Written by: Audrey Fancher, Career Center Program Assistant
Making the leap from in-class learning to real-world application can feel like a big, overwhelming step. If you haven’t had “real world experience” as a [fill-in-the-blank occupation], how do you know if said career option might be a good fit for you?? Internships are one way to explore potential careers. You apply what you’ve learned in class and gain skills that employers look for along the way. We 10/10 recommend getting an internship while you’re at UP, and are happy to help you through that process.
Additionally though, there is another great way to continue the career research and exploration: Informational Interviews!
This “How To Adult” video gives us a quick overview of what an informational interview is, and how to do it!
The purpose of informational interviews is simply to gain information! You learn about the job, the types of people that thrive in that position, and get advice from people who have experience navigating this field. This no-pressure environment is a way to build confidence for future interviews and make connections with professionals who work in your desired industry.
• Can you tell me about your career path?
• What skills and qualifications are necessary to be successful in this field?
• Is there something that you would have done differently in college based on what you know now about the industry?
• What is the most rewarding part of your job?
• Which part of your job is most challenging for you? What types of problems do you deal with?
• Do you belong to any professional organizations?
• What tips and strategies would you recommend for breaking into the field?
• What does the average work week look like for you?
• What opportunities do you have for professional development and advancement?
• What can you tell me about the culture of this industry?
• What courses and experiences have proven to be the most valuable to you in your work?
• Do you anticipate developments in the field that will affect future opportunities?
• Do you have any tips about what is important to include in a resume and cover letter?
• Can you suggest the names of two or three other people I might contact for more information? May I use your name in contacting them?