From the very beginning of our college experience we feel that our decisions are final and irreversible—we have to decide our major before freshman year as we gain knowledge and experience for the job we will have for the rest of our lives. While these years set to prepare us for our future as working adults, we have countless opportunities to find new and exciting fields, tracks and interests to pursue.
Recognizing this, however, can bring on a new pressure—how can we possibly choose one thing to do when there are so many to choose from? That’s when it becomes helpful to talk to people about how they found what they want and like to do. It can be difficult to network with students and professors from classes, and classes and work might interfere with networking events on campus and in Boston. But why dwell on that when we have the convenience of online resources and connections?
At the beginning of this semester, the Office of Career Services and Internships switched their job and internship platform to Handshake. Used by employers and universities nationwide, Handshake offers students a variety of networking and career-planning resources. It is easy to use and navigate, hosts job listings, networking events, discussion boards and copious resources.
The homepage provides suggestions for jobs you may be interested in based on your profile, major and previous searches. While you can look at jobs that are popular in your major, you can also search through a list of students who share their experience in their major field. From this list you can locate students’ emails and contact them to learn more about their experience.
Unique to Handshake is a Q&A section, in which anyone can post a question and anyone can answer. Someone asked, “How do I break into journalism?” and received three informative replies from people in the journalism field. Wondering what you’d be able to do with your degree? Post a question, and you’ll hear from experienced professionals on what they’ve done with theirs.
If you, like me, have lived in Boston your whole life, you might be intrigued by cities across the country. While Boston is home to many job opportunities for recent graduates, jobs exist everywhere. Even if it’s just out of curiosity, search for jobs in New York, California, Michigan, maybe you’ll find a position and location you never knew you’d be interested in.
Handshake’s impressive Resource Library is consistently updated and can help you with many obstacles you may encounter in looking for jobs and internships. Get tips on everything from building your resume and writing a cover letter, to finding clothing that will impress an interviewer. This section also has information for Veterans, nursing students, international students, students of color, women and LGBTQ students.
As we all prepare for the oncoming worry of searching for jobs and internships, we should keep in mind that we have such resources available to us. College isn’t meant to be limiting in what you can do in your life; your degree should provide you with possibilities and opportunities. Take advantage of your time as a student and explore these possibilities. So, make your profile, perfect your resume and find that job you really want.