Work and internship experiences during college are wonderful and important, but there isn't one path to success. Identifying where you are right now in your career path and taking the next step is the goal.
Knowing what you're looking for is sometimes the hardest step. We often hear from students who know they need a job, but don't know what they want to do. What position/job category/job titles are you seeking? What are your must-haves and like-to-haves in a job? Consider looking at our exploration resources if you'd like help clarifying your goals.
What's your timeline?
Research typical recruiting schedules for different industries. The average job or internship search takes 3-5 months. Prepare yourself mentally and strategically for a marathon rather than a sprint.
What's your strategy?
Things to consider in a job search plan:
- Do you have multiple approaches or just one?
- Set weekly, attainable application and networking goals.
- Create accountability and reward yourself!
*Career counselors will help you create a tailored plan for your situation. Contact your career office to set up an appointment.
On Campus Jobs
Interested in working on campus in a University department or office?
- See the Univeristy's guidelines on student jobs.
- Search for positions through the University's internal site or on Handshake, which has both off-campus and on-campus part time student positions.
- If you have a work study award included in your financial aid package, understand what that means.
Job, internship, and co-op tips
While you are still in school, part-time (or full time) jobs and internships help build your resume while giving you a look into the kind of work you do or don't like. Some things to consider:
- Qualities of an effective internship
- Making the most of your internship (video)
- 14 Career Advice Tips for College Students
- Co-ops for engineering and computer science students
We also want our students to be aware of resources available if they face sexual harassment in a job or internship.
University Research Opportunities
The University offers many opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to engage in cutting-edge research. See the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for helps finding and fund research experiences.
Campus and Community Engagement
It's not all about jobs and internships! There are many ways to gain valuable professional experience that employers want to hear about:
Center for Community-Engaged Learning (CCEL) helps you get involved in our community through volunteering, service-learning classes, and other unique experiential opportunities. These experiences complement classroom learning, foster personal, professional and civic development, and allow you to work with others to enhance the well-being of our communities.
- Student Organizations offer another great way to get involved with the campus community and gain transferrable skills that employers are looking for. Some common examples:
- Leadership in officer roles
- Facilitating meetings
- Communicating clearly and effectively with members
- Project management
- Working well as a team
- Volunteer organization
- Event planning
- Recruiting speakers
- Graphic design
- Marketing events, speakers, etc
Consider Projects or Micro-Internships
Get hands-on experience for your career with short-term professional experiences supported by alumni. With a Project from the Maroon and Gold Network, you can gain new skills, explore different industries, and make valuable career connections.
Parker Dewey is a non-UMN platform advertising micro-internships, another word for projects. These paid experiences give you short-term work experience with employers to help you explore career fields, gain resume building experience, and network with companies of interest.
Job Search Platforms - Finding Open Positions
Job Search Platforms
- University sponsored:
- Other great resources:
Expand Your Search
There are many creative ways to learn about job openings. We suggest exploring multiple, parallel paths, such as:
- Fairs and events
- See all events listed on Handshake
- Typically, we host the following job and internship fairs annually:
- UMN Job and Internship Fair
- College of Science and Engineering Career Fair
- Carlson School of Management Career Fair
- College of Liberal Arts Internship and Career Fair
- Minnesota Education Job Fair
- Government and Non-Profit Career Fair
- Health Careers Fair
- Agriculture, Food, and Business Career Fair
- Environmental Science Career Fair
- Built Environment Career Fair (formerly the Architecture and Construction Management Career Fair)
- Company websites - Go directly to the source. Visit the websites of companies that interest you and look for sections such as "careers," "work for us," and "jobs."
- Project based work through the Maroon and Gold Network or Parker Dewey
- UMN Libraries have a business guide resource
- Talk to your department - many departments have direct support and offer connections with employers and graduate schools
|Alumni Association Resources||Webinars, networking, resources, and advice.|
|*GoinGlobal||Global job search resources. H1B visa database for US cities.|
|Candid Career||Informational interviews and job search tip videos.|
|Handshake Jobs Data Dashboard||Use this interactive tool to review data from the past three years of how employers have recruited UMN student talent and posted opportunities.|
|Employer DEI Statements||Researching an organization's culture and values can help you decide if you'd like to work there. Some of our employer partners have taken time to share a direct link to their organization's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statement. If an organization isn't listed, look for this information on their website.|
*Access through the Career Center tab in Handshake, then click 'Resources.'