Tips for UPEACE Students from our Volunteer Career Advisor, Dr. Christine Oatis
Link your career interests with your UPEACE educational experience
Choose projects, courses, topics to research and write about that will provide an opportunity to explore and make professional connections. As a graduate student, you are able to make contacts that can last. You can also research about which skills and competencies are needed in your area(s) of interest and how to most effectively present your unique portfolio of skills and experience.
Focus on clarifying your evolving service vision/mission
Spend time reflecting on what is important to you, such as your values and goals; and find ways to refine your vision/mission through related experiences such as projects, volunteer work, internships, research and extracurricular activities.
Look strategically at the bigger picture when developing your career goals, starting with your current experience of being at UPEACE.
It may take a while to get to where you would like to be; and your goals may change with time and more experiences. Be open to trying things out and taking small steps to build skills, confidence and contacts. You may need to make a lateral move or start in a new area with an internship to gain international experience.
While you are at UPEACE, build your network of professionals in your chosen field: include classmates, professors, alumni, previous and current mentors in your professional network
Here at UPEACE, there are amazing opportunities to meet with people from all over the world, who have experience and contacts to share with you if you ask; and you in turn, will be able to share with others.
Action Steps you can take now during your first term at UPEACE
- Schedule a meeting with the Career Development Advisor on campus to edit your profile draft and update your CV/Resume. Christine may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment.
- Polish interviewing, resume writing and networking skills through Career Development Workshops that will be offered at the beginning of the first term.
- Develop a system that works for you to keep track of people you meet or learn about from your classes and readings who share your interests. Contact them periodically to share what you are doing at UPEACE and to ask for their advice and ideas.
Action Steps you can take during your second term at UPEACE
- Make a list of people involved in projects in which you are interested and exchange email addresses before you leave UPEACE.
- Plan to attend the UPEACE Internship Information Fair to meet people and make contacts.
- Develop Plan A, Plan B and Plan C to transition to what you want to do next after UPEACE. Be patient and persistent in gaining additional experience, which can be part-time or volunteer. Consider taking an interim job with flexibility and/or an internship to gain additional experience.
- As a graduate student, you can develop additional professional connections in your area of interest through your research, papers and presentations. Share what you do and stay in touch with people in organizations you admire.
- Create opportunities by being in the right place at the right time. Research what most needs doing in your field of interest and start contributing in any way you can. Look into becoming an intern or volunteer to gain experience and connections.