3 Ways Your Career Advisor Can Help In the New School Year

The start of a new school year can bring about a lot of change. After several months off we’re getting accustomed to new courses, a shift in the weather, and all-things pumpkin spice. It can take some time to regain one’s footing, but when it comes to career advice at DePaul, we can help right off the bat.

Every student has a designated career advisor at DePaul based on your major—including those who are currently undecided and exploring. This allows us to not only answer general career questions, but also offer a deeper dive into your post-graduate career plans.

If you think you might want to visit with a career advisor, but are unsure of how we can help, here are a few ideas based on your current student status.

Freshmen: Career Exploration

One of the most common ways that career advisors help first-year students at DePaul is with career exploration. This can be done in a variety of ways. For students who are still exploring their major and career interests, we offer free career assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Strong Interest Inventory, which can serve as a helpful guide in finding career paths based on personality preferences and interests. Some students have a clear idea of what type of job they want after graduation, and so we work backwards to determine which types of internship opportunities, majors, and/or minors would help students reach that particular goal. Whatever your concerns might be regarding career paths and opportunities, we can help bring your options into greater focus. It also helps to meet consistently with your academic advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate, and to see if you can fit in a double major or minor that might aid in reaching your post-grad career goals.

Sophomores and Juniors: Gaining Experience

While every sophomore and junior who comes to the Career Center will have a different set of needs, one common thread tends to be an interest in internships. This is the perfect time to begin pursuing these opportunities, as you will already have a few classes under your belt and can begin exploring a particular career path in a hands-on way. If you take on an internship and love what you’re doing, we can help you identify similar opportunities down the road; if you have the opposite reaction, we can work with you to identify what might be a better fit and help you to pursue those options. For many students, applying to an internship—whether it’s your first, second, or sixth—can be a daunting task; your career advisor can help to lighten the load by offering insight on how to tackle this process with greater confidence.

Seniors: Applying to Jobs

Graduating seniors most often seek out career advising to gain greater clarity around applying to full-time jobs. Given that each industry has a different hiring season—some industries, like accounting, make their full-time hires much earlier in the year than other fields—it’s a good idea to meet with a career advisor early in the year to develop a plan of attack for the application process. This plan may include an internship, identifying networking contacts, or diving right into the full-time search. Ultimately, the process itself will vary from student to student, but meeting with your career advisor sooner rather than later can ensure that you are ahead of the game regardless of your post-grad career goals.

Keep in mind that the above suggestions are just a few ideas for visiting with us. Some of you may have questions about pursuing graduate school, teaching abroad, and/or volunteer opportunities—we can hep with that! Similarly, you might find that you have slightly different needs than those outlined above; maybe you’re a freshman ready to dive into your first internship, or a senior who wants to explore career paths. The good news is that we can help you with every step of the process, and where ever you’re at in the process. Classes and the weather may change, but strong, student-focused support from the Career Center will always be our top priority.

Smart Moves for First-Year Students

By: Henry Tran, DePaul University management major ’19

I sat down with a career advisor to gather general advice and tips for first-year students at DePaul. Here are four smart moves you can make as a freshman to set yourself up for success at DePaul and in the future.

Apply For Classes as Early as Possible

You should always try to apply as soon as possible for your classes. Don’t wait until the last minute, as you could lose out on classes you want, or be forced to wait until the class opens up!

Work on your Resume, But Seriously

As a first-year student, resumes may not seem that important, but having one is vital for internships and jobs. Even if you’re not applying for any jobs just yet, having one may prove to be useful as a source of your qualifications. If you are wondering where to go to get help creating or reviewing your résumé, here’s the answer: At the Career Center. The Career Center offers these services for free.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

If you’re feeling unsure about anything, you can easily find help! Whether it’s receiving help from the Writing Center on your final essays or working with the Career Center to figure out what you want to do with your time here at DePaul, there are many resources available to you, you just have to go get it!

Discover Passions, Get Involved

DePaul has over 350 student organizations for you to explore! Ranging from DAB (DePaul Activities Board) to DePaul Radio, there are plenty of places for you to discover your passions and interests. Getting involved is a great way to establish connections with your fellow peers, as well as grow your networking options.

Not sure about your career path? It’s okay to not know exactly what you want to do. Luckily, there are ways for you to figure it out. Undeclared, unsure, or just curious, there are plenty of opportunities for you to explore a career. From job shadowing, interviewing, networking with alumni and attending fairs, there are multiple opportunities for you to find out which path suits you best.

Once you have access, head on over to the DePaul Handshake site to find internships, jobs, workshops, mentors and networking events. Start your first year off on the right foot; explore, get connected and start experiencing.

How to Land an Internship Freshman Year

By: Nina Pelsi, DePaul University health sciences major ’19

You’re probably wondering what you can do to ensure you have an impressive internship lined up for your first summer out of college. That’s right, these resume builders are not just for upperclassmen. In fact, some may say they’re even more important for first and second year students, as having one on your resume early on will help you stand out against the competition when it comes time to apply for your first real job. Fear not, freshmen! My work in the career center and attendance at several job and internship fairs during my first year has left me with a plethora of useful knowledge that I’m going to share with you. Read on for my top three tips for snagging yourself a dream internship this year.

Get familiar with your career services center

Remember that big office in the Schmitt Academic Center that you pass at least five times a day on your usual rush to class? Yeah. That’s one of DePaul’s Career Center offices, and it has more useful resources than you could ever imagine. If you want to stand out to employers, you need to come prepared. Luckily for you, the people of the Career Center are here specifically for this purpose!

Perfect your resume

I’m guessing you didn’t know that DePaul’s Career Center accepts walk-ins for a quick 15-minute resume critique service. That’s right, the hassle of checking your calendar and making an appointment weeks in advance is no more. Simply stop in when you have some time after class and bring your working resume. They’ll help you organize and add the most relevant and useful information possible for your purposes. After a little grit and time, employers will be banging on your door to hire you!

Show up prepared

One of the best and most impressive steps you can take before attending a career or internship fair is preparing yourself. Log onto Handshake, find your event, and take a look at which organizations attending are of interest to you. Read up on the details of the company, research the positions that you may qualify for, and prepare a cover letter that shapes your interests and capabilities around the job qualifications. Employers will be impressed that you took the time to look into their company, as it shows you are serious about joining their team and interested in the opportunities available. Pair your preparedness with a great resume, professional attire, and a strong elevator pitch, and you’re all set!


Finding an internship can sometimes seem like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be! Click here for more internship tips and tricks. And, if you are ready to find your dream internship, visit depaul.joinhandshake.com.

Creating Your First Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide

By: Courtney Redd, DePaul University PR and advertising major ‘16, and Jane Bradley, health sciences major ‘17

Creating your first resume can be an intimidating task. According to researchers from TheLadder, employers spend an average of six seconds looking at your resume. So, how do you impress an employer enough in six seconds to secure an interview? Follow this step-by-step guide to make sure your first resume is compelling and marketable.

Brainstorm

Think about past experiences that helped you gain useful skills. Focus on more than just paid work experiences; you can include volunteer work, internships, organizations, relevant coursework, class projects, and more.

Put it Together

Open a blank word document, avoid using a resume template, and begin to list all of your experiences by section. Some section headings might include education, work experience, activities, and skills. Make sure your resume is clean, consistent, and easy to read. Readability is everything when you’re working with a six-second window! To get more formatting ideas, check out the Entry Level Resume Guide.

Get Writing

Use bullet points to highlight your skills. A good bullet point starts with an action verb, is concise and specific, and addresses transferable skills relevant to the position you are applying for. View the Entry Level Resume Guide for more examples of bullet points.

Self-Critique of Best Practices

Use this check list to make sure your resume is application-ready!

ResumeCheckList

Get Help

Peer Advisors are available to review your resume and provide feedback before you send your resume to employers. Walk-in appointments are available Monday-Friday in both Lincoln Park and the Loop. You can also email your resume to peercareeradvisor@depaul.edu to receive feedback electronically.

While building your first resume can be a tricky and intimidating task, the Career Center is here to help! If you follow these five steps, you will be on your way to impress any employer in six seconds, and secure the interview you were hoping for!

 

DePaul Diaries: Life as a Freshman Arts Intern

By: Renee Radzom, DePaul University graduate, former University Internship Program (UIP) assistant

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.


As a freshman, your first thoughts generally are not “how do I get my first internship?” but more along the lines of “how do I get myself up to get to my 9 a.m. class on time?” However, there are a lot of benefits from becoming a freshman intern and getting experience in your desired field. Internships in your freshman year can also serve as an exploration into careers that you may be interested in.

Maggie Baker, a DePaul anthropology major, had the opportunity to work at the Life Force Arts Center as a freshman, and really enjoyed the experience. When she began working there, she started as the programming assistant, but Maggie soon worked her way up and started doing tasks for all areas in the art center. She worked on finances, administrative tasks, and her favorite, creating exhibit guides and selecting pieces for the shows. Throughout this time, Maggie also had the privilege of getting one-on-one mentoring from the owner.

How can you, too, score an exciting opportunity and experience? Well, the first step is to start looking!  There are many ways to make the process less intimidating, and run smoothly. Here’s a quick checklist on how to help you secure a freshman internship:

  • Decide if you want a paid or unpaid opportunity
  • Start looking on Handshake for an internship and visit your career advisor
  • See a peer career advisor at the Career Center for a quick resume review
  • Start applying for internships and pay close attention to the deadlines
  • Rock the interview after some help from the career center!

Using this guide, or following your own, can help you land that great first college internship. Starting out early can “prepare you for the work-school-life balance,” Maggie says. Plus, having an internship under your belt early will attract employers and is key information to add to your resume.

Another highlight of being a freshman intern, Maggie says, is that “they aren’t going to treat you like a freshman.” Internships aren’t going to hold back or dilute the experience just because you’re in your first year, so you don’t have to worry about not gaining valuable skills.

They [employers] aren’t going to treat you like freshman.

There are many employers out there that are willing to take on freshman interns. Don’t get discouraged if at first it seems as if they only want older candidates. There is a position out there for all majors. If you’re having trouble, Maggie recommends using all the resources DePaul has to offer, especially within the career center.


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.