Talk to People

This seems simple but one of the best ways to learn about possibilities and what inspires you is to talk to people: other students, alumni, faculty, staff, family, employers… and just listen, ask questions, and take it in. This is also a great way to get referrals and discover opportunities that are not necessarily posted anywhere.

  • Questions to Ask Yourself

    Career Path and Preparation

    • Who could I talk to help me explore career possibilities?
    • Have I joined the Meliora Collective and practiced networking skills?
    • Who has inspired me along my career journey so far and why?

    Environment

    • What is it like to work in the ______ industry?
    • How would I be spending my time? What does a typical day look like?
    • What is the environment or culture of the organization/profession/industry?
  • Career Planning Myths
    • Myth: There is only one right career for me.
      • Reality: There are multiple career paths, industries and occupations you could find satisfying and it’s through conversations & experiences that you test those out.
    • Myth: It’s my life (and career), so I need to design it myself.
      • Reality: You live and design your life in collaboration with other people. (From Designing Your Life, Burnett & Evans)
  • Build your network

    Networking is the process of building and maintaining mutually positive relationships with family, friends, alumni, and other professionals to gain information, learn about opportunities, and connect with others for professional growth. Networking gives you an advantage in a job or internship search by connecting you to contacts within specific companies and industries who can support your learning, growth, and ideally your candidacy.

    Engage with the Rochester community through The Meliora Collective

    Tap into the power of the University of Rochester network! It gives you the ability to connect with alumni, identify mentors, and engage in conversation through unique tools and resources all aimed at helping you forge your own path to success.

    Utilize Peer to Peer Messaging through Handshake

    Peer Messaging you the ability to make you Handshake profiles visible to other students and alumni across Handshake schools and to message them! This feature is aimed at giving you an even greater ability to connect with and learn from your peers.

    LinkedIn

    Explore career paths others have taken within certain industries, majors, specific organizations, etc., by reading people’s profiles. You can take it a step further by reaching out particular individuals for an informational interview.

  • Start Talking!

    The following resources are available to help you connect and build relationships with others, practice networking skills, and talk to people to help you learn about career possibilities.

    Explore through the Career Communities

    Career Communities at the University of Rochester are a way to connect with people, information, and resources to explore interests and connect to potential opportunities. Each community provides opportunities to connect you with people (including other students and Rochester alumni) to explore career possibilities! To receive customized information on the communities, complete your “career clusters” section in Handshake.and choose as many career communities as you would like to join.

    Conduct Informational Interviews

    A great way to get the inside scoop on industries and professions that might interest you is to conduct informational interviews. This means finding people to reach out to (faculty, alumni, family, friends, upperclass students, etc.), show genuine interest in learning more about their current or past roles, and ask for about 20 minutes of their time to chat.

    Do some research on who they are and what they do, take it seriously and prepare questions to help you learn about their career paths and ask what advice they have for you as you explore possibilities. Schedule an appointment with a career educator to discuss how to find people, ways to reach out, and discuss approaching the conversation.

    Shadow Professionals in Industries of Interest

    Reach out to someone who works in an industry of interest and ask to shadow them for a few hours to a day or two. Use this opportunity to learn more about what it’s like to work in a certain industry and/or profession, as well as about a company culture. It could help narrow your interests and provide inspiration moving forward—and believe it or not, shadowing is something you can put on your resume!

Sidebar

Resources and Tools

Summer Health Professions Education Programs

The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a free summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and …

Networking with other individuals within the LGBTQ+ community that share the same career goals can be done through joining professional …

What is an informational interview?

An informational interview is a meeting, either virtually or in-person, to learn more about a …

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