Post by Tiffanie Rosier, Assistant Director and Internship Coordinator, Cohen Career Center
Experience is an important word in the Career Center vocabulary. According to Webster’s Dictionary, experience can be defined as: a: direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge b: the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation or a: practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation of or participation in events or in a particular activity b: the length of such participation (ie. has 10 years’ experience in the job). So what experience will you gain during your Winter Break? There are several options that you can consider in order to gain that career related experience:
- Seek out an internship that may or may not currently exist at a company or organization of interest to you. Remember, to visit the Cohen Career Center before you leave for break in order to have a staff member review your resume and cover letter.
- You can ask to volunteer at a company by participating in the Cohen Career Center Winter Break Shadowing Program. You can see which alumni are willing to host current W&M students to shadow and observe them and their organization for all or part of the Winter Break.
So, where do you begin to search for these experiences? The options are endless, but the Career Center wants to highlight just a few to get you started.
- Tribe Careers is your official gateway to jobs and internships for W&M students and alumni. There are currently over 442 jobs and internships listed. Also, when you log in you will be able to access the database links to more than 100 resources.
- UCAN (University Career Action Network) is a consortium of 22 colleges and universities from across the country, developed to provide resources and tools to help students identify a variety of career and internship opportunities. Member institutions are strategically chosen for their strong academic reputations and their widespread geographic locations in order to provide a broad range of internship opportunities for students. Founded in 1996, UCAN is a shared database of internship listings (both international and domestic), making it one of the most comprehensive internship resources listed on the internet.
- Are you LinkedIn? If not, visit www.linkedin.com to set up your free account to get connected. The Learning Center on LinkedIn has many helpful videos and cheat sheets for LinkedIn users. The Career Center maintains a subgroup on LinkedIn called Tribe Connections, an online hub for alumni who want to mentor current students in the career development process. In counseling appointments, we encourage those students who wish to connect to an alumni mentor to join Tribe Connections and search for users who have work histories or experiences that relate to their interests. In turn, alumni users are able to distinguish their use of Tribe Connections by indicating to students in the “Interests” section of their profiles how they would like to interact. Resume review, informational interviews, job shadowing, and mock interviewing are the most common interactions.
This information is only the tip of the iceberg; there are many ways to gain valuable experience on your career development path. If you still aren’t sure how to find the experience you are looking for or unsure of what experience could be right for you, then come on into the Cohen Career Center and make an appointment to meet with one of our staff members. Good luck with the last week of classes!