TAKE SOME ASSESSMENTS
Here are a few free online assessments that can help draw out information about yourself and some possible career/occupation ideas. They are fun- take them all and notice if any themes or patterns emerge. If so, look carefully at the jobs that are suggested.
NARROW DOWN YOUR CHOICES
Once you have researched and narrowed down your list of careers down to three or so, decide which one is the most interesting to you at this point in your life….and go find some people to talk to who are doing that job! You will want to ask them all about their line of work: what are the joys? challenges? hours? lifestyle?
ASK PEOPLE ABOUT THEIR JOBS & CAREERS
The best way to find people to talk with is within your personal network of family and friends. The next best way is to search for Sewanee alumni in the Sewanee Gateway, the online directory of all Sewanee alumni. Login with your Sewanee email address, and your Banner number as your password (if you are a first-year student, please come the Career & Leadership Development to get access.)
Using the Advanced Search feature, you can search for alumni with careers in your interest area, who work in organizations/companies that you interested in, and/or who live in the city in which you would like to do an internship. You can them email or call them to ask them for information about their careers, internship opportunities, and advice.
Once you’ve identified a person you want to contact, write a professional-sounding email that expresses your interest. Be prepared for a slow response (you may not hear back for a week or more). If you do not hear back at all, don’t take it personally; just move on to the next contact on your list.
Example of a Sewanee alumni email
Dear Ms. Jones:
I’m a sophomore Anthropology major, and found your name on the Sewanee Gateway, the online alumni directory. I understand that you work for CNN, my favorite news source. Since I am very interested in broadcast journalism. I would love to learn more about the field and hear your ideas about how I could prepare for a possible career in it. Do you have time for a quick informational phone call in the next week or two? Please let me know if/when you’re available. I would truly appreciate any advice you’d be willing to share with me.
Thanks in advance,
Once you’ve established a connection with a contact or organization, be prepared to provide a resume or other application materials. Promptly respond to emails or voicemails, and send a thank-you note/email within 24 hours of any networking or interviewing activity. Be sure to update all your contacts about what you end up doing this summer; maintaining a relationship with them could be helpful later.
Finally, when you have decided what occupation/job you want to test-drive this summer, you are ready to begin searching for internships.