I can see how streaming the entire first season of The Defenders in one sitting can be appealing, I personally start to feel an itch, like I really should be doing something else. Something productive. Something that’s really engaging, that kicks my brain into gear in a way that even classes can’t. Well, there’s a solution: getting a job, internship, or volunteer experience! These experiences can develop your skills, widen your network, and help you become more confident in your career goals and how to achieve them.
Let me introduce myself: my name is Katie, and I work in the Career Center as a Peer Advisor. If you ever come to the Career Center during our drop-in resume review hours (M-F 2pm-4pm), you might see me! I’ll be posting weekly blogs for the Career Center this year. I am a junior psychology major with a double minor in linguistics and music. You might also find me leading a large group of dazed families around campus as a tour guide, or on stage with UMBC’s Musical Theater Club. But this blog will mainly involve the Career Center and all of the amazing resources you didn’t even know are available to you!
Next week is one of the Career Center’s BIGGEST events: The Fall Career & Internship fair! The event is on September 27th from 11:30am to 3:30pm in the RAC. This is where over 130 employers come to UMBC to recruit the best and the brightest. But how can you make sure you fit that description? For many people, this experience brings a lot of anxiety and doubt about your abilities, but the Career Center has some tips to make sure you shine:
Come in and get your resume reviewed! You can make an appointment through UMBCworks or come in during our drop-in hours, which are 2pm-4pm Mon-Fri. You’ll meet with a Peer Advisor like me or with a career specialist and we can help you make your resume stand out!
Do some research on the companies that will be there. Here is the full list, as well as the majors they are looking for. It’s important to research employers to show that you really care about gaining a position, and that you’re willing to put the work in to be a competitive candidate. In addition, most job descriptions list what kind of qualifications they’re looking for, so you know exactly what skills you need to highlight.
Create your 30- second commercial. Not sure what that is? Find tips on how to make one here.
Dress to impress! Take a few extra minutes to plan out what your outfit for that day will be. Business attire is suggested.I’m sure I’m not the only one who still has no idea what counts as “business casual” or “business” so here’s a link to help save you some time.
Finally, there’s no need to be nervous. Something I do to calm my nerves before an event like this is gather all of my information. If I know exactly what I’m talking about (or at least sound like I do), then I’ll be fine. And when in doubt: smile! It will make you feel more confident, and you will look more friendly and approachable to employers. The Career Center has your back. Good luck!