The building blocks of successful career development include exploring career fields, stepping out to try something new, building your professional network, reflecting on what you’ve learned, and refining your plans as you go. UMass Amherst’s central Career Services and our partners in the colleges and majors, help you take these steps, set your next goals, and keep the project moving.
There are endless tips out on the internet about job searching, internships, resumes, and networking. Don’t dive in alone. UMass has already refined the best resources for you and has many people in place who can help you with your specific goals.
Resumes and cover letters help open the door to new opportunities and professional connections.
Internship, co-ops, and other experiential opportunities allow you to gain experience, build your skills, expand your professional network, and test out what it’s like in the “real world.” Every student should plan to complete at least one internship while in college, and many students will aim to complete two or more. Find out how to earn credit for an internship, use your summers wisely, and make smart choices about part-time jobs and leadership opportunities.
“I spent the semester in Washington, D.C., interning at the Council on Environmental Quality in the Executive Office of the President. It was amazing to be in Washington, D.C., for the 2012 election; the city was so alive and on edge to see who would win. I was able to learn skills that one cannot learn in a classroom, and get a sense of what I did and did not like about working at the federal level of the U.S. government." —Emily, political science major, UMass Class of 2014
How do I learn about career fields?
Central Career Services has hand-picked tools and websites to help you learn about different career fields. These can get you started.
How do I find an internship?
Handshake is a career development platform available to all UMass Amherst undergraduate students. It helps you find internships and jobs, connect with employers, and keep track of your search process, all in one place.
How do I get an internship or job if I don’t have any experience?
Students develop valuable skills from coursework, volunteer experiences, or cocurricular experiences, not simply from previous paid jobs. Often these skills, such as interpersonal communication or serving on a team, are transferable to new settings.
Get assistance in making your case and telling your story.