With graduation looming ominously close for the class of 2023, seniors are all overwhelmed with a range of emotions including fear. We are leaving the nest, our little Wheaton bubble that has managed to protect us from the world for four long years. Now we have to fly or try our hardest, at least.
I have been approached by a lot of people who ask what my plans are after Wheaton and what I am going to do. But more than that even, I often have long winded conversations about how hard it is to find jobs, especially this year. Entry level apparently does not mean “entry” because employers would like us to have at least two years of full-time experience in the field we want to go into — despite us coming straight out of college. So here comes a vicious cycle: you need experience to get a job but need a job to get experience. So how do we, as once doe-eyed students eager to learn but now already tired, find ourselves jobs?
Your first step in “Sanjana’s Guide on Getting Yourself a Job” (as she suffers internally from imposter syndrome) is to contact your professors. Our professors are literally gold mines when it comes to their contacts and resources. If they cannot help you, they will find someone who can and connect you to them. Email your professors with a general idea of what kind of job you want or a preferred location or company. Be prompt in connecting with the people they recommend so that you can make the most of these networking opportunities and try to respond to emails within a day. When you email the people they connect you with, remember to be as specific as possible about your qualifications and the kind of roles you are interested in.
The second step is to become familiar with the Filene Center and Handshake. The Filene Center is a great tool to get advice about how to begin your job search, including how to use LinkedIn which is a fantastic resource when used correctly… Otherwise, you are looking at a six hour LinkedIn job search rabbit hole where you find nothing you are looking for or even remotely qualified for. Attending the “lunch and job search” weekly workshops is a fantastic way to get started. Also, book a meeting with a staff member, preferably one you have worked with before, so that they already know what kind of a person and student you are and what roles you would have the best shot at. However, it never hurts to connect with a new staff member and give them a rundown of what you are looking for.
The third step is to email your previous internships. As seniors, most of us have probably done a couple of internships, jobs, or research opportunities outside of Wheaton and made some great connections with our supervisors. If you had a great rapport with your supervisor, or had an amazing experience, I would recommend reaching out to them as soon as possible. They will let you know if they are hiring or will put in a good word for you at the very least! Your supervisors are great resources because since you have already worked with them, they know what your working style is and where you will thrive the most.
Finally, reach out to your friends and family. They may have some very cool contacts that might get you a job! Ask them to contact that friend who worked in marketing, or that aunt who worked at Wall Street and just express interest in getting to know more about their work! Cold emails to hiring managers may work too — create an email template and just plug in names and specific information to the job! Remember to not send a resume with your email however. Wait for them to first reach out to you.
Well, that is it. Those were my tips and tricks for job searching. Until now, I have no idea why I have been asked so many questions about it, but I thought I will just let everyone know what I know. We don’t gatekeep information here at Wheaton.
Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor!