Advice to Seniors from a 2012 Rollins Graduate

Submitted by Catherine Brown, Class of 2012

Congratulations! You’ve made it to senior year, an accomplishment in itself! As a recent graduate, I am going to share a few of my insights since I was in your shoes this time last year.

First and foremost, enjoy yourself.
You have made it through three hard years of college (which is more than the majority of the population can say) but focus on your studies–you don’t want to undo all the hard work that got you to this point.

Get your resume in shape.
At the same time, bring your resume up to date and begin deciding what information is no longer relevant.  For example, do you really need to include your camp counselor position you did right after high school on your resume if you’ve just completed a summer internship last term?  If you are not sure what to keep or remove, take your resume into Career Services, who will be more than happy to help you work through some of these questions.   For me, making friends with the staff in Career Services was one of the smartest moves I made.  Everyone in the office bent over backwards helping me with my resume, prepping me for interviews or any other need I had pertaining to my job search.

Gain some marketable experience.
While updating your resume, if you notice your relevant experience section is lacking, find an internship ASAP!  By this point in college, all seniors should have completed at least one internship, if not two.  Internships are the best ways to try out and experience the career field you would like to pursue.   If you are like me and unsure of what career field you want to pursue, internships serve as a great way to narrow down the field and decide on career options that are best for you.

Start your internship search by considering what industries you would like to establish yourself in.  Once you have narrowed it down to two or three, try to find an internship on the R-CareerLink site, or on your own!  If you need an internship for credit, Career Services will guide you through the process, which is very easy.  If you don’t need or aren’t interested in earning credit, you can always do one just for the experience.  Believe me, you will be thankful of your internship experience once you start pursuing full-time jobs.

Network, Network, Network.
Create a LinkedIn profile so you can connect with professionals and alumni and vice versa! In my opinion, LinkedIn is the best kept secrets, providing students, recent grads, alumni and professionals the opportunity to connect with each other.  Get started by joining the Rollins Alumni Association Group on LinkedIn, and then send out some alumni invitations to “connect” with you.  Feel free to ask for their advice about job searching and obtaining that dream job.   I have found that most alumni are flattered and impressed you have taken the time to seek them out.  If they have the time, they will be more than happy to speak with you. Who knows where a twenty-minute conversation may lead.  Following my career interests, I made great connections with alumni working at Reuters and Diageo.

Practice patience.
As for the job search, it is neither a fun nor quick process; rather it can be a long, and sometimes nerve racking, experience searching and waiting to hear back from employers.   When you do hear back from an employer for an interview or receive a job offer, all of that immediately fades into the background.  Another part of the job search process involves recognizing you might not immediately find a full time job.  However, if you start early, aka like now, your chances increase dramatically!  Other times you won’t find a job but during your search, you may find an internship opportunity present itself instead.  My advice?  Take it!  Internships are perhaps the best way to get your foot in the door, as well as an opportunity to confirm whether this is the right path for you.

Like you, I’m still searching for that job and hope to find it as I embark on my new journey of interning with the wholesale team at FENDI in NYC.

Have questions?  Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

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