Define Your Career Goals
With so many career options, it may seem impossible to decide what you want to be when you grow up. Fear not. There are many steps you can take to define your career goals and begin an effective job search.
Whether you are considering graduate school or planning to enter the work force immediately upon graduating, you should start with these first steps as soon as possible. Please do not wait until your senior year to start this process! The earlier you are able to assess your skills and interests and how they relate to specific careers, the easier it should be for you to find a great position.
Make A Plan - To be successful you need to make a plan. Take a look at this Game Plan for Success which outlines what you can do each year of your college career that will lead to a successful professional career.
Assess Your Skills - An important part of determining your career goals is determining your unique set of skills. Employers will need to know if you are able to do the duties outlined in the position description. You need to be able to articulate this as well. Think of it as your sales pitch. They need to know why you are the best person for the job. By assessing your skills you’ll know what you have to offer to an employer.
Your Career Options - One of the best ways to define your career goals is by learning about the types of companies and positions that seek someone with your unique set of interests, skills and experiences. How can you learn about these companies and positions?
- BuckyNet – The On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) system available to all UW-Madison students. Many companies only hire through OCR at select universities. If you want access to these companies, job postings, event listings and the resume book you will need to register for BuckyNet.
- Career & Internship Fair - Over 200 employers from various companies attend this event each semester. The list of employers can be found in BuckyNet.
- Employer Information Sessions - This is another opportunity for you to learn about the company, open positions and what they are looking for in new hires. It is also a great way to show the recruiter that you really want the job! The Employer Information Session schedule is posted in BuckyNet and also sent out in the weekly ECDO email to economics majors.
- Networking – So important we devoted a separate page to one of the most crucial aspects of your job search!
- Alumni Panels - Each semester economics alumni come back to campus to talk with students about their career, how they are using the skills they gained as an economics major and offer advice to students.
- Networking Trips – The Economics Student Association takes trips to various cities to meet with employers, learn about career options and how they can market their economics major.
- What Can I Do with an Economics Major page – Read about the various career paths many economics majors pursue and the classes we suggest students complete to best prepare them for specific careers.
- Employment sites – Learn more about industries, positions and skills needed by visiting various employment sites. Below are a few examples of sites you can visit. Please note that there are many other sites available where you can find more information.
In addition, many company sites offer extensive advice to applicants on how to improve resumes, cover letters and interviewing skills. Look for the “careers” tab on the company web site.