First Year Career Tips
As an intimidated freshman, I knew absolutely nothing about resumes, interview skills, and this thing people call “networking.” As the new school year is approaching, I thought I’d gather some insights I’ve learned my first year at Babson.
These are a series of tips I’ve learned as a first year.
- It’s never too early to start. Just because you are in your first year doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. Although it may feel restricting when it comes to opportunities, do not let that deter you. A lot of job postings and internship opportunities may not be available to you just yet but you can still reach out and get your name out there. If you start early, you can start building your network and perhaps start finding some mentors that will help you when it actually counts. As a first year, look for pre-internship opportunities, job shadowing opportunities, and just try to talk to people (such as students and alumni).
- Keep excel sheets. It’s important to get in the habit of getting organized early. For my internship search, I keep an excel sheet with the name of the company, company website, deadline to apply (if there is one), a contact person from that company, the location of the opportunity, status of application, and general comments. This will make life a lot easier when you have to reference back.
- Constantly update your resume. This has saved me many times. Sometimes, I am not even aware of opportunities that are open until the last week before the deadline. However, because I have my most updated resume, I am able to apply to the opportunity right away.
- Go to career office regularly. CCD is very helpful and they do whatever they can to assist you. Whether it’s connecting you with a fellow Babson students who has been in the same situation or just letting you know about general opportunities, it’s good to go to CCD a few times a semester, just to make sure you are on track for your goals. Being at such a small school, it is so easy to make an appointment and there are even walk-in hours every day so take advantage of that. I have a lot of friends at big state schools who do not get this level of attention, especially as a first year.
- Start building a contact list. Do keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity. Have a list of people who you know you can depend on. Personally, I have emailed my resumes and cover letters to people and was able to get in-depth and valuable feedback, relevant to my field of interest.
- Follow up and write notes. Personally, I sometimes have trouble implementing this but it is extremely important to follow up within a day or so with people who you spoke with. Otherwise, they will forget who you are so to maintain communication is important. Also, write notes about what you guys talked about so you can reference them in your follow up emails. As a tip, someone told me to write down a few things that stood out from the conversation on their business card.
- Find students with similar career interests. It’s a lot better stressing over apps with a friend instead of by yourself. Also, you can share contacts and, therefore, just doubled your network. You can also let one another know about upcoming opportunities.
Babson is unique in that everyone is very career-oriented. Take advantage of that and good luck!