Peers are often unused resources that surround us every day. They are less intimidating than older mentors or alumni, but their advice is just as valuable. Whereas mentors and alumni give an inside look into what a career path looks like day to day, peers give real time advice on networking, applying to jobs, and resources on campus.
During our "Peers Tell All Panel Discussion," four students from different areas on campus came together to share their advice to current students. They answered questions about networking, job search, anxiety, and advice. Read below to hear their job search perspectives from various colleges, majors, and career paths.
Alyssa is a fourth-year student studying Finance. Alyssa’s advice for networking begins with talking to peers. After connecting with fellow business students to get an idea of where to start, Alyssa began researching various companies and created a game-plan to start networking. She likes to send emails directly to recruiters and advises asking a friend to read over the email to ensure that it is easy to read. To quell networking anxiety, she likes to have a game plan for when recruiters respond and assures herself by knowing that a recruiter’s main job is to talk with students about their company and available positions. To branch out and find new companies, or sharpen her skills of talking with employers, Alyssa uses the Terry College of Business Employer of the Day sessions. She has had good experiences with Handshake and LinkedIn to search for jobs and internships. There can often be challenges with the job search, and the hardest challenges she has faced have included declining an offer and scheduling interviews between her classes and work. To wrap up Alyssa’s advice, she warns peers to not base their success off others’ successes.
Austin is a fourth-year student studying Management Information Systems (MIS). Austin has a slightly different approach to networking. He starts networking on LinkedIn, where he connects with professionals and asks for informational interviews. To help with networking anxiety, he likes to reach out to professionals that studied at UGA to have a talking point and similar interests to break the ice. His favorite networking resource is the Arch Ready Professionalism Certificate program where he first learned how to network. To help search for companies, Austin used the Career Center’s Career Outcomes Survey data and the What Can I Do with a Major In...? page on our website. Like others, Austin has faced challenges with the job search. He stayed with a company in a position he didn’t like for two summers and ended up having to decline a full-time offer with that company. He also mentions that he had to create his own path within his major to find what he was truly passionate about doing. His advice for job search and networking is once you start, keep going!
Lily is a fourth-year Political Science and Communication Studies double major. She started her job search and networking journey at the career fairs hosted by the Career Center. To combat her networking anxiety, Lily reminds herself that networking is just talking to people. Treating professionals and employers like they are people helps her to feel calm and act authentically. Lily finds power in affirmations, reviewing her materials, and wearing a professional outfit. She also points students to their email inbox, reminding them that all UGA students receive college wide emails with major specific opportunities. Lily’s primary challenge when going through the job search process is to get out of her own head. Where others on the panel have given advice to not compare yourself to others, this has been one of Lily’s greatest challenges to overcome. Although it seems simple, comparison can be hard to overcome. Lily’s advice for networking and the job search is to not let the fact that you aren’t doing everything stop you from doing anything. No matter how much you have on your resume, it won’t matter unless you start reaching out to employers and applying to jobs.
Jon is a third-year Entomology and Applied Biotechnology double major. His advice centers around going to graduate school with strong research interests. Jon advises networking within your department to find research opportunities. For this field, dropping in on labs and talking with professors is necessary. To combat anxiety, researching different labs, who the principal investigator is, and the recent work helps form talking points with connections. First, Jon started with his department coordinator to learn about networking. Then, to make connections, he utilizes guest speaker seminars and research conferences. The biggest challenge Jon has faced in his career has been working on deliverables and fighting the belief that you will be in school forever. His advice to students who want to pursue a similar path or start doing more research is to find your niche and hyperfocus on that area.