There are many ways to gain valuable experience and learn marketable skills. Employers and graduate/professional programs will be interested in candidates who are well-rounded and have developed their transferable skills.
Volunteering is a wonderful way for you to network, gain experience and enhance your skills. Employers like to see well-rounded candidates who can contribute to their organization in a number of ways. Volunteering is one way to round out your education and build yourself into an attractive candidate. Experiences don't have to be directly related to your career goal. Simply pick an activity/cause that has meaning for you and dedicate some time to making a difference.
Summer and part-time jobs can be more than just a way to make money. Consider exploring opportunities more in line with your career goals. For instance, interested in teaching? Try working at a summer camp or educational program. Want to go into a business field? Find work in an office setting. While the job itself may not be exactly what you'd like to pursue in the future, you can gain related experience and develop the skills employers and/or graduate schools will seek in candidates. Once you begin your job, seek out opportunities to learn more and enhance your skills in order to make the most of your experience.
Studying in another country is a fantastic way to change your perspective on the world. Your experience will allow you to interact with people of different cultures and help you develop self-confidence and independence. Graduate schools and employers alike will be attracted to your cross-cultural communication skills and your ability to adapt to change. Visit the Binghamton University Office of International Programs for more information.
Internships, study, work or volunteer experiences abroad are great ways to build your skills and enhance your resume. Start early in your search as the process is slowed by distance and red tape, but the rewards can definitely be worth the effort.
On-Campus Clubs and Organizations
Participating in clubs and organizations on campus is another way to develop skills and enhance your resume. Sometimes your involvement could be directly related to a career, for example if you are interested in event planning you could serve as your sorority's social chair. Other activities may not be directly related, but may allow you to develop transferable skills that employers or graduate schools seek. Regardless of the activity, it will demonstrate to an employer/graduate school that you actively engaged in your college experience.
Programs for Liberal Arts and Science Majors
Harpur Edge provides students in Harpur College with the resources to enrich their college experience and helps prepare them for graduate school and careers. Harpur Edge Signature Programs help students take charge of their liberal arts and sciences education.
Harpur Fellows Program
The Harpur Fellows Program gives talented, highly motivated, imaginative undergraduates the opportunity to pursue self-designed projects that will serve the community and contribute to their intellectual and personal growth. Selected fellows will receive up to $4,000 to pursue their projects while serving others and contributing to the well-being of the community.
Job shadowing is a short-term experience that allows you to try out a career for a day. Shadowing can help you in the career decision-making process by helping you learn first-hand about an occupation and determine if the career is the right fit for you.
Also known as a "gap year," these opportunities allow you to grow and explore the world around you while still gaining valuable experience and contributing to society. These short-term opportunities may be just what you're looking for! Meet with the Career Consultant to determine if a gap year is right for you.
In November 2009, five Binghamton Alumni talked to current students in a panel session titled Take a Year Off By Taking a Year On! Read more about the advice they gave to students considering short-term opportunities.
Depending on your career goals, research may be an important part of your plans for continued education. Research opportunities can be found both on and off campus and may or may not be for academic credit. Undergraduate research, scholarship and creative work adds value to your college experience and provides an enhanced level of learning outside the classroom.