Your school’s career services center can seem like an intimidating place at first, but it is one of the most important places that you will visit in your entire college career. This is where you will get help with finding future internships and even with searching for a full-time job after your senior year. Here are some tips for making a visit to the career center the best it can be:
Before you even make an appointment, it is wise to draft a list of questions that you are planning to ask your career counselor.
Showing up with no idea why you are there can seem unprofessional and by preparing for your visit before you arrive, you can make sure that you don’t forget to mention anything important.
Arriving on time seems like common sense, but the career counselors can get very busy during the season when everyone is applying for internships.
Arriving early ensures that you will have enough time to speak to the counselor and that they won’t run over the time allotted for their next appointment.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
The career counselors were hired due to their knowledge about the job search process, and it’s likely that they know someone who knows the answer to your question. It is also acceptable to ask other materials, such as a sample list of where students interned after their sophomore year of college.
Take advantage of other programs offered by career services, not just appointments with advisors.
At my school, career services hosts a variety of events, from workshops on resumes to information sessions with prestigious companies. Students often forget about attending these events, but they can really give you a leg up in the recruiting process of jobs or internships.
Finally, visit multiple times.
Even if you think that all of your questions have been answered in one session, it is great to build a relationship with a career counselor in order to receive more personalized answers to your questions.
If you are looking for a less formal discussion, walk-in hours are usually available and can answer all of your shorter questions. In following these tips, you can have a great first visit to the career center and use it as the resource that it is intended to be for students.
Kaitlyn Lannan is a sophomore at Northwestern University. She is majoring in economics and communication and plans on attending business school. Her dream job is becoming Chief Marketing Officer at a Fortune 500 company. You can find Kaitlyn on Twitter at @KaitlynLannan.