Your Graduate Pathway

Happy October, USF!

When you think about October, you probably think about apple cider, pumpkin spice, haunted houses, and dressing up. In Career Services, we add one more October theme to that list: Graduate Pathways!

For the last several years, we’ve been using the month of October to introduce USF students to Graduate and Professional School. Many advanced degree programs have application deadlines that fall sometime between October and December, and so we host workshops throughout the month to help you decide if Grad School is right for you, how to choose a program, and how to finance that journey.

Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about what Grad School is, and why you may want to consider a program.


So, What is Grad School?

Right now, you’re probably pursuing a four-year bachelor’s degree. Let’s get something straight. That degree is valuable, and it demonstrates to employers that you have the knowledge to excel in the world of work. Your undergraduate program prepares you to work in a wide variety of industries – even if you major in something specific, like engineering.

A Graduate or Professional School program is an advanced program of study. It is focused on a specific academic area or a specific profession. For example, if you wanted to be a doctor, you would need to go to medical school where you would choose an area to specialize in, and then learn information specific to that area of the healthcare industry.

Grad School typically requires original research or scholarship. This means that you may have to produce a written thesis paper or present your research to a group. It’s important to know what potential programs of interest require before applying to those programs.


Do I Need Grad School?

Some career pathways require an advanced degree that shows that you have intense commitment, passion, and drive for the work that you do. If you’re not sure if you will need to pursue an advanced degree, there are a few ways you can find out.

Our office is always here to help you. Our Career Consultants are familiar with the variety of career pathways that you may take and they have tools to help you determine how far you should go with your education to be successful in your field. If you’re interested in sitting down to discuss your pathway one-on-one, contact our office and we’ll set you up with an appointment. You can also check out the information that we have online.

Attend our Graduate Pathways month events! This year, we’re starting things off at our Graduate Pathways Month Kickoff Celebration on Wednesday, October 4. Join us from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on the first floor of the Marshall Student Center to learn how the month of October can benefit you! We’ll also be sharing the details about how you can score a $50 GRE Test Prep Package! Can’t make the Kickoff? Details about our other Graduate Pathways events are in Handshake.

If you prefer to do some research on your own first, check out the site (link to Using the Occupation Quick Search bar in the top right corner, you can look for details about jobs or career paths that you are interested in. Navigate to the Education section and you’ll find information about what percentage of people working in that field have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, post-doctoral degree, or another degree type. That should give you an idea of what kind of education you should be considering for your career field.


What’s Next?

If you have any interest in going to Grad School, keep up with Professional Edge this month! We’ll continue to post information you should know as you consider your Graduate Pathways.

See you at our Graduate Pathways Month Kickoff Celebration!


Other Graduate Pathways Month Events

Shaping Your Future at Graduate School

Choosing the Right Graduate School

Paying for Graduate School

An Evening with Don Asher

Graduate & Professional School Fair




Ace Your Interview

Interviews can be nerve racking! It is hard to sell yourself to someone to prove how you are the ideal candidate for a position. We hear your teeth chattering and see your goosebumps, so here are some tips to ace your interview!


Before the Interview

Do your homework and research the company. This will prove your interest in the company and give you a background of what you are potentially getting yourself into. This will also spark questions to ask your interviewer (we’ll come back to this).


Most interviews are constructed around behavioral-based interview questions. This means that interviewers are likely going to ask you questions concerning your past experiences, and you’ll need to answer in a specific format. We recommend using the STAR-L method. Describe the Situation, discuss your Task and the Action you took to get a Result, and then talk about what you Learned.


You can find examples of this type of question online, and you should practice so that you are more comfortable. You can access Optimal Interview, a site that allows you to record responses to questions using your webcam, online for free through Career Services. You can also schedule an appointment to meet with a Career Consultant for a mock interview. This takes some time, so be sure to set this up well in advance in case your Consultant is booked out. If you don’t have time to wait for an appointment, you can visit Career Express for interview tips.


Interviewers have access to the internet too, and most likely will do their homework as well and look you up.  With that said, review your online image because if you are able to find yourself, they can too. Before you even walk through their doors, an interviewer might have a pretty good idea about who are you, so make that image the best version of yourself.


Know the logistics. This includes the location, time, dress code, and interviewer’s name. If the interview is going to be somewhere you have never been before, go there before the day of your interview so that you know how much time to plan to get there.


On the day of the interview, eat a good meal beforehand, bring copies of your resume for both the interviewer(s) and yourself, and plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. When you arrive, tell the staff member at the front you name, why you are there, and who you are meeting with. Be friendly to any staff member you come into contact with – they may be your future coworker!


During the Interview

When you meet the interviewer, shake their hand firmly and introduce yourself with your full name. Maintaining eye contact throughout the interview is imperative. Eye contact shows that you are attentive and interested in what the interviewer is saying. And don’t forget to smile! A smile is inviting and warm and will make the interviewer feel like they can trust you more.


Avoid touching your face, hair, and other objects as these types of movements can show that you are nervous. If you feel the need to do something with your hands, simply fold them in your lap or use them to take notes about what the interviewer is saying.


After the Interview

The interviewer is most likely going to ask if you have any questions. This is where your prior research will come in. The interviewer may make it appear that asking is optional, but asking questions is important if you want to show that you are interested in working for the company. You can get ideas on what types of questions to ask online, but avoid simply asking about what they most enjoy on the job. The interviewer will remember you, and if you can demonstrate that you are already familiar with the company’s initiatives, they’ll have a good reason to keep you in mind!


If your interview is in the morning, send a thank you email by the end of the business day. If your interview is in the late afternoon or evening, send your thank you email by the following morning.


If you haven’t heard anything about your status, you can email or call the interviewer, but don’t do this any earlier than five business days. You want to give the interviewer time to review other candidates, but you also want them to know that you are still serious about and interested in the position.

Resumes That Work

Your resume is a job search tool focused on organizing your past experiences to help you gain future experience. When creating your resume, think of the types of positions you are applying for since it will show how you will excel in that particular job.

The Fall 2017 Career & Internship Fair Week is just around the corner, and you want to make sure that you have plenty of copies of your resume on hand to give to employers at the fair! To get your resume reviewed, visit our walk-in service, Career Express!

Use the guidelines below to help you use your resume to demonstrate your unique skills and qualifications.



 This part of the resume should include your name, contact information, personal LinkedIn profile URL, and links to other professional websites or portfolios if you have them. Make sure your name is typed in the largest font. We recommend using a font size of 16-20. Your contact information should also be visible so the employer can easily contact you. Include your professional email address (your USF email is fine) and a phone number.


 This section should include schools you’ve attended, degrees you’ve earned, and any degrees in progress. In addition, include your graduation date or anticipated graduation date. It is not required to have your GPA in your resume but it is optional. We recommend only adding it if is above a 3.5. Do not include any information about your high school education.


 Experience can be anything! Make sure to include any experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for. Experience can include paid positions, unpaid positions, internships, volunteer opportunities, and any sort of leadership role. If you have a lot of leadership experience, you can create a separate section to highlight those roles.

For each position, make sure you include your start date and end date, the position location, and 3-5 bullets describing your duties and responsibilities at each position. These bullets should start with an action verb and should explain what you accomplished in your role. The action verb should be in past tense if you no longer work in that role, and should be in present tense if you are currently in that role.


 In addition to your experience, make sure to include any relevant skills you may have as bullet points within a separate “Skills” section. Some examples of skills to include are languages you speak (other than English), Adobe, and Microsoft Office. Avoid adding information about “soft skills” such as “communication” or “teamwork.” These soft skills should be described throughout your experience section.

 Optional Components

On your resume, you can also include other sections such as awards, research, or publications.

For examples of resumes please visit our website.


Where Are You Searching For Jobs?


With so many tools out there to find jobs, looking for jobs is easy! Whether you’re looking for a part-time or full-time job, or if you want to gain experience through internships or volunteer positions, there is an online search tool for you. Keep reading to find out what you should use!


But First … Make an Impression

At USF, you have opportunities to connect with employers before applying online. Our Fall 2017 Career & Internship Fair Week is just around the corner, and it is the perfect place to make the connections you need to succeed! Put a face to your application, and stand out from the sea of resumes by shaking hands with employers.

Find out more about our Fair Week at and how you can prepare at .


I Want … An On-Campus Job!

On-campus jobs are posted on USF Human Resources’ portal, Careers@USF. You can access Careers@USF by clicking here.

You will find all types of university positions on this site, so use the Job Families filter to search only for Student Employment or Federal Work Study (FWS). If you have the FWS award, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve accepted your award in OASIS, and that you attach a screenshot of your award to your application.

For any on-campus job, you should submit both a resume and a cover letter. If you need help creating or if you want a review of either of these documents, meet with one of our Career Peer Advisors during Career Express, our walk-in service!


I’m Looking for … Off-Campus Opportunities!

 Handshake is your go-to source for off-campus opportunities. This includes full- and part-time jobs and internships. USF is currently connected to over 10,000 employers all across the world! New jobs are posted every day, and right now there are more than 5,000 jobs posted in the system!

To access Handshake, log on to MyUSF and hover over the My Resources tab. Click “Find A Job (Handshake)” and you will be automatically logged in! If you’ve never accessed your account, you should set up your profile before applying to jobs. You can do this quickly and easily by uploading your resume to your documents and then using Handshake’s tool to build your profile!

If you experience any login issues, email us at


I’m Still Looking …

Need help with or want credit for your job search? Take our class! The Job Search (SLS 3308) course helps you learn strategies to assist with the job search process. If you have room for another elective, we highly recommend this one!

In addition, check out these other great platforms:



Not just for the job search, LinkedIn is a powerful tool to help you begin building your professional network. To get started, just create your free profile!


Career Shift

This USF platform is filled with up-to-date off-campus positions all over the nation.

If you’re looking for an internship, this is the place to search! There are over 7,000 internships posted on this site!



Indeed has had over 750,000 jobs posted within the last week and you can look for free without creating a profile.



Monster not only has a lot of job opportunities, but it also has sections of its website dedicated to career resources.






Finding a Balance

Working while taking classes can be difficult. You keep up with a class and work schedule, are doing assignments or tasks for both, and are trying to meet new people and hang out with your friends! But, working and taking classes is not impossible, and can actually benefit a lot of students in more ways than earning a little pocket cash! In fact, students who work while taking classes often do better in their classes than their peers who do not work.

However, you have to find a balance! Working and taking classes consumes a lot of time, and you want to make sure that you also leave time in your schedule for student organizations, friends, and sleeping!

To help you find a balance, we’ve put together a list of things to consider both before you begin applying for jobs and after you’ve started working.


Consider What the Job has to Offer

So many students look for on- and off-campus jobs that align with their major or the industry that they hope to work in after graduation. But, they often find that these jobs don’t exist, are only available as unpaid internships, or have qualifications that they cannot possibly meet while still pursuing their degree.

Rather than wasting time searching for something that’s not out there, look at the opportunities that are right in front of you and consider what you can gain from them. For example, you may not want to become a career receptionist, but working part-time at a call center can help you refine your communications skills and prepare you for a variety of full-time jobs after graduation.

To do this, simply start by reading the job description. Look for key words that speak to the skills you will need on the job and ones that you have the potential to gain. Understanding what a job has to offer can help you with your application, but can also help you appreciate the job more.

If you’re not sure where to start, our Career Readiness Badging Program can help you figure out which skills you should look for. To find out more information about our Badging Program, and to enroll in an Orientation, visit


Flex Your Hours

It is important to consider your ability to balance work and school when applying for part-time jobs. If you are in your first semester, you may want to give yourself some time to get used to being at USF before trying to take on more responsibility. You also want to make sure that you have as much time as you need to study and get homework done.

Many part-time jobs located on or close to campus understand that you are a student first, and will allow for a more flexible schedule. But, you need to make sure that you are open and honest with your supervisor about the time you need to study. Ask them questions during the interview about the number of hours they expect you to work, but don’t make it seem like having the job would be a burden to you. You want to come across as confident and capable to your future supervisor, but they want to know that you take both your work and your classes seriously.


Stick to Your Schedule

If you have a job, make sure that you have your class and work schedule settled. If you need help figuring out the best tool you should use to make sure you stick to the schedule you have made, check out our post from a couple weeks ago.

In addition to planning time for class and work, give yourself time to breathe! Whether you want to spend your free time with friends, or if you’d rather have time to read a book or go to the gym, you’ll want to plan for it. Make sure you carve out time to recharge, rest, and have fun!


Remember: You Come First!

A busy work schedule can easily consume all of your time and it can be difficult to remember what else you need to focus on. While your classes are important (they’re why you are at USF after all!), you have to take care of yourself so that you can be well!

Being “well” doesn’t just mean being healthy physically. Some things that contribute to your overall wellness include stress, financial strain, relationships with friends and family, and satisfaction with your career goals or path. The MoBull Wellness app helps you understand your overall wellness with self-assessments in each area, and then refers you to services across campus to help you get “well” soon!

For more information about this app, and others that can help you make the most of your time at USF, visit