Winter signals the arrival of many things: peppermint flavored everything, colder weather, Christmas and, most importantly, the overwhelming fear of finding a job that comes for December college graduates.
The combination of trying to pass classes, salvaging some form of a social life and also beginning a job search is enough to make a student to go crazy.
Whether students know it or not, however, Belmont is here to help. There are resources every way you turn, both on websites and in offices.
The things any student can do to help them in their search are simple. Use the Career Services office and website, talk to faculty in your department, get an internship or two and network.
Jamey Stamey, internship coordinator for Curb College, cannot stress the ideas of internships and networking enough as well as the fact that the two seem to go hand in hand.
“[An internship] may not lead to a job with that specific company but I think it leads to networking opportunities that can introduce you to other people with other companies,” said Stamey.
When it comes to music business, a large department at Belmont and a huge industry in Nashville, it is impossible to network too much. It becomes a necessity for those just starting out to even hear about potential opportunities.
“Especially in the music industry, if you wait to apply to something because they have a posting, it’s probably too late,” said Stamey. Susan Trout, a professor in the English department, even utilizes networking in a zero-credit-hour course she teaches specifically for juniors.
“The junior seminar in English is designed to introduce our majors, when they’re juniors, to the different kinds of jobs that English majors are attracted to or employers who are attracted to English majors,” said Trout.
The course brings in alumni of the English department who are working in various industries, some that current English majors may not have previously considered.
“The reason we designed the course originally was because for so long, the assumption was, if you’re an English major, you’re going to become a teacher,” said Trout. “We wanted to attack that stereotype.”
To help discover which career may best suit a person or to just find out more on a field that has potential, networking and research can be extremely beneficial to students.
“That’s one of the best ways to learn about the career field that you are interested in pursuing,” said Rachel Walden, career development specialist.
She also suggests going to the Career Services office and either talk things through or find out resources you may have known were available
“I have not met with one person where I have said, ‘You are doing everything right. There is nothing I can suggest for you.’ There is always something we can improve on,” said Walden.
The improvements could range from formatting and fixing a resume, discussing interview techniques and cover letters or being made aware of the assistance Belmont can provide for finding a job.
“We have a number of different online resources in addition to Career Connector that provide industry specific advice, links to job and internship search websites, professional associations, occupational outlook information, trends in the industry, so we’re able to provide specialized advice,” said Walden.
Career Connector contains jobs that members of the Career Services team either have sent to them by employers directly seeking Belmont graduates or that they have inquired about within nearby businesses.
Walden also suggests Indeed.com, a site that compiles postings from Career Builder, Monster and company websites to aid in job hunting.
However, it is never too early to start considering employment, which is why Career Services helps all students from freshmen to seniors, as well as alumni.
There are always ways to prepare for finding a job, be it creating a LinkedIn profile, attending informational sessions, talking to Career Services or attending Belmont and Beyond events, convocation seminars that help students with how to transition to the world after college.
“Finding a job is a job,” said Trout. “You have to realize you won’t be able to just hang around Grimey’s or Bongo’s…and still be able to move happily into what may be a more corporate kind of world.”