We asked college seniors what they wish they knew about finding a ‘real job’ as underclassmen


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We asked college seniors what they wish they knew about finding a ‘real job’ as underclassmen

Sophomores and juniors, listen up

Everyone dreams of senior spring. It's your last semester of college, it's basically impossible to fuck up your GPA, and you have the best group of friends who you've known for 2, 3, even 4 years. But lots of seniors also spend the spring stressing about finding a job because, you know, it's kinda the final countdown.

We asked some seniors what they wish they knew about finding jobs earlier in their college career so you don't make the stressful mistakes they did. So sophomore and juniors, listen up! Freshmen, you can continue enjoying yourselves. Enjoy it while you can. Fuck everyone in sight! You're doing amazing, sweetie.


Think about what YOU want out of a career, not what everyone else seems to want or seems to be pursuing. Your life is yours. It can be hard to watch your friends go to high-power firms or straight to New York while you're following your passion and it lands you somewhere else, but I promise it's worth it.


I wish when I was younger I would've taken advantage of job-like opportunities that weren't part-time jobs or summer internships. Things like leadership conferences or seminars are great experiences and good for exposure to different companies.


Start networking early. Even if you don't know what you want to do yet, there's a chance someone you've networked will work at a company that has a position you're qualified to fill. So much of job hunting is who you know because companies get hundreds of applicants — take that seriously.


You're not necessarily picking your career with your first job, so think about the job in terms of the skills it will bring — like, think about it in bites. Is it a good team? Am I getting good public speaking skills? Writing skills? Analysis skills? Connections? That kind of thing.


I would seriously start the internship search incredibly early — like freshman or sophomore year. I know people aren't talking about it as much, but building your resume from early in your college career makes you look like a forward-thinker. If you throw a lot of stuff on there at the end of your career, you look rushed and not super committed to anything.


Apply for as many jobs as you can. Even ones you might feel like you aren't qualified for. You never know what you might end up getting or liking! I never thought I would end up in technology consulting, much less at the company I am headed to after my senior year. But I am excelling at it. Let yourself try anything for experience and never be scared of an application.


Always, always, always take advantage of alumni. If you are interviewing anywhere, definitely search to see if anyone who went to your school works there. If there are some alumni on the staff, especially at entry-level, don't be scared to reach out and ask questions about the company. Most people are happy to help and are even flattered to be some kind of mentor to you. It's a super intimate form of networking that can give you important information to nail an interview.


Bring your resume to some kind of professional early. Use career services (or whatever it's called at your school), take it to the business school, pay a consultant. Have someone take a look at all your paperwork before recruiting season. That way, you can feel confident going into applications rather than either a) worrying about the quality of your application or b) stressing about getting a second pair of eyes.


Don't feel discouraged when all your friends seem to have something lined up and you don't. Different industries have different timelines. And life doesn't have just one path to success. There's no GPA like there was in college. It's you defining what you want and what you consider successful. Really take this time to be alone in your goals and don't compare your job search to anyone else's.


Getting one job doesn't just mean you should stop looking at other options. Do research into the position to make sure the work culture, responsibilities, and potential to grow matches what you want in a first job and keep your eyes peeled for something that really aligns with what you want. I am going to accept the third job I was offered, and I'm glad I didn't go with my first choice.

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