The Career Development Center recognizes how identity and intersectionality are tied to one’s professional values and decisions throughout their career. As we enter a new academic year, especially in the face of a pandemic and a continued reckoning with racial justice, we are committed to providing career resources that reflect diversity, inclusion, and equity for alumni and students.
To kick off the semester, we wanted to discuss some tips and tricks for assessing future job and internship opportunities. When looking for a position, it is important to focus on your needs, as well as the types of organizations you will be targeting. Doing the research and developing a strong understanding of what is important to you will help you have a more fulfilling and successful career.
First and foremost, the key is YOU! Create time and space to reflect on what your values and other needs are when considering a future opportunity.
Things to consider include:
- Your Values. What is important to you in your future work environment? Do you want it to be an inclusive space? A casual or formal setting? An organization that is community-action-oriented? An employer that values empathy? An innovative or creative team? Need some more inspiration? This article has some great tips on determining your career values.
- Salary and Benefits. This will vary depending on if you are looking for an internship or a full-time job. However, it is always important to know your worth. Check out the Money Matters program through Student Success for tips on budgeting, also use sites like Glassdoor.com to gain a stronger understanding of industry and company salaries.
- Hours and Commute. Prior to entering an internship or job search, it is important to understand your time, location, and abilities for getting to and from your future position. Things to consider include your course load, personal projects, other commitments, and how you hope to spend your time outside of work.
Once you have spent some time thinking about your values and needs, you can start researching potential organizations and/or industries that support your goals, as well as offer diverse and inclusive environments.
Things to consider include:
- Company Culture. Company culture is a work environment created by an organization’s values and behaviors. When an employee’s values align closely with those of their employer, they are more likely to have a positive work experience. To learn more about a company’s culture, review their website, social media, and also use sites like Glassdoor and Handshake (check out the employer tab under jobs). For more on company culture and why it is important, check out this great article from The Balance Careers.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. It is important for organizations to have a clearly defined diversity, equity, and inclusion ‘DEI’ statement. However, it is even more important to ensure they are putting action behind their words. Review the company website and check out their social media to learn more about their efforts. Depending on the company size this type of work can happen in many different forms. Things to keep an out for include: interview questions and interviewers’ tone around diversity, the presence of employee resource groups, professional development opportunities, community engagement, and more. Some examples of organizations doing this work include Best Places to Work for Diversity (Great Places to Work) and Boston Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right (Built-in Boston).
- As Ty Sheppard, Alumni and DEI Executive, “Through the interview it’s important to try to gauge who will embrace the things that make you different. [Thinking about] picking a group of people whose values align with yours. [And] not thinking in terms of the company and work but the cultures [you] are choosing.”
- Alumni Experiences. Lean on your Emerson network to learn more about people’s experiences within certain fields or organizations. You can use sites like Emerge, the EBONI alumni network, LinkedIn, and more. When reaching out make sure to create your connection, have a clear request for action, and be gracious for the alumni’s time and expertise. Need more tips? Check out these resources and/or make an appointment with a Career Counselor on Handshake.
As you consider your future, remember your values, identity, and needs are key pieces to your career development. The earlier you start learning about organizations and connecting with alumni, the easier it will be to secure future roles that align with your goals. As always, the Career Development Center is here to help! Feel free to make an appointment, check out Careerbuzz, or drop us a line.
Stay tuned for future blogs and resources!