Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Informational Interviews

Marquette, like most universities and colleges, has been gracious enough to give students four weeks of time off over the holidays and before the start of the new semester. Most students tend to utilize this time to sleep, spend time with family & friends, and catch up TV shows. They miss out on the opportunity to explore career options and learn about possible careers. Don’t worry, I was guilty of this too when I was in college.

Take the time away from text books and class to have informational interviews with people you know or in a career field that interests you. Informational interviews are different than job interviews. You are seeking information about a job or career field verses selling yourself for a particular position. This can help you decide whether or not a particular field is a career possibility or explore different options within a specific area.

Reach out to family, friends, and professors about people they might know in a career field that interests you. You can also reach out to alumni through the Marquette University Alumni Association (MUAA) LinkedIn group. There are over 11,000 members in various career fields in this group that are usually more than happy engage in a discussion with a current student.

Always come prepared with written questions so you will be able to make the best use of your time and learn as much as you can. Here are some suggested questions to ask during an informational interview:

What were the jobs you had which led you to this one?

Are there any specific courses a student might take that would be beneficial in this field?

What aspects of a career in this field do you consider particularly good? Particularly bad?

How do you see the jobs in this field changing over the next two years?

What special advice would you give a young person entering this field?

Check out our website for more questions and advice on informational interviews and refuse to snooze this winter break and get a jump start on your future! Also, the Marquette University Career Services Center is currently open and we are happy to help you!

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