Written by Undergraduate Career Consultant, Jennifer Burns
Congrats! You’ve finished all of your exams, you’re officially done with Fall semester, and you’re about to head home for a month of not thinking about school.
At first you’re probably relishing in all the time you have to do nothing but sleep in, see friends and family, and eat as many Christmas cookies as you want without worrying about any homework, exams, or papers.
But then reality hits, and you realize that you still have two more weeks of winter break and nothing left to do.
So what can you do to pass the time? Take advantage of your time off with some of the ideas below:
- Winter break is the perfect time to set up a job shadow or informational interview with someone in your home town. You have lots free time during the work week and this is a great way to learn more about a specific company, role, or career path you are interested in. Use your personal network, LinkedIn, or AlumniFire to connect with professionals near you.
- Haven’t become QUIC yet? There are a lot of QUIC interview openings available right now on FisherConnect and you can get a head start on prepping for your interview. The QUIC interview is a great way to practice your interviewing skills and get 1-on-1 feedback from a Career Consultant. Make sure you’ve made a profile on FisherConnect and have completed the QUIC modules before signing up!
- Take advantage of those awesome after-Christmas sales and purchase a suit. That way you’re ready the next time you need to be in business professional attire for an interview! (bonus tip: you will need to wear a suit for you QUIC interview too!)
- Still looking for an internship or full-time opportunity? Start prepping for the Career Fair coming up on February, 6th by downloading the OSU CareerFairPlus app, doing some preliminary company research, working on your elevator pitch, and making sure your resume is up to date. Starting preparation for the Career Fair early will help keep stress to a minimum when you are well into your spring semester classes and getting ready to attend the fair.
- Did you recently receive or accept an internship or full-time offer? Upload it to FCDC (Fisher Career Data Central) and look at the salary data to compare your offer to what your peers have been offered.
- Trying to make a decision between multiple job offers you have received? Review the evaluating and negotiating job offers resource available on the OCM webpage, or make an appointment with a Career Consultant to discuss what you are thinking. (bonus tip: there are appointments with Career Consultants available to you over the break, either in person or over the phone!)
Enjoy your time away from school, relax, and spend lots of time with family and friends. But don’t forget to take advantage of all your time off!
Have you updated your resume with your summer job or your new involvement on campus? Never written a cover letter before, but want someone to review your rough draft? Developing your LinkedIn profile?
Meet with our Peer Career Coaches! They only see students on a walk-in basis, so drop by 150 Gerlach Hall in between your classes! Learn more about our coaches and find their availability here.
Written by Undergraduate Career Consultant, Jennifer Burns
By this point in the semester you are probably feeling pretty bogged down with midterms, papers, and projects and are really ready for a break. Lucky for you, fall break is almost here!
Fall break is a nice chance to relax and get your mind off of school, but here are some tips and tricks for taking advantage of your time off:
- Interested in learning more about a specific role or company? Set up a job shadow opportunity to learn more about the company or role you are interested in. Using your personal network or LinkedIn is a great way to connect with someone to shadow!
- Want to learn more about a specific career field or path? Conduct an informational interview with someone working in that field to learn more about what they do or the path they took to get there. A great way to connect with professionals willing to help out is to make an AlumniFire profile, a networking community specifically for Ohio State students and alumni!
- Have an interview coming up? Make sure your resume is up to date, refresh your memory on typical interview questions, and brush off your STAR technique skills for behavioral questions so you’re not cramming the night before (interviewing tips can be found here & here).
- Wondering what all the hype over LinkedIn is? Make a professional profile if you haven’t had the chance yet, expand your network by reaching out and connecting with more people, or update your profile with that cool summer internship you had.
- Still not sure what “business professional attire” means? Check out this guide and head over to Polaris or Easton to get a professional suit so you’re prepared for that next interview (tip: JCPenney and Macy’s are great places to check out!)
- Recently received or accepted a full-time or internship offer? Upload it to FCDC (Fisher Career Data Central) and check out salary data to compare your offer to what your peers have been offered.
Make sure to relax and enjoy your fall break, but don’t forget to take advantage of your time off!
Considering an unpaid internship?
If you are thinking about pursuing an unpaid internship, or an internship that is based on commission, you need to carefully weigh the benefit of skills gained vs. how it will affect your financial well-being. For instance, how many hours would you be able to give to an employer for an unpaid internship while still having enough time for any wage-earning jobs that you will hold concurrently? You need a clear understanding of how a commission-only job is structured so that you can approximate the “prep time/payoff” ratio. Also, keep in mind that students without prior internship experience may find greater benefit in these types of opportunities compared to students who have completed previous internships. Often, these experiences allow students to strengthen their resumes so they can later qualify for paid internships.
FisherConnect does not post unpaid internship opportunities, but it will post positions that are stipend or commission-based. You will see the following phrase accompanying these positions: Compensation for this position is stipend or commission/quota based. Be mindful of this payment structure when considering the opportunity and conduct thorough research to ensure you understand the potential outcomes and skills required to be successful in this type of position.
If you choose to interview for positions such as these, we encourage you to ask questions such as the ones listed below:
- What percentage of time will I spend on administrative work vs. resume-building experiences related to my career development?
- Which task will I be spending the most amount of time on?
- Will I be able to obtain, in writing, an outline of the commission/stipend structure?
- (If a campus marketing position) Will I be asked to utilize my own network (i.e. friends/social media connections) to be successful in this role?
- Are you able to provide the contact information for previous interns, so that I may contact them for their opinion on the position?
- (If an unpaid internship) Is there a possibility for this unpaid internship to evolve into a paid position in the future?
- What types of career exploration activities will be offered through this opportunity?
- Which transferable skills will I be able to obtain, or improve upon, via this position?
- What is the average income that a sales representative earns (and differences between top salespeople vs. average salespeople)?
- Could you describe your training program in detail? Are new salespeople able to train with experienced salespeople?
- What is the salesforce turnover rate?
- Are leads provided or does the representative need to prospect their own leads?
- What would you consider to be the biggest challenges to selling your product/service?
Please note you will not be able to ask all of these questions during the interview, so choose a few that seem most appropriate for your situation.
If you have any questions about this type of opportunity, please make an appointment to speak with a career consultant in the Office of Career Management at your earliest convenience.
Construction Career Expo
Monday, October 9th
10 am – 2 pm
Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center
2201 Fred Taylor Drive
Hosted by the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences
Open to all Ohio State students – Bring your BuckID to check-in
Review the Student Career Expo Guide and Tips for Success to prepare!