That’s totally fine; it’s an important step toward growing up. But if you’ve never worked before, applying for work may be intimidating.
Thankfully, Auburn offers students many opportunities to work hard, make a little money, and get some meaningful life experience. But how do you find those (and other) opportunities? Here are five quick ways:
Check your inbox!
Many department heads and professors will send out regular e-mails sharing tips and opportunities for employment and internships. My advisor, Ric Smith, sends out monthly posts full of internship opportunities with campus organizations, local companies and national businesses. Not every department offers this service, but many of them do.
Visit the Career Center!
Not sure whether to include your high school honors on your resume? No idea what a CV is? Auburn has a wonderful dedicated resource, the Career Center, designed to help you figure things out. They’ll give you a gorgeous (and free!) manual for writing the perfect resume, and they’ll go through yours, offering tips along the way. Prepping for an interview? They’ll help you with mock interviews and feedback – even after you graduate!
I talked with Julia, the rising Auburn senior who introduced me to the career center about its benefits.
Look for a job online!
Have you set up your LinkedIn yet? Yes, it sounds very adult-ish, but a solid LinkedIn profile can put you on a company’s radar. And don’t forget Handshake, either. In case you haven’t read any of the dozen emails Auburn has sent you about it, Handshake is basically LinkedIn for Auburn students, and employers go there to list jobs, to search for applicants, and to connect with the Auburn community.
Practice your interview skills!
Before a job interview, you’ll need to prepare. And a quick Google search of the company doesn’t count. Sit down, grab a notebook, and start taking notes. Find the organization’s about page on their website. They’ll share their mission, values, etc. on there. Discover what they care about, and keep that in mind during your interview.
Also, research common interview questions for the job. Make sure you can answer those, like really well. What’s your biggest weakness? That’s a tough one, especially if they’re putting you on the spot. Here’s how to prep for it.
Research like it’s an upcoming final exam, except instead of taking a test, you’re trying to talk people into giving you money to do stuff for them. It’s a big deal (especially if you’re traveling just for the interview), so prepare for it like one.
But on the other hand, don’t psych yourself out. If you’re visibly nervous and uncomfortable in the interview, it’s going to send the wrong message. Practice for a bit, and find your perfect balance.
As a Campus Recreation employee, this is a shameless plug, but whatever. Recxpo is Auburn Campus Recreation’s semiannual job fair. Featuring nine departments and a casual atmosphere, Recxpo offers students the chance to gain meaningful experience, connect with other members of the Auburn family, and (most importantly) the chance to get paid! Whether you’re a freshman or senior, graphic designer or aerospace engineer, there’s a place for you at Campus Recreation.
Oh, and don’t worry about bringing a resume. We’re chill like that. Just grab a friend, come to The Rec, and learn about some of the cool ways we’re helping students on campus. You know, by paying them money to do stuff for us.
I talked with Julia, an Auburn senior who works at The Rec, about her experience.
“The Rec is great because they are very flexible on hours and they put your academics first, so you don’t have to worry about falling behind,” she said. “And I love my coworkers. They keep me sane.”