Hi! I’m Andrew, a senior in the Electrical Engineering program here at NDSU.
Graduation can be intimidating for some people. For most, it represents the end of their schooling and fully entering the workforce. For others, it means the start of graduate research and specialized classes. Whatever the case is for you, there are a few tips I’d like to offer to help you prepare for what comes next:
Find what you enjoy – Take note of classes or topics that really interest you, even if they’re not specifically related to your field of study! There are many ways to apply your interests to a job or research opportunity, and it’s helpful to keep those interests in mind.
Start preparing early – If you still have some time left before you graduate, I would highly recommend getting an internship or co-op in your field as soon as your comfortable doing so. Taking a summer to go learn about your field in a hands-on way can really help you to get a better idea of what you want to do once you’re looking for a full-time job!
Make connections – Making professional connections is important for any field. This builds your reputation and can help you find jobs! This often goes hand-in-hand with internship and co-op opportunities, which make it very easy to form those connections early. Don’t be afraid to ask co-workers to be references for you!
Polish your resume – Your resume is a living document; it changes as you change. Make sure that your resume is properly updated and accurately reflects you.
Apply, apply, apply – Job-hunting can be unforgiving and discouraging, but the best advice I can give is to just keep applying. Even if it doesn’t seem like a “perfect” fit, apply! Something that seems boring on paper might end up being really interesting to you once you interview. You won’t know until you investigate more.
Bottom line: Be proactive. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Seek them out!