What is Career Readiness?
Like most things, career readiness falls on a spectrum. Everyone knows that an internship is a great way to get valuable work experience in your field. That said, a full-blown internship is not the only way to prepare yourself for a career after college. Job shadowing, networking events, and informational interviews are great ways to gain some exposure to different jobs and careers. Every little bit that you do can help your future prospects.

What Can You Do?
Know and record the dates of career fairs at your school
  • Purpose: Career fairs can be fantastic networking events because you get to meet with employees from many different companies and organizations all within a couple of hours. Many schools even publish the names and descriptions of each group in attendance so you can plan ahead by skimming that list prior to the fair.
  • Update your resume: Handing out your resume is a good idea so that employers can have another way to remember you, especially after a good talk. Remember to also take their business card so you can follow up with an email about possible jobs. Feel free to ask your Success Coach if you would like feedback on your resume.


 

Prepare questions in advance
It's always better to have some questions in mind that you could ask to any company or organization.
*Click here* for a list of possible questions to consider asking.
Don't be discouraged if you feel like the employees you are talking to don't have much influence at their workplace - it's a great opportunity to ask lower level employees what they truly enjoy about the job and what they find challenging.

Look up other career events at your school
Purpose: The Career Center website at most schools will have an up-to-date calendar of other events. Many provide networking events and info sessions hosted by specific companies/organizations, department-specific career fairs, open resume feedback sessions, and more.


  

Find job shadowing opportunities


 

Purpose: Job shadowing is when you observe a professional who works in your field of interest and it can give you a quick and yet still in-depth look into the world of a specific job and/or workplace. It can be as brief as just one afternoon or as long as you'd like. Why would you choose a career without first seeing professionals in that field go about their workday? Ask your school's Career Center, your Success Coach, a professor, or someone in your personal network to set something up.


 


 

Conduct informational interviews


 
Purpose: Informational interviews are conversations between you and a professional who works in your field of interest. These are great if organizing a job shadowing opportunity is proving to be difficult. You can speak over the phone or in person and your goal is to get a good sense of that person's responsibilities and work life to better judge what you are interested in when it comes to your career.


 
 

Again, your school's Career Center, your Success Coach, a professor, or someone in your personal network are all people and places that can help you with this. Click here for a list of possible questions to consider asking during an informational interview.


 

School-specific tips

  • MC students: Consider emailing Roberta Buckberg, the Employment Services Coordinator at MC, and ask to get on the email list for monthly employment emails that are campus-specific. roberta.buckberg@montgomerycollege.edu 
  • UMD students: Look into the Intern for a Day program. It's a great job shadowing experience that's set up by UMD with little work on your end!
  • UMBC students: Check out the Career Center events calendar. It is jam-packed with networking events held by specific companies as well as workshops that can help you prepare for those events.
  • Towson students: The Career Center uses the platform Handshake for all on- and off-campus job postings. It is extremely user-friendly and makes applying simple when you upload documents (like your resume) to the platform for repeated use. You can also find and register for events and workshops here.