As the next wave of seniors look forward to their time after Plattsburgh State, some important questions naturally arise within our campus community: When should I start job searching? What should I do to prepare for interviews? Who can help me?
Rachel Frisch, a PSU graduate student in the childhood education program, attests to the stress of finding time to apply for jobs while working and managing coursework.
“Honestly, it is a bit frustrating. I feel like our generation is always looking for the next thing to check off our list. Graduate high school, go to college, find a job and hopefully find that job and have everything lined up before graduation,” Frisch said. “For me, personally, I am working on my final semester of graduate work while also maintaining two jobs, working on my edTPA, and applying for jobs, on top of everything else I do on a daily basis.”
Frisch’s advice is to take initiative.
“Don’t wait until a professor or someone else tells you to start looking,” Frish said. “Just go ahead and do it. Make connections and network with professionals in your field. These people can become great references who can speak to your experience. Trust your intuition and accomplish your own personal goals.”
Tabitha Akor, a PSU almuna, assures current students that although it is stressful to search for jobs, it is not impossible to find one.
“You have to understand that this is a challenging process,” Akor said. “It will test you as an individual, but you cannot let it break you.”
Akor graduated in December 2019 and currently works as a clinical research assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“One thing that made employers intrigued by me was the fact that I was a full-time student but still made the time to volunteer, have internships, be a part of a research team and hold an on-campus job,” Akor said. “If you are a senior and you don’t have any internships or volunteer experiences to add to your resume, you can still get a job, but you have to write a very strong cover letter and really sell yourself.”
For many students, two of the most daunting aspects of the job search are interviews and rejection emails. Akor recommends that you learn as much as you can about the organization before the interview.
“I would look up the company and learn its goals and values,” Akor said. “I also looked up the interviewer on LinkedIn to get to know them a bit, building that familiarity helps with the nerves.”
As for rejections, Akor assures that after about 20, you learn they are just a part of the process.
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