Career

3 Career-Related Services at University Most Students are Not Taking Advantage Of

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Joanne Poh

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Graduation isn’t really something to celebrate… because once you’re a graduate, you can no longer hide behind your student status as an excuse for waking up at noon and not knowing what you want to do with your life.

The job market was not kind to the recent batches of graduates, and the class of 2018 should not expect MNCs to fall at their feet  either.

But spamming every job ad on JobsDB with your CV is not the only thing you can do before you’ve graduated.

In fact, your university probably has a ton of resources that you don’t know about, such as the following.

 

Career counselling

Most universities have some sort of Career Centre that’s staffed with counsellors or advisors.

After all, if their graduates don’t manage to find jobs when they graduate, it reflects badly on the school.

So make an appointment with a career counsellor and bombard them with your questions about job options for people in your field of study and how to effectively land a job.

You should also bring in your CV to have it critiqued. Make repeated appointments throughout your undergraduate career—it’s free after all.

For instance, NUS students have access to career advisors sorted according to faculty. If you are taking a professional or very specialised degree like medicine or law, enquire about career advisory services at your faculty, as it’s likely there will be someone who can help.

NTU students have access to 45 minute career coaching sessions, while SMU has a full suite of career services including personal inventory tests and résumé assessments.

 

Job fairs

Don’t just turn up for your university’s bazaars and bashes and ignore the job fairs. Job fairs aren’t exactly a very fun way to spend an afternoon, but they can be invaluable in getting you job leads.

You should show up at job fairs professionally attired, and with copies of your CV in hand to distribute to potential employers. Many companies recruit at job fairs or dole out management trainee contracts.

Even if you do not get a job offer, job fairs enable you to ask questions about companies and positions that interest you, information you can reserve for future use when applying for jobs.

 

Mentorship programmes

Why try to figure out every single by yourself when there are older and wiser people who can help?

Some universities run mentorship programmes that pair students with professionals or academics in their area of interest. Having a mentor gives you a serious leg up, as your mentor can not only give valuable advice, but also lobang and contacts.

For instance, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at NUS runs a Mentorship Programme, while each student at their Science Faculty is assigned an Academic Mentor.

Likewise, NTU runs a Student Mentoring Scheme at every faculty.

Meanwhile, SMU runs an Alumi Mentoring Programme. Instead of having academic staff stand in as mentors, students are assigned university alumni who are now working adults. These mentors can offer candid career advice and offer much-needed insight on the working world that, for many, only comes much later when they’ve joined the workforce.

Whether you wish to take advantage of the mentorship programme is up to you—many students have little to no contact with their mentors. Their loss.

Have you ever used any of your university’s career services? Share your experiences in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.