Asked by Emma on September 13, 2017
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on September 20, 2017
Great question! It is never too early to begin planning for post-graduation. Your freshman and sophomore year are a great time to begin exploring career paths, industries and companies that align with your interests. Campus recruiting for internships and full-time opportunities is becoming increasingly competitive and some companies begin forming relationships with students as early as their freshman year. Even though it seems too early for you to consider internships and full-time opportunities, take advantage of building these connections. Forming connections with companies early will help set you up for success when it comes time for your job search. I would also keep in mind that several companies use their internship program as a pipeline for full-time employment. When considering internships, take advantage of opportunities that align with your goals so you can “test” a company out before committing to a full-time position.
Best of luck!
Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on October 2, 2017
In order to ensure that you have an adequate amount of time to prepare, and/or recover from any missteps from your freshman year, you should have your plans made no later than the beginning of the last semester of your sophomore year. At this point in time you should have your general education credits nearly finished, have your major declared, have met with your academic advisor to determine your schedule for the remainder of your undergraduate program, as well as scheduling a discussion as to if you will be going straight into a master's program or the work force after graduation. This will allow her/him to help prepare you for either internships or balancing your remaining academic schedule to ensure that you are able to seamlessly transition to your master's program. This may sound a bit intimidating, but if you are truly focused on ensuring that you set yourself up for success to the best of your ability, it requires planning and foresight. Additional preparation now will save you a world of heartache later on down the road.
Answered by Eddie, Hiring Expert at Quest Diagnostics, on December 27, 2017
For the job market, it doesn't hurt to start immediately even if you're a freshman. While you may not be looking for a job at that time, you can at least get an idea of what the expectations are by studying job postings. Regardless of your major, however, make plans to intern somewhere. An internship gives you an opportunity to see the work environment of your major first-hand. It also gives you experience which is what hiring managers and recruiters look for. You may even consider volunteer opportunities connected to the field you want to get into. Internships and volunteering give many students an idea of whether they are in the right field or not, also.
For grad school, I recommend starting your search right away. You definitely want to get an idea of the admission requirements as well as other considerations such as location and cost in addition to how important an advanced degree is to your career. By taking a look at those factors, you can decide if your best post-grad option is to continue school or enter the job market. Best of luck!