The Career Guide for the Soon-to-Be UNC Graduate

This blog post was originally published on November 17, 2014.

scrabble career
“Scrabble—Career.” Flazingo Photos. Flickr Creative Commons.

It’s finally Homecoming! Time to connect with old friends, go to the Homecoming concert, the step show, the football game, and celebrate being a Tar Heel! But you know what else happens during Homecoming Week? UNC alumni return to their alma mater after going on to start careers after graduation. So what time is it for you seniors? Time to start thinking about life after UNC.

Yes, it’s time to face that dreaded thought: what am I going to do after graduating? Time to muster up enough energy to overcome the senioritis and search for jobs, fill out applications, and track down professors for recommendations. But you don’t have to do this alone, especially with all of the career resources available on campus.

Here are some of the resources available to UNC students:

University Career Services

University Career Services (UCS)—what some may consider an underused resource—offers various career-related supports and services to students, including assistance with creating resumes, searching for internships and post-graduate jobs, and preparing for interviews. UCS even provides a Pre-Graduate Education Advising Program to help students who may consider pursuing a graduate degree in the sciences, humanities, social sciences, and other professional fields. In addition to career and graduate school advising, UCS also assists students with networking and online career profiles like LinkedIn by offering up to eight networking events each year.

UNC General Alumni Association

The UNC General Alumni Association (GAA) offers current students several perks if they join the Student Alumni Association (SAA)—the largest student organization on campus. After joining the SAA, students can get a 10% discount on Kaplan tutoring products, receive tips for appropriate etiquette during interviews, attend dinners with UNC alumni and faculty, and gain access to the Online Alumni Directory and the Alumni Advisor Network.

In addition to becoming connected to services offered by UCS and membership benefits through GAA, Homecoming Week itself can be a resource for landing a job after graduation. Remember, this is the time of year when campus is flooded by UNC alumni—alumni who may currently hold positions in your dream career! After connecting with alumni, ask them questions like:

  • What can I do now to prepare for the job market?
  • What kinds of jobs did you land after graduation?
  • How did you connect with employers?

It may also be helpful to have some personal business cards on hand to give out to alumni you meet in case they offer to email you helpful career resources or, if you are lucky, offer to connect you to a job.

So as you enjoy the celebratory festivities of Homecoming, keep these tips in mind. You never know if your post-graduate job opportunity is just around the corner!

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