The UW Foster School of Business Career Services program is like the cherry on top of an already delicious banana split for masters programs at Foster. Students can benefit from a range of professional development resources that come with a Foster education including unlimited career coaching, job search learning modules, networking events, and career workshops. We talked to career services about how students can best take advantage of these resources.
Build a Relationship with UW Foster School of Business Career Services
Master’s programs have the advantage of small cohorts, which means that career services is able to meet with each student individually and supply support as needed on a case by case basis. A relationship between students and the UW Foster School of Business Career Services team is initiated by the program at the beginning of every student’s journey at Foster. It’s a great time for students to share their goals and experience, and for career services to share how they can best support those goals. Students are encouraged to continue meeting with career coaches until they have reached their goals or feel ready to execute their career plan on their own. A major advantage is that there is no cap on how many times a student can meet with career services.
Use Underutilized Tools of Career Development
While many students take advantage of career fairs, there is one tool that UW Foster School of Business Career Services wishes students took advantage of more: one-on-one coaching. One Foster career coach explains, “As a master student, you bring a lot of unique traits to the table, and unless you have spent a lot of time on this or were previously helped in reflecting through your experiences, strengths, and unique characteristics, it is hard to articulate and know that about yourself.” One-on-one meetings are where career coaches can begin to ask these reflective questions. This tool is important because in today’s world, employers don’t just want to find the most qualified candidate, they also want one that aligns with their company culture and has the soft skills necessary to succeed in that particular work setting. One-on-one coaching helps students better understand how to present and talk about themselves.
Career services can also coach students to think critically about what past experiences mean for their professional identity. Students learn to become aware and to incorporate different stories or experiences based on their audience or setting. Foster career services coaches believe sharing stories helps to build trust and comfort among individuals meeting for the first time, making this a critical skill for long term career development.
Take Advantage of Opportunities to Make Connections
UW Foster School of Business Career Services offers numerous networking events and mixers throughout the academic year for students to engage with employers and/or Foster alumni. In general, they recommend any career fair or networking event as a great opportunity to make a connection. As one career coach shared, “A lot of what happens in business is based on the relationship you build with people.” In other words, it behooves students to build relationships and a network within their industry, especially at events where employers are taking time out of their day to meet with students.
Connections don’t just have to come in the form of crowded events. Students should find the format in which they feel most comfortable. Networking doesn’t always have to mean attending large mixers with food and drinks. Networking can also be one-one-one meetings with people in your field, volunteer opportunities with organizations you care about, and attending industry meetup groups.
Last Thoughts from Career Services
A final tip from career services: Ask for help! Students don’t need to show up with answers or ideas. Career services is there to support students through the process. All you have to do is ask.
Ready to jump in to a career in supply chain management or business analytics? Check out the UW Foster School of Business Master of Supply Chain Management and Master of Science in Business Analytics programs. Or, learn more about other Specialized Master’s Programs at Foster.