You made it! Your Freshman year is officially behind you! Someday, you’ll look back and yearn for the days….it just may be a while before you reminisce days gone by. As a college Sophomore, you have some experience under your belt. You can even navigate campus without getting lost! For some, this is easier to achieve – I still got lost on a campus with 1000 students! Your Sophomore year is where you really hit your stride. The basics are almost out of the way, and you’re beginning to focus on your major.
Here are some things that you should be doing as a Sophomore:
- Research – The research doesn’t end with your Freshman year. This is the time to dive deeper, looking into the primary opportunities for college students and graduates. Understanding the company’s culture and history will allow you to make a well-informed decision.
- Industry Narrowing – Narrow down the list of industries to your top 2-3. Once narrowed, dive deeper. What is the typical day like in the life of an employee?
- Career Fairs – Attend the college’s career fair. Most have an all-university fair, then one specifically for your major of study. Go to both if possible. Establishing a rapport with recruiters is helpful in understanding your fit within their company. Plus, it helps them remember you! PS. Don’t grab the free stuff and ask “do you have any jobs?”. This is in poor taste, in my opinion. The “stuff” is there for the taking, but treat it as a gift following a meaningful conversation. Educate yourself enough to know the basic opportunities to discuss. You don’t have to memorize the company’s history, mission and vision, but it’s helpful if you know SOMETHING about the company.
- Internships – As a Sophomore, this is your first opportunity to land an internship with a company (large or small). The experience and knowledge gained through an internship is very valuable. Gone are the days where the intern is the official “coffee maker” or “go-fer”. Today’s internships provide a high-level inside look into a company, allowing students to experience various aspects of the business. Ultimately, most are given special projects which will be presented to executive leadership at the end of the internship. Bring your A-game. If they’re impressed with your performance, you could land your first job there!
That wraps up what most HR professionals (including myself) suggest doing to maximize your time as a student on campus. Check back later for tips for your Junior year.
As always, your comments and participation are welcome. I would love to hear your feedback, helping me shape the future of the Campus To Career blog. Thanks in advance!