Until Grad School …

You have finally walked across the stage, shaken hands with President Judy Genshaft, and received your diploma. Many graduates plan to continue their education in graduate or professional school. There are many reasons to consider furthering your education right away, but what if you’re not ready for that step yet? In today’s post, we’ll discuss possible options that you can consider until you’re ready for grad school.

Entry-Level Jobs
When you graduate with your undergraduate degree, you will likely pursue one of two paths: furthering your education or entering the workforce. While some students go straight to grad school and others may have plans of returning to school later, the vast majority of students choose to immediately begin working in entry-level positions.

Entering the world of work allows you to begin using your degree instantly. You’re able to gain experience and continue to build on the essential skills that you developed in college. You’re also able to start establishing yourself financially, and while this isn’t impossible to do in graduate school, it may be a little easier to do.

Entry-level jobs also help you understand the industry that you have decided to work within. You can learn from your supervisors and coworkers, ask questions about how upper management makes their decisions, and continue to build your professional network in ways that can help you advance your career. Learning the ins and outs of the company and industry that you work within can help you determine whether or not furthering your education may be the right choice for you and can help you select an appropriate program of study.

If you’re considering an entry-level position, check out our Spring 2018 Career & Internship Fair Week. Employers will continue to register up until the week before the first fair on January 31, 2018, so mark your calendars now!

Myth: Internships are only for current students. Fact: Many companies accept recent graduates into their internship programs on a track toward full-time employment.

If you focused on your studies during your undergraduate years, a post-graduate internship can help you get some work experience on your resume. This allows the company to test your essential skills, like professionalism, teamwork, and communication and gives you an opportunity to see if you like the position and company before you agree to a full-time role.

To find these opportunities, you can attend our Spring 2018 Career & Internship Fair Week, but you may want to check out our other employer events as well. On November 14, we have an Industry Networking Night event for the Financial Services Industry, which will allow you to meet with representatives from a few companies all in one place. You don’t have to be a business or finance major to attend, but you should have an interest in working within the Financial Services Industry.

You can check out all of our opportunities to meet with employers on campus in Handshake in the Events and Fairs sections of the site. You can also use Handshake to do research on your own to see which companies have internships available for seniors or recent graduates.

Trade Schools and Certifications
Graduate and professional schools are not the only places where you can pursue post-graduate education. Trade schools are institutions that are focused on teaching their students a particular skill or about a specific industry. These include art institutes, technical schools, and specialists schools.

You can also consider pursuing a certificate program. These are often offered at colleges and universities and are less intense than graduate programs. They may be less expensive, require fewer classes, and take less time to complete than a traditional Master’s degree. Certifications are offered for a variety of different subjects or technologies. If you’re planning to work in a technology-driven industry or role, you can get certifications for Adobe, Microsoft, and Google, to name a few.

For both trade schools and certifications, be sure to do your research about what is offered, how much it will cost, how long it will take, and whether or not it will benefit you in your industry. If you need help considering this option or beginning your search, schedule an appointment with your Career Consultant through Handshake.

Time Off
If you take time off between graduating with your undergraduate degree and pursuing graduate school or entering the workforce, you may get some questions about what you did with that time during the interview process for your future program or job. Rather than going back home and working in a part-time job (a trap that Don Asher says you may not escape from!), consider taking time to explore your interests. A common option is to travel domestically or internationally. Even though it’s something a lot of people do, you can use this time to help you narrow your interests and solidify your passion for the field that you enter when you return, so don’t be afraid to talk about your unique experience during interviews.

If you absolutely have to return home, but still plan on going to graduate school or entering the world of work later, make your time off count. You may need to have a part-time or even full-time job to help make ends meet and begin paying off student loans if you have them, but you should also consider getting involved in your community. Volunteering can be a great way to demonstrate to a future program administrator or interviewer that you have passion and drive. If you can find volunteer opportunities within an area that you plan to continue to study or work, this will give you some great hands-on experience that can make you stand out during the application process.


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 fairweek.usfcs.info and how you can prepare at fairready.usfcs.info .


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 CareerServices@usf.edu.


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 careerready.usfcs.info.


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 apps.usfcs.info.

Social Networking

Do you have a thousand followers, or a couple friends? Are you the next YouTube star, or do you prefer to sing in the shower? Do you love meeting people and connecting with them online, or would you rather have a one-on-one chat with someone over coffee?

Does the idea of meeting new people thrill you, or intimidate you?

Meeting new people, making friends, connecting with others, and building your network is different for different people. While extroverts may be able to expand their network more quickly and easily than introverts, they may not make connections that are as meaningful as the ones that introverts make. And neither option – a large network of unfamiliar names and faces, or a smaller group of close friends and associates – is better or worse than the other.

Regardless of who you are or how you connect with people, building and maintaining your network becomes an important part of your college life from the moment you step on campus. You’ll meet roommates, classmates, students in your organizations, work colleagues, professors, and advisors. Through Career Services, you can make connections with your Career Peer Advisors, your Career Consultant, and the employers who can’t wait to have you on their teams! And, while not all of the new people you meet will become your best friends or colleagues, they each have experiences that they can share with you to help you realize your next step towards your life after graduation.

Because of the vast number of people you’ll come into contact with during college, building your network can be easy, even if you’re an introvert. Maintaining that network doesn’t have to be hard either, but it will require some forethought. Before you add your professor to your Facebook, check out our social media tips below.


Get Connected

Decide what social media platforms, if any, you’ll want to use to connect with people. If you already have social media accounts and don’t want people to find and add you, make sure your privacy settings are updated. Keep in mind that what is posted online never truly goes away, even if your account is completely private.

Some people choose to create a public account that anyone can see, including potential employers. If you decide to do this, watch what you share and post to that site. While you do have to be mindful of what you share, creating an online presence is increasingly important for those who will eventually be seeking employment. Many employers research potential hires and look at their social media accounts to see if their activity aligns with the organization’s culture.

For maintaining professional networks, we recommend using LinkedIn. In addition to being the preferred platform of many employers, you are able to customize your link so that you can easily add it to business cards or your resume. If you need assistance setting up your LinkedIn profile, or understanding how to use LinkedIn, schedule an appointment with your Career Consultant.


Google Yourself

Want to know what others see before they see it? Type your name into Google and see what pops up. If you don’t like what you see, you can try to work with a Search Engine Optimization expert to bury undesired content or make other content more relevant.


Use an Appropriate Email Address

Your middle school crazyygurl401@hotmail.com email address is not the address you want to email your professors or advisor from, and it is certainly not what you want listed on your resume. Because your social media accounts are often linked to an email address, consider creating a professional email address and relinking the accounts to it. That way, if the email address ever shows up, you don’t have to worry about it being linked somewhere that embarrasses you or that you no longer access. When creating a professional email account, we always recommend using some combination of your first and last name.



College is a great opportunity for you to begin building your network and making connections. If you’re not sure how to start, try saying hello!

If you need help figuring out how to network, what kinds of people would be good for you to connect with, or how you can get involved at networking events, contact USF Career Services to schedule an appointment with your Career Consultant or view out tips online here: http://www.usf.edu/career-services/students/networking-intro.aspx.

Packing for Your Fall 2017 Experience

Hey USF!

Are you ready for the Fall 2017 semester?

We know how much can be going on in your head when you pack, so we’ve put together a list of things that you should remember to bring with you – especially if you’re planning to look for a job, research or volunteer position, or internship!


Work and Health Related Documentation

If you want to work on or off campus, you’ll want to make sure that you have any documents you might need during the hiring process. This normally includes your original birth certificate and social security card; passport, driver’s license, or other government-issued photo ID; and visa documents, if you’re an international student. Also, if you were awarded the Federal Work Study, or FWS award, make sure that you accept the award on OASIS before applying to jobs.

Some organizations also require that you have health check-ups or tests done before you can work, so be sure to bring any insurance information, and have your shot records up-to-date and forwarded to your local doctor’s office.

It’s also good to plan to bring a fireproof safe to keep these documents locked up and out of harm’s way!


Medical Prescriptions

Make sure to remember to pack any prescription medications, and be sure to have extra supplies in case it takes you a while to see a local doctor and get your prescription filled close to USF. Just like your insurance information, be ready to pass any of your current prescription information on to your local doctor.


Interview-Ready Attire

Even if you’re not looking for a job or internship, you never know what might come your way! It’s good to be ready for any situation, so pack both business casual and business professional attire in your suitcase.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll interview for the perfect research position, or you’ll have to dress up for an in-class presentation!

Don’t have business appropriate attire? Don’t stress! Visit Suit-A-Bull, the on-campus business attire lending closet, and borrow clothing for free. Details about Suit-A-Bull, including their hours, can be found here: http://www.usf.edu/career-services/students/suit-a-bull.aspx.


School (or Office?) Supplies

Don’t be that one guy who always borrows their neighbor’s pen and then writes on themselves because they forgot their notebook too! Stay on top of your semester by making sure you have everything you need to succeed before you get to campus. Plus, if you start working, you’ll have all the office supplies you’ll need for your first day on the job.

Pro tip: You can pick up a free USF planner at the MSC. Just bring your USF ID Card.


Keep Dates in Mind!

Remember, residence halls open on Thursday, August 17 for the Fall 2017 semester. If you haven’t started packing, you still have some time!

Once you get to USF, meet up with Career Services at our 4th Annual Career Kickoff Cookout on Thursday, August 24 near the Student Services Building, and at the Part-Time Job Fair on Thursday, August 31 in the MSC Ballroom. Get more details at http://www.usf.edu/career-services/.


For more things to check off your packing list, please visit www.usf.edu/student-affairs/housing/residential-experience/moving-in/fall.aspx . You’ll also find important information about parking, dining, and on-campus mail at this link.