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Heart of the Matter

Andy Chan's Blog for Parents, Mentors and Teachers

Networking

Career Trek Insights – A Student’s Perspective

The Office of Personal and Career Development has organized this year’s “Career Exploration Trek” to the Big Apple, New York City where Wake Forest students head a major city to learn about interesting careers, companies and industries from alumni during a few jam packed days.  I have long believed in the value of experiential learning and enjoy the teachable moments that come with it. It’s one thing to talk about networking, but to actually do it can ignite students’ interests and open their minds to fully understanding the true power and importance of the concept.

One surprising aspect of the Career Trek is that our staff also benefits from the experience. The one-on-one off-campus exposure with students enables us to learn how students really think and address many of their misconceptions. One of our current seniors, Alex Tulowieki, attended one of last year’s Career Treks and he shared his experience with us.

Students can represent themselves as professionals. “Those papers and projects I worked on during college have value and are real work. Speaking with professionals, they do value that if you open up. A lot of students were intimidated to network at first, because it felt like we were going into the conversation empty-handed. When we accept that we have been producing work, regardless if it has only been in academic setting, it gives you confidence to not be so shy and talk about shared interests with that professional”.

Networking is much more than small talk and is conversation-oriented. “No one asked for my resume before we started talking”. He also noted that the students who were most driven to getting a job seemed to have the worse luck. People appreciate talking to someone who is just interested in what they do rather than just interested in getting a job.

Networking is much more of a round-about process. It’s neither wise, nor realistic, to go into a conversation with someone who you’re meeting for the first tie with the hope that a job offer will result.  It is better to have conversations about your interests and curiosities and to take genuine interest in people who have experience in your field of interest. The person you are speaking with may not be able to help you directly, but they may have other connections that could be helpful to you.

Chemistry is as important as competency. Alex noted that most college students have the misconception that work is all about competency. This is partly due to the fact that most grades awarded are based upon how well students demonstrate knowledge through taking tests and writing papers. Chemistry, in the sense of how we mesh with those we work with, is equally important.

What Alex discovered is that the Plane Rule. While competency is a major factor in any work setting, employers are also evaluating if a candidate is the type of person they would enjoy spending time with while on a cross-country flight or delayed for hours at the airport.  As our students engage in experiential learning activities and professional settings like the Career Trek, they, like Alex, will release their misconceptions and be more prepared for a successful personal and career development journey.

For more info on the OPCD Career Trek, click here.

Leveraging LinkedIn

At Wake Forest, we are fortunate to have a very strong, supportive and connected alumni network. While the OPCD staff sometimes provides direct connections to alumni, we always teach our students how to make these connections on their own. With every student, we strive to fulfill the proverb, “If you feed a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.”

I asked one of our career counselors, Patrick Sullivan, to share his tips on how to tap into the Wake Forest network using LinkedIn, the network we have cultivated to include over 2,000 current Wake Forest students and over 18,000 alumni.

Clarify and broaden the “target contact” market.  When a recent graduate asked how to contact Wake Forest “alumni with architecture degrees”, Patrick asked the following questions to better understand what she was looking for and to broaden the potential market of target contacts who could be helpful to her.

  • Would she speak to Wake Forest alumni who are working architects (with or without a degree)?

  • Would she speak to Wake Forest alumni who are employed in architectural firms, regardless of role?

  • Who else might be helpful in providing her with useful information or connections to others in the architecture field?

As you can see, identifying contacts requires one to think like a detective. Work with your student to clarify the information she is seeking and brainstorm the largest possible ‘target contact’ market to pursue. This will play an important role in the way she searches for contacts and result in many more potential, and valuable, connections.

Create a great LinkedIn profile. We have found LinkedIn to be the most useful way to connect with, and ask questions of, Wake Forest alumni – there are over 4,000 in the Wake Forest Career Connectors group – a group we created specifically to provide guidance and connections for current students. If your student does not already have a LinkedIn profile, direct them to the OPCD website for specific suggestions on how to create a positive, professional LinkedIn profile.

Use LinkedIn Advanced Search. Here are three key tips to find Wake Forest alumni.  We’ll continue using the search for Architecture contacts in this example, but your student can apply the same approach to their area of interest.  Each of the searches will require your student to use Advanced Search mechanism at the top of the LinkedIn home page.

  • Tip #1 – Search using the School and Industry fields.
    Put “Wake Forest” in the School field and select “Architecture & Planning” from the Industries field.   This search returned more than 80 alumni working in the Architecture and Planning industry.

  • Tip #2 – Search using School and Title fields.
    Put “Wake Forest” in the School field and search for the term “Architect” in the Title field.  This search brought back a large number of results, including architects, but is made even more effective by adding the suggestions in Tactic #3.

  • Tactic #3 – Search using School and Keyword fields.
    Put “Wake Forest” in the School field and use the Keyword field to search for terms that are unique to that industry or profession.  In the case of Architecture, using the terms LEED or AIA would bring back relevant results.

Ask for advice, feedback, and suggestions.  Once your student has identified alumni of interest, encourage them to connect via LinkedIn, with the goal of conducting an “informational interview.”  Why should your student start by asking for an informational interview rather than for a job or internship?  Our experience indicates that alumni are often happy to provide information about their field, so taking the informational interview approach is likely to “open the door”.  Asking for a job or internship runs the risk of having the door close as the alumnus your student is targeting may not be in a position to hire, and the may reply with a simple “Sorry I can’t help you” or give no answer at all. Remind your student to highlight the Wake Forest affiliation and make it clear to the contact that their goal is to gather information and ask questions. Here are more specific suggestions on how to best approach and conduct informational interviews.

Plug into multiple networks.  Finally, while we strongly encourage our students to utilize the Wake Forest alumni network, it’s important to recognize that most students have access to other networks – friends and family, high school classmates and teachers, athletic teams and coaches, and many other affinity groups. Brainstorm with your student to think about all of the networks they could plug into (including your own) and help them identify specific targets to connect with.

Whether your student is conducting informational interviews, seeking contacts in a specific organization, or wanting to learn about career paths that may be of interest to them, encourage your student to think broadly and to fully leverage LinkedIn.

 

Save the Date – NYC Connects with Wake Forest!

New York City is always one of the most popular destinations for Wake Forest graduates. In fact 90 students of the class of 2012 (12% of those answering our survey), landed in New York for their first job out of college.

nyc

To help our students and recent graduates who want to live and work in New York, Wake Forest is hosting a networking event called Wake Forest Connects – NYC on June 5th from 6:00–9:00 PM at The Westin New York Grand Central hotel. This event is designed to facilitate connections between undergrad and graduate students, alumni, parents and friends who live and work in the New York area.

The event will kick-off with an industry panel who will share advice, tips and strategies for effective networking. The panel will consist of five Wake Forest alumni working in media/entertainment, finance, public relations, and fashion.

Alumni Panel:

  • Dave Hanson, ’05: Managing Partner, Hanson Wells Partners

  • Sheereen Miller-Russell,’00 Vice President, Ad Sales at Viacom Media Networks (MTV and VH1)

  • Laura Mills, ’05: Account Supervisor at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

  • Caroline Naughton, ’11: Network and Digital Sales Assistant, Disney ABC Television Group

  • Pam Shively, ’08: Senior Account Executive at Foley + Corinna (Apparel & Fashion)

Following the panel discussion, students will have an opportunity to participate in structured networking in small groups of 8-10 with professionals representing a broader set of careers and industries. The evening will end with an open reception for all participants at the LCL: Bar and Kitchen , located in The Westin New York Grand Central.

Parents, if your student has a summer job in NYC this summer, encourage him or her to attend this event. Your student will receive valuable advice and connections that could help in securing a full-time job in NY. If you are interested in attending the event as an experienced networking connection, please contact Lori Sykes at sykeslh@nullwfu.edu.

Register here: https://secure.www.wfu.edu/alumni/clubs/?club=NY-NYC

Online Job Search and Career Resources

Even though the OPCD’s office is open from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday, we realize college students operate on a different schedule. In order to ensure our tools and resources are available to Wake Forest students at any time night or day, we have identified a wide variety of quality resources that are available on our website 24 hours a day. Some of these resources are offered by reputable third parties and are paid for by Wake Forest (which would cost a student or alumnus hundreds of dollars if they had to purchase access on their own); others have been developed through partnerships with other colleges and universities; and some have been created by the OPCD team and are specifically designed for Wake Forest students.

Our foremost challenge is getting students to know about and use all these resources in their career development and job search process. Many students mistakenly think that DeaconSource is the only online resource they need and are left unhappy because it did not meet their expectations. DeaconSource is a very important tool that enables students to receive tailored information and news from the OPCD based on their interests, yet students still need to look further and utilize other resources to find what they really need.

Parents – you can help your student by making them aware of the online resources that fit with their interests and needs. Below is a list of some of the most valuable and utilized resources on the OCPD website.

Job and Internship Search 

  • Career Shift – Online networking tool that enables jobseekers to identify, research and cross-reference jobs and contacts.
  • Going Global – Features 33 Country Career guides, 43 USA City Career guides, corporate profiles and more than 600,000 internship and job listings within the USA and around the world.
  • The Internship Center – Online internship database that categorizes popular internships by city and career field.

Interview Preparation

  • Interview Stream – Practice mock interviewing from your computer any place, any time. Tailored questions are available by career field and you can get feedback on your mock interviews from friends, mentors, parents, career counselors and advisors.
  • STAR Method Worksheet – Interview preparation worksheet to help students organize their responses to behavioral interview questions by the Situations and Tasks they encountered, the Actions they took, and the Results they achieved.

Networking

  • Wake Forest Career Connectors – LinkedIn group of over 6000 alumni, students, parents, and faculty dedicated to providing advice and information to current Wake Forest students. Instructional videos guide students to build professional LinkedIn profiles. At least 50% of the Wake Forest student body is connected on LinkedIn each year.
  • Networking Tracking Tool – Pre-formatted Excel template helps students organize and track their opportunities and contacts.
  • Vault – Huge library of career and industry guides helps students in their research and exploration. Very useful before meeting networking contacts and conducting informational interviews in order to avoid asking basic questions and to be well-prepared for the conversation.

These are just a few of the many resources available to students. More online job search and career development tools and resources can be found on the OPCD website.

Life After Wake Forest

Guest post by Kory Riemensperger (’13)

When it comes to senior year, the second semester can be a time of intense pressure.  Not only must seniors maintain their grades, ensure they have enough credits to graduate, and handle all the commencement details, but most of them are feeling the pressure, both internal and sometimes parental, to find a next step after an undergraduate degree.  Sometimes that means moving on to graduate school, but for many, it means finding a career.

“My last winter break was great for relaxation and reflection,” says Dale Ruffin (’13), “but now that I’m back for my second and final semester as a senior, I’m overwhelmed by the prospect of starting my first real career search.”

While some students may line up potential employment before the end of their final semester, Carolyn Couch, Associate Director of Career Education and Counseling in the Office of Personal and Career Development (OPCD) suggests this is simply a result of different career paths.

“Don’t panic,” Couch says. “Many students will come to the OPCD and say that they’re concerned that their roommates already have job offers – but the simple fact is that different industry interests involve different search timelines.  Students with accounting majors, for example, are recruited early in the fall; while other industries hire on a just-in time basis.”

The trick is to stay focused and avoid stress. The annual OPCD destination data survey shows that of the 78 percent of Class of 2012 Wake Forest graduates who responded, 95 percent were either employed or in graduate school within six months.  Instead of obsessing over the progress of friends, seniors should seek out potential employers and make direct contact– this highlights them as a proactive and interested hire.

Networking

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 70 percent of jobs across the nation were found through networking.  These career opportunities are not advertised, so a great network is key.

“Some students may have a negative reaction to the idea of networking,” says Couch, “They perceive it as exploitative, when in reality it is no worse than the research they do before they apply for a position.”

The social networking website LinkedIn is a powerful tool that Couch and her colleagues in the OPCD recommend to students. Couch and her colleagues offer students tips on how to use it to the best advantage:

  • Make sure the information on your resume matches the information on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Choose a professional-looking photo for your profile picture.
  • Find alumni to network with by conducting an “advanced search” for Wake Forest University,
  • Browse Wake Forest related “groups” on the site for those that match your industry or geographic location.  The largest – the Wake Forest University Career Connectors group – has over 6,000 members and is growing every day.

“When you find the profile of an alum that catches your interest, reach out to them through the site’s message feature, asking for guidance, tips, and advice.  If they’re from the area, invite them to talk over coffee, or ask for an informational interview” says Couch, “Networking should focus on gathering information, so this isn’t the time to ask for a job. Build a relationship instead.”

Practice makes perfect, and students feeling even the slightest bit unsure about future job interviews may want to schedule a mock interview.  These meetings reveal strengths and weaknesses before a true job interview, so prospects can be ready to market their skills efficiently.  Couch says around 125 students have already requested a mock interview this year, representing a 62 percent increase.

Finding Posted Job Openings

Students can and should seek out advertised job openings as well.  There are a considerable amount of job search engines and posting sites online, though the OPCD recommends a few select ones.

DeaconSource is Wake Forest’s private site for undergraduate students.  The service lists jobs and internship openings from employers who specifically want Wake Forest applicants.  New jobs for diverse career interests are added every day, so it’s vital to stay connected; e-mail alerts can be set up to send the latest job offerings.

With a completed profile in DeaconSource, the OPCD will also send tailored information to students based on their career and geographic interests.  It is important that students keep their profiles updated so that they don’t miss out on valuable information regarding events and internship/job opportunities.  If a student’s resume or cover letter needs reviewing the OPCD offers regular review sessions throughout the year.

Another recommended site is Indeed.com, which aggregates job listings from thousands of websites, including job boards, newspapers, associations, and company career pages.  It is another efficient way for students to specifically search for entry-level jobs by geographic region and industry.

The OPCD also subscribes to sites specific to certain industries and career interests, such as international opportunities, public relations, journalism, conservation, environmental education and advocacy, human rights, public policy, politics, and public affairs.  Login information for these websites is available in DeaconSource.

As a student begins the job search, Couch suggests that they schedule a meeting with a career counselor.  With their mentor, job seekers establish two important career tools – an action plan and a job search strategy.  These documents help prevent any unexpected procrastination and keep students focused on their job search.  This relationship is in high demand among students.  The number of career counseling appointments has already seen a 28% increase over last year.

“Sometimes it just helps to be accountable,” says Couch, “a plan and a guide to help you follow-through give the best chance for success.”

Kory Riemensperger is a senior English major from Wilmington, N.C.

Look Beyond The Job Boards

When parents, faculty, or generational researchers are asked to provide a few adjectives about students, one commonly offered is “wired.” Today’s students have grown up with the Internet, can adapt to quickly evolving technologies, and (sadly) some even go to bed bathed in the glow of a phosphorescent screen. This comfort with technology provides students with some advantages, but students must be careful to not rely on technology in ways that promise results, but in fact, are not as valuable as perceived.

Many students look to internet job boards as a primary method for job or internship searching. While the Internet is good for researching organizations and opportunities, it’s not the most successful way for securing jobs.  Over 70% of jobs are obtained through networking; and less than 20% are obtained through job boards.

Students need to be aware of several issues when utilizing job boards.

  • Not all job postings are created equal.  A recent Wall Street Journal article, Beware the Phantom Job Listing, points out that “many open jobs are never advertised at all, or are posted only after a leading candidate—an internal applicant or someone else with an inside track—has been identified.”  While this “hidden” job market might frustrate job seekers, it demonstrates the weakness of relying solely on positions posted online.
  • Recruiters receive numerous online applications. Thus, they frequently rely upon Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen candidates.  This means that an application may get screened out and never be seen by a recruiter. Or the resume is buried in a database of thousands, never to be seen.
  • Networking remains the best way to secure a job. Students should not rely solely on job boards as most jobs are still secured through relationships. Students should be encouraged to attend networking workshops and events.  Working with an OPCD career counselor, they will develop a comprehensive job search strategy. The New York Times article, In Hiring, a Friend in Need Is a Prospect, Indeed, conveys how organizations are increasingly leveraging their own employees and their network to find new hires.

The propensity for students to over-rely on job boards has muddied their understanding of the value and purpose of DeaconSource, our system for communicating with students and also providing some job and internship opportunities. The primary benefit and function of DeaconSource is that when students have completed their profile to indicate their career and geographical interests, the OPCD can send students tailored messages with educational information, resources, workshops, events and opportunities – and relevant to their class year. This insures that students don’t miss important news and opportunities in their areas of interest which will help them stay on track to identify and achieve their career goals.

Although there are many opportunities in DeaconSource listed by employers who post jobs there, the number and types of opportunities is small relative to the thousands of opportunities available across all types of sources.  Students should check out the OPCD website for additional valuable sources for job and internship opportunities.

If students do not have a DeaconSource profile or have not updated their preferences, they are missing out on critical information which is relevant and necessary for their career development. 66% of all students have a completed profile, so make sure your student is not left out!

Encourage your student to create a DeaconSource account today, yet remind him that he cannot rely solely on DeaconSource, nor any other job board, in his search. Emphasize the importance of networking and the role it plays in the job attainment process. If you have contacts that might be helpful for your student, make the introduction. And make sure your student has a LinkedIn profile and is tapping into the Wake Forest Career Connectors group.  Armed with this advice, your student will appropriately prioritize his job search time and efforts and will have a much greater chance of securing a promising summer internship or full time position.

Career Trek Recap

In December, the OPCD partnered with career offices at the University of Chicago and Stanford University to offer Career Exploration Treks to Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco. They offered students from each school the opportunity to explore a city, select industries, and network with alumni from all three schools (see this blog post from October for additional details).
We are especially excited that the treks were a valuable experience to students at different stages in their personal and career development. They provided seniors, who were actively looking for jobs, the opportunity to network in person with alumni, yet provided general information for underclassmen who are still identifying potential career fields. By all accounts these treks proved to be an enormous success, but what better way to share with you the impact of the treks than through our students own words.

“After attending the Career Trek to Washington, D.C., my eyes were opened to the professional environment in Washington, D.C. as well as the standards across the country. Each company and industry was very upfront and clear as to what they expected from a student coming from any school in the country. I have become much more aware of what research to perform and what steps are necessary to take if I am truly interested in any field we visited. Wake Forest provided the three schools that participated a fantastic way to become directly included in those various industries. This trip allowed companies to provide students the opportunity to find out what was required of an employee with their firm and what would best prepare students for this transition into the post-undergraduate world.”

– Sophomore, Undeclared Major

“I went on the CPG trek to Chicago and visited six companies, including Barilla, ACCO Brands, McDonald’s Corporation, Wrigley, SymphonyIRI Group, and The Cambridge Group. At each company a few employees gave a brief presentation about what the company did, and at the end we had Q&A. These visits were very informative as I received some great insight into the work culture of these companies and why the employees like to work for them. By the end of the trip I discovered that a career in CPG is actually not for me. However, I realized from visiting the CPG consulting firms, Symphony IRI and The Cambridge Group that consulting is a job that fits my skills and interests. This is very useful information because now I can better target my job search. Overall, the trek was a very valuable experience and I would recommend it to students of any year as it is a good opportunity to learn more about an industry and network with professionals.”

– Senior, Economics Major

Other students articulated important insights regarding their own career development knowledge, mindset and plans:

  • “The trek demonstrated to me the importance of organizational culture in my career search.”
  • “The trek showed me that business does not have to be boring! Now, I want to work in California!”
  • “Through conversations with alumni, I realized I will need an MBA for the career I want.”
  • “The trek illustrated that everyone moves from company to company – your first job certainly won’t be your last, so I don’t have worry if my first job isn’t a perfect fit.”
  • “I learned that lots of employees began their careers working for large companies to benefit from their training programs or other opportunities, but then transitioned to smaller, boutique organizations. This opened my eyes to the number of pathways available to me to reach my end destination.”

We are pleased that 45 Wake Forest students were able to benefit from these treks at various cities around the U.S.  We will conduct similar treks in the future and are committed to developing and offering other ways for students to continue to learn about the wide variety of careers in the wide open world of work.

Parents – if your student is yearning to explore and discover possible career interests and options, encourage him/her to connect with Wake Forest alumni, high/prep school alumni, your friends or acquaintances and conduct an informational interview or job shadow.  For more guidance on how to do this, direct him/her to our web page on networking and informational interviewing.

Great Networking Event in DC!

It’s no surprise that so many of our students want to live or work in Washington, D.C. – it is an energetic, vibrant city that offers growth and challenge to our hard-working students.  With over 3,000 alumni living or working in the DC area, the OPCD and Alumni office realize how important it is to connect with students and alumni living in that area.

Wake Forest Connects – DC is a networking event that should not be missed!  It’s a great way for current students, recent graduates, alumni, and parents to connect and discuss what it’s like to live and work in Washington, D.C.  Not only will registrants get the opportunity to learn about the DC culture, but they’ll also meet people that will help them feel more comfortable and welcome in taking their first steps in DC.

On Wednesday, June 20th, students will have the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion where they will learn how to connect their classroom knowledge and skills with actual job opportunities, learn how to market themselves effectively in DC, and then participate in a networking session.  They’ll meet alumni from prestigious companies such as Deloitte, Small Think Majority, Navigant Consulting, The Advisory Board and even The White House.  Following the networking reception participants will get some helpful guidance and perspective from yours truly (me!) and Steve Reinemund, Dean of the Schools of Business at Wake Forest University.

If you currently live in DC or have a student that is interested in working in DC, please join us for this important opportunity to re-connect with Wake Forest.  Please visit the alumni page here to register.

Young Alumni Get LinkedIn

Earlier this week, OPCD Career Counselor Lauren Beam met with twenty young Wake Forest alums to discuss the importance of LinkedIn and networking. Here are some key takeaways from Lauren’s presentation that I think are beneficial for professionals of every age:

  • Over 70% of jobs are secured because of networking/connections, not through job postings or advertisements.  So don’t focus all your time applying to online job postings.
  • 89% of recruiters say they are checking LinkedIn during the hiring process, which makes having a positive online presence (especially LinkedIn!) an essential step of your job search.
  • LinkedIn is a useful tool for young alums to:
    • Search and apply for jobs (Many companies now pay to post jobs via LinkedIn).
    • Join groups (College alumni-related, location-specific, industry-specific) to find potential contacts.  These groups also post many sector- or affinity-specific opportunities.
    • Research organizations of interest.  You can learn a lot about the people who work there and find potential connections.
    • Create a strong online personal brand.
  • LinkedIn and networking isn’t about asking for a job – it’s about connecting with and learning from people who work at jobs or companies that are of interest to you.  The point is to put yourself out there as someone who is actively seeking career information and advice, and who is professional in their interactions with others. It’s not about expecting your contacts to hand you a job.

Use LinkedIn to supplement your other networking opportunities, to stay in touch and follow-up with key contacts, and to take advantage of the affinity you share with other Wake Forest alumni. The WF family is Pro Humanitate – of service to one another!

Opportunity Knocks

We are approaching the mid-point of the semester and I am happy to report that employers have been actively engaged in a variety of recruiting activities at Wake Forest. In the past week, over eleven organizations have met with students on campus, including General Electric, Deloitte, Peace Corps and IBM, among others. During the fall semester, many organizations begin the process of recruiting and hiring students for full-time positions. In the spring semester, many more organizations will hire students for summer internships. We expect to have over eighty employers on-campus this fall to conduct on-campus interviews and attend our three career and graduate school fairs. Organizations have begun hosting information sessions to educate students about a broad variety of opportunities.

The Peace Corps recruiter will make four visits to campus this fall to speak with students of all majors and classes.

All majors and classes

Fall semester is the ideal time for students of any class year to speak with career fair attendees and attend employer information sessions to explore career fields and better understand the recruiting process. Employers have been impressed with the many first year and sophomore students they have met. They know that the earlier students gather information on careers and organizations, the more time they have to determine what most interests them, and the more prepared they will be when it is time to interview for internships or full time positions.  Almost all of the employers consistently ask our office to tell students that they are interested in speaking with and recruiting students of any major.

A first year student reviews application materials for a Big Brothers Big Sisters opportunity.

Employer information sessions

Employers who conduct on-campus interviews work hard to capture the attention of Wake Forest students. Dozens of employers conduct fall semester open information sessions to promote their career field, organization, and open positions. Often, alumni representatives come back to campus to share candid insights and provide additional information beyond what is available on organization websites. By receiving tips for navigating the employment and interview process, students are better prepared for the application process and for potential interviews.  The dates and times of all information sessions are readily available through the student DeaconSource career management system.

Students receive advice about Wipro’s interview process from a WF alumni representative.

Off-campus recruiting

Many organizations seeking Wake Forest student talent are not able to come on campus to recruit students. Instead, they opt to post positions directly to students using our DeaconSource job and internship board.  During the fall semester, we typically post thirty jobs and internship opportunities each week. Most positions are listed for a two week span, so it’s important to check the board frequently and apply right away or you might miss an attractive opportunity. Eighty-six jobs and internships were current and available for student review on October 2.

The Importance of Networking

Most students (and their parents) mistakenly think that most opportunities are available through on campus recruiting or from the DeaconSource job board.  In fact, the majority of jobs secured by students come through networking in the hidden job market. Our networking section on the Career and Professional Development website can serve as an excellent instructional resource for you and your student. Using LinkedIn and the WF Career Connectors Group (it’s all explained on this web page) will allow your student to get in touch with friendly Wake Forest connections.

If you are a parent or alum, join the LinkedIn WF Career Connectors Group today so that you can help current WF students learn about your career area or introduce them to others in your professional network or organization. Although ‘opportunity knocks’ this fall, it will continue year-round so be ready to help students at any time.

Students should take advantage of these active opportunities to learn about careers and apply for job openings now.  They must also recognize that the job search may not come easy. Even in an excellent job market, it can still be challenging to find a job best suited to your strengths.  However, with thousands of WF alumni and parents in the WF Career Connectors Group who are willing to help you (in addition to the staff and resources of the OPCD), your journey will be much easier than if you just go it alone.