The Job Search: The Early Bird Gets the Worm

February 06, 2012

Although it's early in the spring semester, it is never too early for students to begin weighing their post-May options. Whether searching for an internship or full-time job for this summer, students can find support on campus to help them prepare.

The INI Research Seminar, within both the INI's information networking and information security technology management programs, is tailored to assist students in this process. For some first-year INI students, their experiences in the seminar help them begin to realize what jobs they would be interested in pursuing.

Held every Friday, the seminar is a for-credit course that features guest speakers, about half from industry and the other half from faculty. One of the benefits students get out of the seminar is being able to talk to professionals about their careers in order to gain valuable, insider knowledge. Some of the topics covered include job search strategies and interviewing skills. The seminar is a requirement for the first-year students, and they're encouraged to start their internship and job searches early on.

"Nobody ever regrets starting early," said Jennifer Burkett, the INI's director of career services and external relations. "So many companies have early deadlines, and you'll have more options this way, and that's hugely important." Whether it be a job more suited to your goals, a higher salary or personal satisfaction, all of these are more easily reached when you allow yourself plenty of time to search for the right employer.

The seminar also holds an internship panel each year, which took place recently in December, where second-year INI students come and speak about their internship experiences. This particular event is always immensely helpful and seems to win the popular vote with students.

Students will also have a number of impressive companies to speak with and learn about at CMU's job fairs and information sessions. The major job fairs on campus this spring include the Employment Opportunities Conference (EOC, Feb. 8), Techspark (Feb. 13), and the Creative Arts Opportunities Conference (CAOC, March 29-30). Companies such as Adobe Systems, Inc,, Apple, Credit Suisse, Ericsson, Facebook, Google, IBM Corporation, LinkedIn, Microsoft Corporation, Samsung, The Boeing Company, VMware and Yahoo! will all be visiting CMU to recruit.

Additional resources are also available at the Career & Professional Development Center. Workshops covering topics such as resume writing, interviewing and negotiating a job offer have already been held this semester.

For more CMU professional development resources, please visit for a full list of workshops and events.