Roadmap to your College Success……
Career counseling is available to all students. Individual counseling helps address the following questions:
- Who am I and what are my talents, skills and interest?
- Where do I want to go?
- How do I get there?
Use the following From College to Career Guide to aid you in your successful matriculation at the College.
Students! Get FOCUSed On Your Future!
FOCUS2 is an online, self-guided, interactive program designed to help you select the right college major and plan your career based on your personal interests, values, skills, personality, and aspirations.
Seniors Clearance Filing
In order that we may serve as a depository for student placement records, we require all seniors to complete a Senior Information Packet. You must fill out a senior packet in accordance with the Office of Records timeline for graduation. You will be required to complete the following upon submission of your packet before your Clearance Sheet can be signed by our office:
Experiential learning can jumpstart your career……
You can greatly enhance your classroom learning by gaining real world experience through internships.
Participating in an internship gives you the opportunity to:
- Test your career choice
- Earn college credit
- Make informed decisions regarding major courses and electives
- Build work experience for your resume
- Present yourself as a potential candidate for permanent employment
Length of Internships
The approximate dates of the internships are determined by companies/organizations; however, typical time frames can range from 8-12 weeks. Students will be expected to work a 30-40 hour work week. These opportunities can be local, regional, or national. If you are interested in an opportunity out of state, you will need to determine the following:
Travel: Will travel to and from the internship site be provided?
Lodging: Will housing accommodation be provided? Will company pay housing cost? Will assistance be provided to identify reasonable housing accommodation? Accessibility to and from job site from lodging?
Pay: How and when will I be paid? How will I sustain myself until payday?/p>
Internships are available throughout the academic year from September –May on a part-time basis. Typically, you will need to be prepared to work 10-20 hours and may include some weekends.
Local organizations from various disciplines seek interns for short term (major events/projects, one semester, etc). Hours will be determined by the organization and student class schedule. These internships can be paid or unpaid. Please do not confuse an internship with the College community service requirement. In some instance, an organization may use both interns and volunteers.
Qualification criteria typically include:
- Full time student status
- US Citizenship
- Minimum grade point average (typically 2.0 and above)
- Upperclass status
- Specific demonstrated skills
- Security Clearance (Federal Positions)
Academic Credit Internships
Through academic departments, students may be required to complete an internship class. Approval of the site location is made by the professor and in some instances in conjunction with the OCS.
How do you apply for an internship?
If you are interested in applying for an internship for academic credit, meet with the faculty or your advisor in your academic area to discuss your qualifications and review the list of internship sites that have been approved for academic credit.
To apply for an internship not for academic credit, contact the OCS for a listing of opportunities or see the resource list provided. If you find an internship, please notify the OCS.
Students have interned with some of the following companies/organizations:
- Congressional Black Caucus
- Ingalls Shipbuilding
- Comer Capital Group
- Jackson Free Press
- Mississippi Children’s Museum
- Mississippi Public Broadcast
- One Voice
- Sanderson Farms
- United Water
- G. V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center
Let’s go to WORK…..
Job searches start with the following:
- Cover letter
- Interview skills
We help you prepare for your job search and then assist you in locating opportunities.
We offer Career Fairs annually to assist students in interfacing with potential employers from a wide range of organizations for full-time entry-level positions, part-time employment and internship opportunities.
It is also an opportunity for students to network and explore career options.
The OCS brings employers to campus for on-campus interviewing. The office coordinates each visit and schedules interviews according to employers' needs.
Candidate Referral Services
Many employers request resumes of qualified students and alumni.
Upon request, the OCS will refer resumes of students and alumni to employers. Students can indicate their interest and permission to have their resumes referred to employers. Students must have their resumes critiqued and approved by our office.
Regular emails are sent through the College’s email system that includes job postings, internship opportunities, and career development information. Please check your email or visit our postings at the Career Services website on a regular basis.
Events and Information Sessions
The OCS coordinates networking events and information sessions each semester so be sure to check our calendar or look for announcements.
Preparing for Your Job Search
When should I start my job search?
- It typically takes six to nine months to conduct a successful job search.
- Networking can assist in cutting the time of your job search. This is an ongoing process that may begin early in your college experience.
How do I prepare for my job search?
- Know yourself. Clarify life and career goals. Assess career interests, values and skills.
- Complete a well-written and updated resume.
- Learn how to write effective, personalized cover letters.
- Develop strong interviewing skills.
- Select references
- Develop knowledge of salary statistics and salary negotiation skills.
- Research companies that interest you.
- Establish a timeline. Determine the time you will spend on your job search each day, each week, or each month.
- Get organized. Create a method of documenting and organizing your job leads and communications.
What are some effective job search techniques?
- First, be sure you know your focus. A broad job search is unproductive.
- Network! This is the process of interacting with others who can provide information about an industry or available positions within it.
- Join professional organizations related to your area of interest.
- Register with a private employment agency! This is a good method for finding temporary or permanent employment, however be cautious. Target agencies that DO NOT charge the job seeker and be sure to read all contracts carefully before signing.
- Try internal campaigning. A way of proving your "worth" to employers is through volunteering and/or interning with a company. Think of this as an extended interview highlighted by your job performance.
- Attend job fairs! Employers are invited to recruit employees at colleges as well as regional organization and industry-related events.
- Ask faculty for referrals for industry connections. Many faculty members are well connected within their field of study.
- Make a site visit during holiday breaks! Market yourself to a company whether you are aware of open position or not.
- Employers welcome informational interviews. Well before you graduate, set up appointments with potential employers. Ask their advice, gather current industry information, and learn the best way to market your skills. However, do not ask for a job during an informational interview
How do I conduct a long-distance job search?
- Contact the Chamber of Commerce offices for organization/company directories.
- Obtain Yellow Pages for your targeted geographical area at www.yp.com.
- Utilize alumni connections for career advice and networking.
- Attend alumni networking events and job fairs held in your targeted city.
Graduate and Professional School
Continuing your educational journey through……
Graduate education refers to formal study after receiving a bachelor’s degree. It differs from undergraduate study in many ways, but a key difference is that a graduate program is designed to specialize in an academic discipline or profession and therefore offers less elective coursework.
A professional degree program will provide the necessary tools for specific types of careers, such as law, medicine, counseling, business administration, journalism, social work, and pharmacy.
A graduate degree program will provide opportunities to develop skills and conduct research in broad academic areas like English, history, political science, the arts, math, education, social science, and natural science.
The OCS assist with the selection of graduate programs by offering the following:
- Graduate and Professional School Fair
- Graduate School Information Session(s)
The Application Process
Graduate/Professional School Resources
- U.S. News Guide to Graduate Schools
Our academic partners……
The OCS offers educational presentations for classes. These presentations involve many subjects related to career development and the job search, from resumes, cover letters, and interview skills to graduate/professional school preparation and career decision-making.
Instead of canceling class, consider contacting our office to meet with your class. We will provide a presentation or an overview of the services we offer. Please provide ample notice, so that we may be available to attend.