As the weekend approaches, I am excited about the possibility of sleeping. In undergrad, naps seemed like a daily necessity. I would go to a whopping two hours of class a day, maybe a 30-minute club meeting, devote a few hours to studying, and still have time to nap before making a hearty dinner. These days I’m in class for five hours a day, usually have up to three hours of meetings and on top of it all…
I NEED A JOB!
I think that is the biggest difference between my undergrad experience and being in grad school. When you’re in undergrad, you aren’t thinking as heavily about your career. Your ‘focus on the future’ is that week’s football game and planning spring break.
Graduate school brings a new challenge everyday. On top of tests, quizzes, papers and assignments, you spend just as much time interviewing, researching jobs and writing cover letters. I think I’ve written about a dozen cover letters this week. I wrote one during my entire four years of undergrad, a general letter that got me three great internships. Of course I changed the date on each of them, and maybe added a company specific sentence to mix it up.
However, what the Career Management staff at Wake is helping me realize is that employers want individuals who know their company and sincerely want to make a life-long career working with them. I never knew how much easier a job search could be if I simply put “purpose to my passion.” When I applied for jobs in undergrad, I mass distributed my resume like it was the New York Times and interviewed with anyone who would listen to me ramble. Recently I’m realizing how key it is to find an organizational fit with a company and make sure they can meet all my needs.
So now I hold my resume close to my portfolio, only peep-showing it to employers I foresee a life-long relationship with, because there isn’t enough time on either end to be wasted on a job I won’t be happy doing. And if a company is so lucky to get a personalized cover letter from me, when I’m sitting in the interview room with their most esteemed human relations generalist, I’m evaluating them just as critical as they are interviewing me.
~ Lauren N. Collins, first-year candidate, MA in Management program, and Corporate Fellow