About the Blog

This blog and its resources are here to assist all students throughout their college years and into their careers. Blog is moderated by a Certified Professional Career Coach and Master Tutor Trainer. Site moderator, Neil O'Donnell, is an EOP graduate of Buffalo State College and can be reached at odonnenp@buffalostate.edu.

Monday, January 30, 2017

College Students: Gaining Field Experience This Summer

1992 - Me teaching undergrad and grad students on using an alidade and plane table.
I have spoken at length about the importance of gaining field experience PRIOR TO GRADUATION for many years now. Experience above and beyond one or two internships is what I encourage here! I know it is only January, but the summer will be here soon enough and even freshmen may find opportunities to gain field experience in their major, but it is important to start now to look for these experiences in order to have the widest range of opportunities. How do you find such opportunities? I'm glad you asked! Just follow the advice here (FYI - Yes, that is me working as a teaching assistant in 1992 - just a Junior at SUNY Buffalo State - teaching undergraduate and graduate students how to utilize an alidade and plane table in archaeological research - thanks Dr. Engelbrecht):

1) Discuss options with your academic advisor. Ask your advisor what are jobs that are available to undergrads that will provide good training (and experience for your resume) in preparation for your long-term career goals.

2) Speak with advisors at your college's career center. The career development specialists at the career center may have extensive experience assisting students who have had similar career goals to you. As a result, they may be able to help you find relevant summer job opportunities.

In the event you cannot find a job that specifically links to your career path, consider stepping things up at a typical college student job to gain experience that grad schools and future employers will appreciate. Specifically, ask your summer employer the following:

1) Is there an opportunity for supervising other employees?

Me excavating an Archaeological Test Unit - 2011
2) Can you assist with developing or managing a company's website, Facebook page or Twitter feed?
 Can you develop a Facebook page or Twitter feed for the company you work for?

3) Can you help with advertising for the company (putting up flyers, posting info through your own Facebook and Twitter pages, etc.)?

4) Can you assist in helping to organize the office files or create an Excel database for client/vendor contacts?

5) Can you help lead the reorganization of a supply/store room?

Such experiences will teach you great skills while also helping you stand out on your resume when you apply to jobs down the road.