Since September 2012 I have been serving as Executive in Residence at the Robins School of Business – a mentoring role in which I work with students who are navigating the challenging paths toward internships and full-time career opportunities. My experience so far affirms what you and I already know – that these paths are far more navigable when one is prepared.
A good way to start getting prepared is to talk with a career advisor or mentor about your education, all of your life experiences, your reputation, and roles that you have played on teams and in organizations. An open conversation like this goes a long way toward understanding motivation and career interests.
The right career or internship for you starts with making important and difficult choices. The more informed you are about the alternatives the better those choices will be. It is often the case that students are aware of “professions” but not as aware of “jobs” in those professions. There are plenty of resources available to get specific job information: Career Services, your professors, UR alumni to name a few. Find people that will help get you on a path that is right for you – don’t expect to find the perfect job on your own. The more people you can speak to that can provide credible information, the more sure you will be about your search. Hear what they have to say for a more informed decision.
Be comfortable with the fact that you will not retire from the first job that you accept when you leave UR. At this stage of your career, do not fret about taking jobs and internships that stretch you beyond your comfort zone. Being fixated on one particular job opportunity can bring great focus to a career search, but it can also limit your “first job” options, so guard against being too constrained in your job search.
Your friends may get internships and jobs that are better than yours. Some will be paid higher than you. Be happy for them but always remember that that’s simply not important. What matters is that you stay focused on your own needs and interests. It is also true that some of your friends will struggle more than you to find the right internship or job. Be available to them and help where you can.
The University of Richmond has an array of resources to help students prepare for their internship and job searches. Take full advantage of them.
About Our Guest Blogger: Robert R. Piazza
Bob joined the faculty of the University of Richmond in August 2011 as an Adjunct Instructor in Management. He is currently serving as Executive in Residence at the University of Richmond Robins School of Business. In addition, he is a Talent Management consultant and executive coach. Bob earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Pace University, and his Masters in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bob worked in Human Resources in various companies for more than 30 years. In his most recent role before joining UR, Bob was Vice President, Human Resources for Apex Tool Group, which was a $1.3 billion joint venture of Danaher Corporation and Cooper Industries with nearly 8000 employees in 16 countries. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Talent Management for Danaher Corporation.