Explore Career Paths for College Students on Handshake

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team

How to learn about roles and find ones that are right for you.

You probably know Handshake as the place where DePaul students are hired for great jobs and internships. But Handshake also has resources to help you find your career path. 

Think back to when you were deciding on your major. You may have done research to learn about different areas of study and tried a few introductory classes to figure out what you do and don’t like. You can use that same practice to narrow down potential careers. Here are some tips for finding the roles you want to pursue on Handshake.

Role pages on Handshake

Handshake has collected useful data on dozens of the most popular career categories for college students—covering hundreds of job roles. (A role is a profession or job function that a company hires for—like a mechanical engineer, data analyst, or marketing manager.) Each category has a page where you can find this information organized for you.

These pages are designed to help you understand what roles are out there, and if a role may or may not be right for you. Depending on your interests and skills, there can be several different roles that may be a good fit. So, don’t worry if you’re not quite sure what you want to do. When you find roles that sound interesting, add them to your profile so you can view and apply for related jobs. 

Finding the right roles

If you’d like to browse roles, click Career paths on the top menu bar of your dashboard. That will take you to a landing page where you can scroll through the popular role groups. You can also search for a specific role by using the search bar at the top of the page. 

Career paths landing page

When you click on a role page, you’ll see:

  • A brief description 
  • Average salary for new graduates
  • Top cities for the role
  • Open jobs for students at your school
  • Similar roles to explore
  • Top majors interested in the role
  • People in this role: shows you other students who’ve worked in the role—so you can message them with your questions.

Adding roles to your profile

When you find roles that you like, be sure to add them to your profile. Adding roles to your profile is important because it:

  • Updates your job recommendations. Adding roles to your profile helps Handshake surface relevant jobs and internships, so you see the jobs you’ll want to apply for.
  • Helps recruiters find you. Recruiters are searching for students based on the information in their profile. Adding roles helps recruiters find you when they’re hiring for jobs in those roles.

To add a role to your profile, click the Interested button at the top of the role page. The role will be listed in the Your Interests section of your profile.

You can add as many roles as you like and change them at any time

Log into Handshake today to start learning about the roles you want to pursue and adding them to your profile.

If you don’t see a role that you’re interested in and think it should be added to the role pages, contact the Handshake help center.  

Interviewing: The Pre, The Post & The Interview Itself

By: Kaitlyn Roberts, DePaul University communications major ’18

You got the interview! Congrats! Now, are you prepared to nail it from start to finish? Here are some helpful tips to do just that.

Before the Interview

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Do your research: Stalk this company’s website like you would the Facebook profile of that cute person in your Math class.

Practice: Interview Stream is a great tool if you have access to it, or, practice with a friend or family member.

Be prepared: One of the most valuable and underutilized tools on campus is the Career Center. If you haven’t stopped by for an informational packet, met with a peer career advisor, or taken advantage of the free-to-you resume and cover letter editing checks, you and your future could truly be missing out. DePaul’s fabulous Career Centers are located on both the Lincoln Park [Schmitt Academic Center, 2320 N. Kenmore, Room 192] and Loop [DePaul Center, 1 East Jackson, Suite 9500] campuses.

Get plenty of sleep: The night before, you need to get a good night’s rest! Turn down for interviews, kiddos.

Dress to impress: First off, make sure you do in fact have clothes on, and second that you leave your lucky T-Pain t-shirt at home. But hey, if you can conceal it under your clothes then more power to you, woo!

During the Interview:

Group of happy business people congratulating cheerful African American man on getting a job at their office.

Be confident: Give a solid handshake; don’t “pound it” with your new boss until at least your second day on the job.

Body language speaks louder than words: Give your full attention, maintain eye contact and don’t fidget too much – be calm.

Be on time: Actually, be about 15 minutes early. Just a suggestion.

Provide a copy of your resume: Bring resumes and other materials that may be required.

Thank the interviewer: Being pleasant is good. Pleasant. Good. Pleasant is good. Be that.

Always ask (at least one or two) appropriate questions: “How much cash money will I be making?” Isn’t one of them.

After the Interview:

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Send a thank you note: Thank the interviewers with an email or note following the meeting.

Follow up appropriately: Show you’re interested! But don’t be the guy that sends 10 emails and another 20 phone calls – why would that even sound like a good idea?

Be patient, grasshopper’: A career doesn’t form overnight. Take a deep breath and be patient with the process.

Learn from your mistakes, and take note: “The T-pain shirt wasn’t a great idea… I won’t do that next time… maybe.”

Interviews are a learning experience. If you don’t end up getting the job it wasn’t meant to be. There will be more, even better opportunities that come your way and you can sleep easy knowing you gave it your all! Remember to stop by the Career Center today to get a leg up on your future.

DePaul Diaries: Life as a Southwest Airlines Intern

By: Sean Nasi, DePaul University digital cinema major ’15

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.

What makes an internship a great experience? For Anna Hamelin, an economics major at DePaul, her job experience at Southwest Airlines was unlike any other.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 2.15.17 PMTime literally flew by while interning at the company. Internships as phenomenal as Anna’s are not hard to come by, but they do take time and energy to find. Here are some questions to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to apply to an internship or accept an offer for one!

What Will I Learn?

The biggest thing that separates great internships from good ones is the learning components. As college students, we are still developing our skills and learning how to apply them to the workforce. At Southwest, Anna never filed papers or went out for coffee runs for her superiors. Instead, she learned how to plan events and collaborate with companies to create a satisfying final product. “They trust the interns…and give them projects that are important. That makes everyone work extremely hard to make sure everything comes out perfect,” Anna said.

Who Will Teach Me?

It is one thing to simply gain experience at an internship, but it’s another thing to learn from and make connections with industry professionals. Mentorship is another big component of an internship, and it can come through supervision or by leading through example. At Southwest, Anna received both types of mentorship. “The people who work here are happy and approachable, so it’s a great environment to learn,” Anna said.

The people who work here [Southwest Airlines] are happy and approachable, so it’s a great environment to learn.

It’s important to select an internship that will complement your work style. Organizations in Chicago offer all kinds of internship programs, and some environments are not suitable for everyone. Some companies are high-pressure and fast-paced, while others are more laid-back. Some companies even look for interns to work remotely. Anna enjoyed the laid-back environment at Southwest. “Southwest does a lot to ensure that their employees are genuinely happy,” Anna said. “They want you to work hard, but they also want you to have fun and enjoy your job and coworkers. The people at Southwest know how to work hard and play hard.”

How Will I Be Compensated for My Time?

Contrary to popular belief, not all internships are unpaid. In fact, roughly 65% of the internships posted at DePaul are paid. Additionally, some unpaid internships offer non-monetary perks, such as free lunches, or stipends to cover expenses. For example, Southwest not only offered paid internships, but also gave interns the opportunity to travel for free anywhere Southwest flies. “I’ve been able to travel almost every weekend…It’s been a semester long adventure, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience,” Anna expressed.

Am I Qualified for the Position?

“When I was a freshman, I was looking up the top internship programs in the country, and Southwest was high on the list,” Anna recalled. “At the time, I wasn’t qualified, but as soon as I was I applied to a few different positions and ended up getting my current internship!”

Many students experience anxiety when applying for positions for which they feel underqualified. Most employers understand students are still learning, and are willing to overlook a lack of experience if they exhibit ambition and enthusiasm. If you possess the minimum position requirements, it never hurts to apply for an internship position, even if you feel it may be “out of your league.” The worst that can happen is they either don’t respond, or say no. Even if they say no, never be afraid to reapply in the future when you meet more of their qualifications.

It never hurts to apply for an internship position, even if you feel it may be “out of your league.

Where Could This Lead?

Many companies offer opportunities for full- or part-time employment post internship. However, even if there is no opportunity to move up, the networking opportunities available, both with full-time staff members and other interns, will last a lifetime. At Southwest, Anna enjoyed regular interactions with both staff members and other interns. “There are 90 interns in my class, so I’ve met a ton of awesome people from around the country and have developed friendships that will last…,” Anna said.

Anna made the most of her time at Southwest, and would encourage prospective interns to “enjoy every minute and work as hard as you can because time goes by way too fast.” It also never hurts to be open-minded to new opportunities. If you are on the fence about applying to a certain internship, apply anyway. You can always decide after the interview if it’s really a company worth working for!

Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.