Graduate and Professional Studies Students
Stevenson University offers many ways for you to become engaged and connected. As a graduate student, you have access to many advanced learning opportunities and resources through the Office of Career Services. Our Career and Industry Specialists provide individualized guidance, support, and recommendations to help prepare you for a successful future. Make an appointment to explore new career or learning options, conduct a self-assessment, gather market and occupational research, communicate successfully with employers, and hone your career management skills. This knowledge will lead to strong and successful professional and personal development.
Why Should I go Back to School?
When considering your options, earning a degree can present several challenges including financial restrictions and time constraints. However in today’s job market, job seekers are looking for that competitive edge over their opponents to land a position and employers are seeking to do more with less and are increasingly looking for the right fit. Combining higher education and established work experience can provide you with the skills and abilities that employer’s value. Obtaining a degree can assist you in determining a path to advance your career as well as increase your earning potential. In close collaboration with the GPS faculty, the Office of Career Services offers a unique and personalized approach called Career Architecture SM.
Whether you are starting a new career, changing careers, or building new skills for your current career, Stevenson University can assist you in acquiring a strategy for lifelong career management. The School of Graduate & Professional Studies has a dedicated Career & Industry Specialist to assist you in identifying and developing your career path. We will bring you through the job search process by providing you with the resources and tools necessary to successfully obtain employment.
Career Transitioning & Your Choice of Program
Selecting a major is one of the most important decisions you will make. Choosing the right academic program to match your talents, passions, and career aspirations is complicated and can feel overwhelming.
Determining your personal direction allows you to explore the individual skills, values and interests necessary in determining the appropriate field of study and related career path. This essential element allows you to reflect upon the strengths you possess that motivate you, the interests that you have, and what is important to you. You have to know who you are and what motivates you in order to craft your career plan. It is also an essential step in preparing for any type of interview. The bottom line is what value can you bring to a potential employer?
We inspire students to dream about their future and create their own journey through reflective pieces and exercises. This guidance is designed to help you explore individual skills, values, and interests to establish a foundation that leads to the imagination and creation of a personal plan for life and work.
Our experienced staff in the Office of Career Services can help you design a custom career path that fits your interests and skills. We will help you identify your strengths and passions, show you how these indicators can translate into a successful academic experience and career path, and assist you in the development of a strategic career plan.
The key to finding a career that is fulfilling and rewarding is to engage in a self-assessment process that will help identify personality characteristics and strengths, define skills and interests, and clarify values so you can create realistic goals to formulate a career plan that matches your individual characteristics. This process enables you to focus on your areas of strength and ensures greater success and career satisfaction. This is all part of the “Personal Direction” component of the Career Architecture Model. The Office of Career Services provides a variety of assessments to assist students in discovering their career path.
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®
- Holland Code Quiz
- Dependable Strengths™
- Strong Interest Inventory®
- Values Card Sort™
- Motivated Skills Card Sort
What Can I Do With My Major?
Connecting a major to a career is a challenge for many students. Your major does not determine your career; there may be some "typical" jobs students from the same major pursue, but you should never feel restricted to those choices. Your academic program may prepare you to work in a specific discipline or industry but does not necessarily focus on your individual skill set or preferences that may need to be considered when making a career choice or deciding what type of job is best suited for you. Many different skills and tasks are transferable to a variety of industries and job choices. College grads use their education in a wide variety of fields. Many skills developed in college have numerous applications such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication.
In addition to the careers associated with your major, you should explore and learn about the range of career opportunities available to you. You can easily research career choices within majors by using Handshake.
Gathering Market Information
Determining what industries and occupations you would like to work in can also assist in developing your career path. Researching industries of interest and learning what business are in that industry is a critical step towards establishing your career path. This knowledge will assist you in obtaining employment within an industry, occupation, and organization.
Informational Interviewing & Job Shadowing
While the goal of interviewing is to obtain a job offer, the goal of information interviewing is to gather information. Like networking, information interviewing is based on the premise that people are a tremendous source of information. This will allow you to gain information about a career field and help put you in touch with possible job leads. Once you have identified your field of interest, find out what kinds of occupations are in this field. Talk to individuals working in the positions you have identified to gain insight into what the issues and challenges are and ask questions. These conversations can provide a valuable glimpse into that occupation and help you determine if it is a good fit for your skills and abilities.
Discipline & Expertise
Getting Your Message Out
This element is the obvious piece when you think about college. What skills and expertise will you be acquiring through my academic studies both inside and outside of the classroom? Outside experiences are critical to supplement in class learning and help you to be the well-rounded individual that employers seek.
Participating in industry-specific learning experiences and developing a network are key elements of getting noticed by employers. Engage in research. Develop leadership skills through participation in clubs and activities. Gain experience in your industry and occupation by securing internships and other experiential learning opportunities. Reflect on learning and accomplishments through the use of portfolios. Record accomplishments achieved both in class and outside of the classroom and select artifacts and experiences that best represent your desired career direction.
Internships will serve as a bridge between the theory of what you learn in the classroom and practice. They can be full or part-time, paid or unpaid, for academic credit or not for credit. Internships give you the opportunity to apply, practice, and develop the theory and skills you have learned in the classroom while acquiring references and building your resume. Internships are a unique opportunity to test drive different positions, sectors, environments, and roles specific to your major.
Internships will help you to better crystallize your career goals while expanding your professional network. By participating in internships, you will also feel an increased sense of confidence and control over your future.
Establishing your Target Market
The purpose of researching industries and employers is to obtain information to determine a good match for your desired occupation and industry-related criteria. A research strategy can provide employer information you can utilize to outshine your competition and establish a network of connections that will assist you in expediting your job search. Your target companies should include places that you are interested in as well as those suggested by friends and networking connections.
Communication & Networking
Understanding who you are and what you want to do will help you articulate more clearly to employers. Developing a networking strategy is an important step in communicating a clear and concise message to your network and employers.
Professional Know-How refers to how you will consolidate information. You will pull everything you know and have learned about yourself into a professional brand that you will use in your online presence, resumes, interviews, and networking.
Professional Brand Development
Consistency in all of your job search materials and how you communicate your message is part of developing your professional brand. These materials then become your promotional message portraying the image you wish to present to your network and employers.
A resume is a marketing tool used to sell yourself to a company or organization. It describes your strengths, achievements, experience and capabilities. A resume does not contain negative information, or potential weaknesses. A potential employer should read resume and think, “I want to meet this person.” The main purpose of a resume is to obtain an interview.
Job Search Strategies
In the current job market, finding a job is a lot more involved than it used to be. With social media and other resources available to both employers and job seekers, your job search should be a strategic process. This process has several necessary components that one must take in order to expediting an efficient and effective search. Many people do not know all of the steps involved and hurry through the process by writing a generic resume and sending it out to as many job postings as possible in hopes for a quick response. However, research shows that this method may not be the most advantageous means of finding a job as several factors in this search method slow the process. In addition, statistics show that employers and job seekers have different approaches in the employment process.
Networking is an essential component in accelerating your job search. Build a network of connections by identifying the people you know (your primary connections) both personally and professionally. Add to your network by utilizing your primary connections to obtain secondary connections to people that they know that may be to assist you in your search.
Primary connections can be personal or professional and include individuals such as: family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, teachers/professors, supervisors, etc.
When utilizing your networking connections, think outside of the box. They can provide more than just job leads. They can offer inside information on companies, names of individuals, recruiters, and hiring managers, industry information, and other career options.
Career Services offers a wide variety of employer services designed to facilitate employer access to students and alumni.
- Career Fairs
- On Campus Interviews with Companies
- Organizational Information Sessions
- Networking Seminars
- Discipline Specific Networking Events
Interviewing is a conversation that utilizes your persuasion and communication skills to demonstrate your personality, knowledge, skills, abilities, and fit to an organization. Organizations employ different kinds of interview formats and questions to find their perfect candidates. The interview process varies from company to company.
Through a series of meetings and questions, the interviewers are trying to ascertain whether you are the best “fit” for their company and the position. You may speak with multiple human resources representatives, managers, and/or potential co-workers. Interviews may be held over the phone, via video, or in person. It is helpful to understand what to expect during each stage of the candidate screening. Ask the employer about the structure of the interview and who you will be interviewing with so that there are no surprises.
Before starting your job search, it's a good idea to do a thorough self-assessment. Be prepared to discuss your marketable traits and qualities. Throughout the interviewing process, be sure to give examples that demonstrate these strengths.
Salary Negotiation is a means of establishing your worth to your future employer and winning the position over the competition. You should establish a negotiation strategy to prepare you in presenting your impression to the company.
Successful negotiation requires knowing what you must have, what you would like to have, and what you are willing to accept. Knowing the job market value of your position is helpful in determining a salary range.
For more information please contact Connie Harrington, Career and Industry Specialist for the Graduate and Professional Studies School, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-394-9279.
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