The summer can be a great time to explore different career fields and learn more about those you’ve been considering. Doing exploration over the summer to help narrow down your interests can help you come into the fall semester ready to engage in events and recruitment processes for different industries. Here are 4 ways you can explore industries over the summer:
1. Do Online Research – Explore careers on your own time by doing online research. Sites such as Vault and ONet provide detailed information about different career fields including: how to get started in the field, what a day-in-the-life looks like in that profession, and what skills are helpful to enter the industry.
2. Talk with Someone Working in the Field – BC alumni and other professionals are typically very willing to talk with you about their career field. On LinkedIn, you can search all BC alumni on the site by location, industry area, major, and more. Once you’ve found a few people who seem interesting, send them a message introducing yourself as a BC student who would like to hear about their career path. In your message, request a time to talk over coffee or on the phone. Here are some questions you may consider asking in your conversation.
3. Shadow a Professional – What better way to see if a career field is right for you than to experience a true day-in-the-life of someone working in the industry! Consider asking individuals you know or those with whom you have already had an initial conversation about their path if you could shadow them for a day. While many professionals are open to shadowing, this may be more difficult in certain industries where privacy concerns may arise. In those cases, a conversation with the professional can be valuable.
4. Attend a Networking Event – Many professional associations will host networking events over the summer. Do some research into professional associations in the career field you would to explore and see if they have any upcoming events you may be able to attend. While there, talk with several people and ask questions about their industry, career path, and current role to learn more about your options. Some networking events will be open to the public, while others may have a discounted student attendee fee.
As you’re exploring, remember you’re not alone! Career Center staff members are available throughout the summer to help you reflect on your skills, interests, values, and how these may relate to different career fields.
—By Laura Perrigo, Assistant Director, Career Education