On Monday night, I had the chance to go to a networking event organized for the English department and the Center for Experience and Opportunity (CEO) called “What can I do with an English Major?” The event featured a panel of six McDaniel alumni who were English majors when they went to school here.
The six panelists represented a variety of career paths. A couple of the panelists are current or recent graduate students who now write for publications. One panelist is a lawyer. Another is the director of digital communications and social media for McDaniel College (which I think is a pretty awesome job!). The last two panelists have started their own businesses. One has an online PR and marketing business while the other sells historical costumes on Etsy.
Listening to all of these panelists speak about their careers and what lead to their careers was insightful. A number of the panelists were able to beat their own paths and find and create careers that were right for them after not initially starting out with careers they loved. (It’s important for everyone to remember that their first job probably isn’t going to be the job they end up staying with and falling in love with.)
The panelists stressed the importance of internships and other work experience. As one panelist put it, college is the time to take on internships, because it’s a lot more difficult to work without pay after graduation, especially if you don’t live with your parents anymore.
After the panel was over, everyone in attendance had the opportunity to network with the panelists. I was surprised that so many of my peers left without really talking to any of the panelists, but it gave me the opportunity to speak with almost all of them. I found that talking to the younger alumni was just as helpful as talking with the alumni whose careers are most established. Everyone gave me great advice and I was able to pick up a couple of contacts that I plan on getting in touch with.
Going to this presentation really got me thinking about careers. While I’ve been thinking that my ultimate goal is to continue on to grad school right after graduation for something, I may end up deciding to delay grad school and enter the workforce. If that’s what I end up doing, I’ll need some experience to get hired. Fortunately, I have an appointment with the director of the CEO this week. This will allow me to speak to someone “in the know” about what classes and “career moves” I should be taking. Hopefully, she’ll also be able to point me in the direction of some summer internship opportunities relevant to my interests and my goals.
McDaniel College has a wonderful office in the lower level of Decker College Center, McDaniel’s student center, called the Center for Experience and Opportunity, abbreviated to CEO. The CEO is not just a career services office–they also have tons of resources to help students and alumni find internships and volunteer opportunities.
This semester, the CEO has been trying to get students to be more familiar with their office and their services by holding open houses for each class year. The senior class was the first class to get two days of open house devoted just to them, followed by the juniors, who got two days of their own.
The sophomore open house was finally today, so I went to see what I could learn about finding jobs, since I’m trying to find some sort of job or internship to occupy me over the summer.
I’m really glad I went. I’ve actually been pretty anxious about what I’m going to do this summer, but some of the resources the CEO counselors showed me has made the process of finding and applying to jobs and such less intimidating. In addition to giving me a tour of the entire office and showing me through some of McDaniel’s job search databases, they also introduced me to Indeed.com, a job search engine that lets users search for any type of job based on location. Since a lot of McDaniel’s connections are based in Maryland, but I don’t live in Maryland, I think Indeed will be a great resource for me. Over the coming days and weeks, I’ll be sure to take some time to search for writing internships and internships for English majors on the website.
The CEO is a really great resource on campus, and I encourage all McDaniel students to use it! If they don’t already know of a job listing for you, they’ll help you find one that’s right for you based on your interests, abilities, major, and location.
Whether work study becomes a part of your financial aid at McDaniel or if you just need a job to support that college lifestyle, there are many jobs to be found on campus.
Some jobs are reserved for students with work study. A list is published online, with information on how to apply, and it is updated each semester with new available positions. I work two campus employment jobs this semester. My first is my ongoing duties as an Ambassador with Admissions. That jobs helps me talk to prospective students like you at lunch dates and on tours around campus. My second job is with IT. It is my job to help students and professors alike with problems they have relating to their computers or internet.
Here are some other examples of employment options on campus:
Fitness Center Desk Attendant – Swipe ID cards as people enter the gym to workout
Equipment Room Assistant – Help out with athletics by managing team and school equipment
Pickle Driver – Drive students in the campus shuttle to places around Westminster and to metro stops in the area
Lifeguard – If you’re certified, save people’s lives by working at the pool as a lifeguard.
Phone Caller – Solicit gifts to the school and connect with alumni
And so many more!
Many campus jobs come with flexible hours made for a busy student schedule so they are the perfect solution to making a little extra cash during the semester.
Even though our semester has just started, now is the perfect time to start hunting for a perfect internship or summer job. Applications for internships often close within the next month, so waiting until April to begin your search may keep you from finding the perfect fit for your interests and skill set.
Getting started with your search can be rough. Each year when I begin, I try to make a mental list of things that I’m looking for in a job so that I don’t get hung up on opportunities that seem awesome, but don’t fit what I need. For example, a lot of awesome internships are unpaid, but I never look seriously at them for the summer because I need to make money. Keep elements like location and your ideal salary in mind when you start your search.
The next step is to comb through the available positions in your interest area. An easy place to start is the Center for Experience and Opportunity (CEO) office. They can help you find a fitting organization and assist you with crafting a great resume and cover letter to make you shine in a pool of candidates.
If you’re interested in looking online, there are a ton of websites that students can sift through to find the perfect summer job. My favorites include:
Idealist- a collection of jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities all over the world
Baltimore Collegetown- great for summer or during the semester, postings of internships in the Baltimore area
Campstaff.com- Who doesn’t want to spend their summer gallivanting around the woods? A great way to connect with camps around the country
Though summer seems far off, remember that the key to snagging your perfect summer job is to start looking early!