Monday, September 30, 2013

Preparing for the big week ahead

This week is probably one of the busiest weeks of the semester. A lot of classes give their first round of exams around this time. I just finished taking my first organic chemistry exam. Not only is there a lot going on academically, but there is also a lot of career-related activities going on this week. I would really like to get an internship this summer, so I am going to attend all of the events and try to get the most out of them.

Tomorrow is the Engineering Pre-Gallery Internship/Co-op Day. Students can talk to many of the companies that will be at the Career Gallery the following day, mainly about co-op and internship experiences rather than full time positions. It will be held in the courtyard of the Engineering Building this year, which is a convenient place to stop between classes.

The Career Gallery is a two-day event in the Breslin Center. The first day is for science and technology, and the second day is for business, so I will only be attending on Wednesday. The Breslin Center is filled with employers that are recruiting for internships, co-ops, and full-time. In the days following the Gallery, companies contact students that they are interested in for interviews.

Some advice I would give to students:
  • It's never too early to start thinking about careers. I learn about different careers, companies, and opportunities at AIChE and SWE meetings on a regular basis.
  • Take advantage of all the resources that MSU and the College of Engineering have to offer. The Center offers resume critiques, mock interviews, and so much more, just stop by! I went to a resume writing session and a resume critique just in the past month.
  • Make sure you have the proper attire for the Career Gallery and possible interviews. I went suit shopping with my mom this summer so that I would be ready once school started again in the fall. 
  • Register for the Career Gallery ahead of time. Then, you do not have to wait in long lines to print out a pass at the door. 
  • Attend the Career Pre-Gallery and Gallery, even if you are a freshman. Many employers are looking for more experienced students, but I know quite a few that were offered internships and co-ops their freshman year. I went last year just for the experience, even though I was not in the market for an internship or co-op. There are so many companies and opportunities that it could be overwhelming, now I have a better idea of what to expect this year.
Looking for jobs can be stressful, but at least there are a lot of resources available to aid me in my search. I'll let you know how everything went. Wish me luck!

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