Exploring careers is an important element of career planning since this will help guide your career path depending on which academic major you select. Career Exploration involves knowing yourself and what you hope to achieve in pursuing your chosen career path. Techniques can include job shadowing (Take Flight), speaking with professionals already in the field (informational interviews), locating UNT alumni working in industry, attending a student organization meeting, completing an internship and attending career fairs that will help refine your career path and develop job search skills.
JOB SHADOW PROGRAM – TAKE FLIGHT
Take Flight is the UNT job shadowing program spanning the course of one to five days. It provides students with the opportunity to visit companies and organizations, explore career paths, network with professionals and learn about career options related to their major. Take Flight programs are offered during the Fall Semester, Winter Break and Spring Break. Take Flight opportunities can be found in Handshake under Events and on the website under Events-Job Shadowing. Access the Take Flight resource for more information.
Internships are work experiences related a student’s major with an emphasis on “on-the-job” training rather than merely employment, and the UNT Internship Program can assist you with obtaining a high-quality internship. An internship is valuable because it can help you gain practical experience, enhance your classroom learning, and provide insight into your future career. In addition, working as an intern can give you a competitive advantage in the job market because of the technical and “soft” skills you develop. For more information, check out the UNT Internship Program page or schedule an appointment with your Career Coach. To see some of the internship positions that are currently available, check out the Featured Internships and additional opportunities in Handshake.
An informational interview can serve to build your base of networking contacts, allow you to conduct research on your academic major and help you identify potential career options. The interview can help you learn about an individual’s educational background, areas of specialty, career path, typical work activities, the aspects of their work they find most satisfying and challenging, plus other information that will give you greater insight concerning the profession. Check out the Informational Interviews resource for additional information.
CONNECT WITH ALUMNI
Mean Green Mentors provides an exciting opportunity for students to connect with accomplished UNT alumni and select employer partners. Through this free, online mentoring program sponsored by the UNT Career Center, students can seek knowledge and advice from individuals who are experts in their field and begin to build their own professional network, which can help contribute to their long-term career success.
UNT Alumni can register to join the Alumni group on LinkedIn. Locating UNT Alumni on LinkedIn is a networking method of seeking career information in your field. Alumni are frequently asked to “give back” by visiting UNT to attend career fairs, employer panels and etiquette dinners to network with future graduates by sharing their career experiences and unique industry insights.
While attending UNT, many students find additional career support through membership in a registered UNT Student Organization. These organizations promote hosting and participating in outreach activities designed to enhance the professional awareness of all members involved. Through professional organizations, students acquire skills such as leadership, team dynamics, networking with other students and professionals and learning about their chosen career field.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR EXPLORING CAREERS
- O*Net OnLine: O*Net OnLine maintains detailed descriptions of each industry for use by job seekers, career services, HR professionals, students, veterans and researchers. Students can browse groups of similar occupations to explore careers and find occupational details such as technology skills, required education, tasks and skills, related occupations, wage & employment trends and related professional organizations.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: The U.S. Department of Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes an Occupational Outlook Handbook that provides career information on the duties, education and training, pay and career outlook for hundreds of occupations.