You may think, how can I make myself more marketable post-graduation? If you guessed a good academic record, you are partially correct. Strong school performance is no longer the main quality that employers look for in potential employees. Yep, you guessed it, gaining experience has become the key to making you a competitive candidate for your desired positions. Gaining experience allows you develop the skills that are necessary for success within your future career. As you are building up your resume, employers will be able to see what you have completed and how your experience makes you the perfect candidate. Many of your experiences will also allow you to meet other professionals or coworkers that will create a good network to help you pursue your desired career. A managing director with High Fliers Research reported that experience is just as important as gaining a college degree at this day in age. Now you are thinking, where do I start? This will depend on your interests and what will be most beneficial toward your career goals. Here are various ways you can gain experience.
Internships allow you to experience typical responsibilities and gain a better understanding of your desired career field. Internships are typically outside of the classroom and an intern is supervised within their work environment. A good time to complete an internship is during summer break as this allows you to work with a company or organization for an appropriate amount of time. With this professional development opportunity, employers are more likely to pick a potential candidate with an internship experience than a candidate without one. Selected majors and graduate programs require internships for course credit, which you would need to consult the university in order to complete. Visit jobs.auburn.edu to connect with employers and apply for internships.
Being involved on campus will help you develop the transferable skills that you can bring into your future career. Examples of these skills can include good communication, motivating leader, team-oriented, organized, dependable, problem-solving, and many, many, more. Whether it’s being a Morale Captain for Dance Marathon or being a committee member with University Program Council (UPC), any type of campus involvement can give you the opportunity to gain these universal skills that employers want to see. Visit auburn.edu/involvement for a list of organizations you can join, and more details on how to get involved.
Job shadowing includes observing a professional in your desired career field. You are able to walk through a “typical day on the job” with this competent worker who will guide you through their workday and give you any advice about their profession. This also gives you the opportunity to see your desired position in a realistic setting. Not only does it give you the opportunity to gain experience, but it may serve as a deciding factor in terms of continuing to pursue this career, or potentially choosing a new one. Make sure to do your research before your shadowing and come up with a few questions to ask the professional at the end of the day.
These are just a few different opportunities, so make sure to visit auburn.edu/career/experience to get more information on different ways you can gain experience and become a successful professional in the work field. If you would like to talk more about gaining experience, please feel free to come into our office and meet with a Career Counselor during our office hours. Remember, get started now so you can create a successful future!
Post by: Kaela Jimenez
Career Center Graduate Assistant
Graduate Student in Counseling