At some point, we as college students are expected to get a “real” job. That means during a term or the summer, instead of wasting our free time on working a non “real” job such as a camp counselor, babysitter, or at the snack bar at the beach club, we are expected to have an internship or a job that will guide us in the right direction down our career paths.
Although this may be a hard reality to face, and our lazy, relaxed summers will be missed, as Union students we have resources that can help make the job/internship search a bit easier to tackle.
Union has two essential resources for the job/internship search. The first, which is more easily accessible, is HireU. On this site, you can search jobs and internships by field, term or season, location, and more specifics. One especially helpful tool that HireU includes is not only listing all of the requirements from the job, and how to apply, but also allowing students to apply directly from the site.
However, to do so, you must update your profile by uploading your resume and cover letters that most positions request.
From searching this site this year, I have found that the internships and jobs posted are mainly local. Therefore, this is beneficial to those who are looking for work during the school year. However, if you do not live locally, or do not want to be stuck on campus for the summer, these local jobs are not exactly helpful for summer employment.
With that being said, there are some students who have found success and gained experience and knowledge through local internships. Yet not all students can do these for various reasons such as a lack of transportation, time commitment, etc.
As a second year student at Union, I have often heard of upperclassmen and faculty speaking highly of our institution’s relationship with alumni that has been kept throughout the years. The coalition between current student, faculty, administration, and our alumni is one that Union seems to hold very dearly.
In terms of networking, college alumni can be a great resource. Because of the alumni connections made in the corporate world, Union has an alumni database, called UCAN or Union’s Career Advisory Network. Although this website is not as easily accessible as HireU, as students must attend an info session to access the site, it seems worth doing to me.
Over this past spring break, I decided, along with the will of my parents, to explore the UCAN site after attending the informational meeting in the winter. Although I only heard back from a few of the 10-15 people I emailed, the handouts and tools on the career website to help formulate emails to these alumni were very, very helpful.
Additionally, the alumni that did respond were great! I spoke with them over email and then over the phone, shared my resume with them, which was then passed on to their colleagues and members of their social circles.
Although some of my friends have had difficulty communicating and receiving helpful feedback from alumni, in my experience the people I spoke with have helped me make more connections with the people they know.
My advice: Although it is time consuming to do during the year, go to an info meeting about UCAN, play around on the site and send some emails, maybe even talk to some alumni during Alumni Weekend or next fall because it is true that Union’s alumni can be very helpful resources to this crazy and overwhelming job/internship search we are all trying to master.