The key to economics majors finding jobs is networking, I wrote in Career Advice for Economics Majors. A few students have written asking: “How do I start networking when I don’t know anyone?” Here are some ideas for getting your first few contacts, then expanding from those people.
(Those who are already in the business world might look at Patrick Galvin’s The Connector’s Way.)
Start with two goals: the ultimate goal and the proximate goal. Your ultimate goal as a college student is probably to find a good job, good being a composite of good pay, good opportunity for advancement, interesting and suitable to your personality. All too often people focus on just any job without thinking of the other factors. (That will be encouraged by the student’s parents, who don’t care about personal fulfillment as much as the student not ending up living back at home. I know. I’m a parent.)
The proximate goal is to learn about the types of work done by economics majors. You want to know about pay, but also the other factors. How much of the work is “big picture” versus detail-oriented? Does the job involve working alone most of the time or working with others? How much will you learn about the business and how it makes money? There are plenty of other questions along these lines; I suggest making a list of similar questions.
Internships can be powerful learning experiences that let students explore careers in their intended fields. They also open post-graduation opportunities for long-term employment.
In fact, research shows that internships are an important way to jump start careers. Sixty-three percent of college graduates who completed a paid internship received a job offer after graduation compared to only 35 percent of graduates who did not complete an internship, according to a 2015 analysis by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Completing a paid internship in college also gave recent grads a leg up when they began working full time.
Even so, if 63% of paid interns land jobs after graduation, this means nearly 40% of interns don’t have a job waiting for them when they graduate college. Several career experts offer their advice on how to turn that summer internship into a job offer:
Do exceptional work — and ask for more
Since an internship is first and foremost a job, you should treat it like one, says Blake McCammon of Looksharp, an internship and job marketplace. That means you need to perform well on the tasks you’re assigned, but also be willing to go above and beyond what an employer asks of you. An internship could be the start of your future career, so show you’re excited about it by producing good work and demonstrating a strong work ethic, McCammon says.
Interns should even seek to help the entire company, even teams they are not directly assigned to, advises Mark Babbitt, CEO and founder of Youtern, an internship and mentor networking firm. He suggests asking other employees if you can sit in on meetings or go out to coffee to learn more about the company.
What led you to choose a master’s degree with APU? Was it based on passion or a specific career goal?
I have a bachelor’s degree in statistics and a graduate degree in data security from Iraq. However, both of these degrees weren’t enough to help me find a job in the United States after I came here in 2009.
I decided to pursue my studies and get a higher academic degree. Academic credentials are highly in demand in today’s job market.
I did research on what would be the best degree for me and not only from the job market’s perspective. The degree needed to be affordable. It had to be done while I worked at Walmart.
After all my research, I figured out that studying at APU for an MBA degree in global business management was a good choice. From what I’ve gained, I can say it was the best choice.
Tell us about your position at Walmart.
I’m a replenishment manager at Walmart’s Home Office – the Sporting Goods department. My responsibilities are at a high level. I ensure that we have the right items at the right stores with the right price and right quantities at the right time.
Did your degree with APU help prepare you for specific challenges you’ve come across in your current position?
Each of our MBA classes required research and discussions. The subject of most of my research was Walmart: I always needed to know more about Walmart.
By the end of my studies, I had accumulated a wide knowledge of Walmart. That helped me in obtaining my current position at the Walmart Home Office. It also helps me every day in accomplishing and managing my job’s responsibilities and tasks.
See more of Jalal’s story in the video below.
What are the biggest challenges in your industry?
The retail industry is the biggest industry in the United States and in the world. Almost all of the other industries depend on retail to sell their products and services.
Walmart is #1 as a Fortune 500 company worldwide. It’s also the biggest store in the retail industry and the world. But there are always challenges in any industry; the biggest challenge in retail is the other competitors.
What are two key pieces of advice you would pass on to someone new to online education?
The most important advice I’d give is to understand your class requirements and needs. Take enough time before the class starts to read the class syllabus carefully. Understand the class and your instructor’s requirements and expectations. Be sure to know what book is required and order it early so it gets to you before the first day in class. Know the most important due dates. Don’t forget to enter your class in the first week and introduce yourself to the class and to your instructor.
What is your favorite thing about online learning?
The most important thing in learning online is the flexibility. You can attend your class any day of the week, at any time you want, from anywhere in the world.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have many hobbies and interests for my narrow amount of free time. I like sports such as swimming, horseback riding and soccer. I’m also a licensed judge for the International Shooting Sport Federation and volunteer for different organizations.
What have you been doing since earning your degree at AMU?
Since I earned my degree, I have enjoyed spending more time with my family. I also network with colleagues within the public affairs community and accept more of the leadership opportunities available in public affairs, strategic communication and outreach.
What led you to choose a master’s degree with AMU?
In 2005, I completed a two-year program to earn the International Association of Business Communicator’s ‘Accreditation in Business Communication’ designation. Since that peer-awarded designation provided me with functional credibility, I sought a master’s degree program that provided complementary operational skills. AMU and its emergency and disaster management program caught my interest because of the program’s flexibility and the necessary operational element of communication before, during and after a crisis.
By Ryan Laspina Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
Deciding that you want to attend college is one of the biggest decisions you’ll face in your adult life. And once you’ve decided to go to college, you have to make another huge decision: Which college or university will you attend?
There are thousands of colleges and universities in the United States. Picking the school that is right for you is no easy task and feels overwhelming.
How do you start the decision-making process? Here are some different factors to think about when you’re determining which college or university to attend.
What have you been doing since earning your M.A. in Security Management at AMU?
I received my master’s degree in 2013 as I prepared for my transition from a public sector career in law enforcement to private sector security management. I retired in 2013 as a Supervisory Special Agent in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) after 24 years of service and 11 years as a police officer in a metropolitan police department in the greater Chicago area.
I began working for American Military University as a consultant on the private sector security initiative team. Later, the University of St. Francis hired me as the Director of Safety, Security and Transportation. I’ve been there since then.
How many of you think you understand the breadth and scope of our school? As an alumnus and ambassador for American Public University System (APUS), I believed I enjoyed a better-than-average understanding of APUS.
After I attended the grand opening of the APUS Veterans Center in Charles Town, West Virginia, however, I quickly realized how much our school grew in the past five years. The APUS campus in Charles Town gets bigger each year. APUS owns 14 buildings in Charles Town and also has facilities in Manassas, Virginia. It’s apparent that APUS has been a welcome addition because of their dedication to restoring historic structures and being a part of such a remarkable small community.
For decades, tourists have visited the historic home of James Monroe outside of Charlottesville, Va., and have encountered the quaint — if not underwhelming — residence of the nation’s fifth president.
Situated in the Blue Ridge, the plantation known as Highland, where Monroe lived from 1799 to 1823, has stood in contrast to another presidential estate on the outskirts of Charlottesville — Monticello, the palatial manse of President Thomas Jefferson.
A 1985 Washington Post article aptly opined that Monroe’s home “bears about the relation to Jefferson’s mansion as does a cottage to a country club.” Monroe himself even described his humble abode as a “cabin castle,” and historians interpreted his modesty as a latent expression of his roots as the son of a wood craftsman.
But an archaeological discovery on the property is rewriting the legacy of Monroe and the place he called home.
It turns out that the home preserved on the estate — and marketed for years as the residence where the president laid his head — is in fact a guest quarters. Instead, an archaeological dig on the grounds has revealed a sizable home more than twice the size of the small cottage.