It’s spring, and college seniors know what that means: graduation is right around the corner. And although some soon-to-be graduates know their next steps – they’ve secured a job or are moving on to graduate school or another form of continuing education. But many do not, or they might be unsure of their career path.
“Be bold, even if you don’t think you are perfectly qualified for a position you are interested in ”
JENNIFER PICKERELL Vice President, Aviation Personnel International
Jennifer Pickerel, vice president at Aviation Personnel International and a volunteer career advisor for students in the aviation program at Minnesota State University Mankato, has the following career advice:
- Take advantage of any mock interviews your college or guidance office provides. Do as many as you can.
- Know your options. Look beyond the obvious careers and find out all the paths that are available to you.
- Be curious and open to exploring, especially at this time in your life, when you are probably free to expand your horizons geographically, as well.
- Embrace the fact that you are responsible for your own actions now. You may make mistakes. Learn from them.
- It’s essential to be on LinkedIn. Use a professional headshot and put every pertinent accomplishment you can think of on your page.
- Network, network, network – and then stay in touch. Nurture the relationships you have made.
- Research the company or department that you are interviewing with. Almost everything you need to know is available online.
- “Be bold, even if you don’t think you are perfectly qualified for a position you are interested in,” says Pickerel.
- “Don’t worry about rejection. And don’t forget that some of the requirements necessary to get or keep a job are not always fun and exciting. Not all professional growth is pleasant, so raise your hand and be resilient.”
Kenneth Morris, who as executive director of the Aviation Community Foundation primarily works with high school students, agrees that being open to change is important for a successful career.
“Realize there will be curves in the road, but keep a positive attitude,” suggests Morris. “If possible, get a mentor. Network. Expose yourself to other cultures, especially in college. Maximize any opportunities.”