What are you going to do after you graduate? Wageningen Career Services is here to help!
Here is a question that most students dread “what are you going to do after you graduate?”
It is always a tricky question to answer and usually meet with a string of “umms” and “errs”. Of course, there are those students who have everything already planned, perhaps because their scholarship requires them to work in a certain industry, because their internship has turned into a job offer, or because they are like me and are organised to the point of insanity. But if you aren’t in these situations then there is no need to panic because the Career Services can help you navigate the windy path of the “real world”.
If you are interested in what the career services can offer you then read on!
There are three main things that career services offer which I will outline in this article.
Firstly, CV and cover letter check.
Your CV and cover letter are imperative to any successful job or internship application but there is always a lot of mystery and confusion surrounding them. How long should my CV be? Should I include my first job working in a restaurant? Should I include that award I won in high school? And the inevitable, is everything spelt correctly?
So book an appointment, take a draft of your CV, and watch them work their magic.
The career services can provide you with answers to all of these pressing questions. They have a great team of experts who know exactly what employers are looking for and how to present information that it is concise yet captivating, brilliant yet believable, and flashy yet factual. Perhaps the most important thing I learned was to tailor my CV for each application, a CV for a biotechnology internship should look very different to a CV for a part-time job. So book an appointment, take a draft of your CV, and watch them work their magic.
Every month the career services organise a free event where students can talk directly to potential employers to get a thorough understanding of the company at large and dig deeper than their website. Usually, two companies are invited to talk at an evening session in Impulse. They present who they are, what they are working on, and what they look for in potential employees.
Usually, two companies are invited to talk at an evening session in Impulse.
The two companies invited are usually in a similar field so that the students can get two perspectives at the same time, but throughout the year, companies from all industries and sectors will grace the stage of Impulse. Following the presentation, there is time for questions and networking.
I would encourage you to keep an eye on the Talk and Toast events and attend when one is suitable, they are very interesting and a good place to meet your potential employer.
The Career Day takes place once a year and is a time when companies covering all industries and sectors converge on Wageningen University to share information and opportunities with students. Last year the career day took place on the ground floor in Orion and it was packed! Stands covered every inch of the floor and you could barely move through the sea of excited students. It was a lot of fun to meet with all the companies and get a better understanding of what they did and the opportunities available.
One thing I find very useful in talking directly with representatives is getting an insight into the company culture and environment. Remember, in looking for a job, you need to “interview” the company just as much as they interview you. It can be difficult to gauge what a company is actually like from a website or mission statement so talking to them directly is a huge advantage and will put you in a great position for your future.
Plus the free pens and notebooks is an advantage! You can never have too many pens and notebooks (she tries to convince herself as she attempts to stuff 10 notebooks into a backpack)
The Career Services at Wageningen University is still in its infancy but I would encourage everyone to get involved in their activities and grow alongside them.