The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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A guide to answering, “What’s Next?”: Career and graduate school resources for seniors

Hayley+Leopold%2C+Print+Presentation+Director+%2F+The+Bucknellian
Hayley Leopold, Print Presentation Director / The Bucknellian

At the beginning of their final semester at Bucknell, many senior students are searching for the answer to the inevitable question, “What’s next?”  The journey into the job market or graduate school can feel like a daunting process, however, luckily, Bucknell recognizes these challenges. 

Earlier this week on Tuesday Feb. 6, Bucknell hosted one of its many On-Campus Career Fairs. With the opportunity to discuss job and internship opportunities directly with recruiters, these fairs are popular networking events. All are encouraged to explore different industries and career possibilities. Outside of large networking events, Bucknell constantly provides opportunities and resources to assist students as they navigate the transition into life after Bucknell and pursue full-time employment or graduate school programs. 

Center for Career Advancement

For those who need help finding some direction or have specific questions, the Center for Career Advancement (CCA) is a great place to start. The CCA offers a wide variety of services to students at any point in their job and graduate school search processes.  Appointments can be geared towards figuring out where to get started, resume and cover letter reviews, interview practice/mock interviews, graduate school planning and much more. The counselors at the CCA, who possess industry-specific experience from their various backgrounds, are ready and able to offer support tailored to individual needs.  These appointments can be made online through Handshake.

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Career Communities

Additionally, another outlet that many students choose to take advantage of are the several Career Communities established by the CCA.  The Career Communities are designed to connect students with peers who may have similar aspirations. They also encourage students to explore potential opportunities in Business & Consulting, Law, Government & Public Interest, Health, STEM, and Creative Arts, Media & Communications. These communities invite students from any major to participate and expand their knowledge on diverse career paths.

Handshake

Handshake is a platform where students can access job postings, get in contact with employers, and learn about employer-hosted events, such as information sessions, coffee chats and career fairs. It also provides valuable information about the companies sharing job postings, such as insight into the interview process and reviews from current or past employees. This online recruiting platform, which is available to all students with their Bucknell credentials, simplifies and streamlines the application and hiring process. On the student side, the website allows students to customize their profile to curate job postings that align with each individual’s preferences, skills and qualifications. 

Often using Handshake to do so, Bucknell continuously promotes the fostering of industry connections through the several career fairs held on campus throughout the year. These events are often geared towards certain industries and consist of Bucknell alumni and recruiters who represent their companies and offer information on their experience and upcoming openings for entry-level positions, for which they seek eager candidates. Registration and additional details related to these events can be found on Handshake.

Alumni Network

Perhaps the most valuable resource to Bucknell students, as most have heard stories of time and time again, is the vast Bucknell alumni network. Consisting of more than 55,000 Bucknellians, this network spans around the world and across essentially any industry a student may have an interest in. Alumni have been in the same spot as current students amidst their career and graduate school search, have faced similar obstacles and can provide encouragement on how to proceed. 

Bucknell alumni are notoriously eager to assist current students. These connections are beneficial whether that be through further connection to others in their industry, general advice, or participating in an informational interview on their employer, role, or graduate school experience.  

BucknellConnect provides an efficient and easy way for students to seek out connections with alumni.  This website allows students to search the alumni directory for individuals with certain employer affiliations and roles and elaborates on the alumnus’ majors/minors, campus involvement and history of work experience. BucknellConnect often includes their contact information and allows students to message these professionals directly as well.  Similarly, many students choose to take advantage of LinkedIn as a source for information on Bucknell alumni.

Alumni panels and information sessions hosted by the CCA and university-affiliated clubs are also a great channel through which students can form network connections.  For more information on these students can refer to Handshake or the GetINvolved Network.

Additional Online Resources

In addition to these core resources, other more specific resources that are recommended by the CCA are Big Interview for comprehensive interview preparation tools, Vault for various application and recruiting guidebooks, GoinGlobal which facilitates access to global opportunities and Interstride for tailored support for international students. Access to these as well as information on further resources can be located on the CCA Moodle page.

Bucknell is a university that prioritizes setting their students up for lifelong success, and while the uncertainty of the last few months leading up to graduation can be incredibly overwhelming, there are plenty of resources at students’ fingertips to guide them to the next chapter of their lives.

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