Care for your career early
A career is a lifelong journey, yet career planning is often the last thing on the minds of many students. Don’t be caught clueless about entering the rat race only as the final year of school is upon you.
Earlier this month at SIT Career Services’ Career Nexus – an event which gives our graduating students the opportunity to network with industry partners and get a head start in their careers, we caught up with four students who began planning for their career since Year 1.
Chen Jun Guang (Chemical Engineering), Nicholas Tan (Chemical Engineering), Nur Sabreena Binte Hassan (Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Engineering), Lee Hwee Liang (Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Engineering) share with us the importance of thinking seriously about their careers early and the steps they took to plan their career during the course of their studies.
Step 1: Know Yourself
Hwee Liang: I thought about career planning after Year 1. Mr Caleb Chew, my degree programme’s career coach approached me to discuss what I wanted to do after graduation. I was uncertain of the industry and what they do. So Mr Chew advised me and recommended avenues for me to explore and do my own research to find out about the field that I’m interested to work in.
Step 2: Know the Industry
Jun Guang: I attended a ‘Voices of Experience’ session, where TUM alumni who studied the same course as I shared their experiences of getting their first job. The conversations with seniors and alumni helped me understand the options available and the points of view of different industries.
Sabreena: Mr Caleb Chew organised an industry visit to Grundfos for Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Engineering students. We were introduced to the company and the employees. We were also brought around the plant, and learnt about the everyday operations of Grundfos and the roles of different departments in the company. The Q&A session enabled us to gauge what they were looking for in an employee.
Step 3: Brush up your skills
Nicholas: I participated in ‘Recruiters in Residence’ at Career Nexus 2016. The mock interviews were a really good experience. It allowed me to learn how I should react during interviews. I also received very insightful feedback from the interviewers who are real industry HR personnel. I highly recommend students to participate in future sessions!
Sabreena: I attended the Cover Letter and Resume Writing workshops. This allowed me to know what I should include in my resume and how to phrase my sentences in a way that would be “attractive” to the potential employer. Attending the workshops also taught me to play to my strengths and market myself in an appealing manner.
Step 4: Market yourself
Nicholas: There was an industry and student networking session during Career Nexus 2016. I had the chance to meet several companies and their representatives.
“I believe career planning should start even before the start of university studies. I started late and missed out on opportunities to pick up important or relevant skills required in the field I’m interested to work in,” said Hwee Liang.
So take your cue from these four, and make an appointment with Career Services and consult with our experienced Career Coaches. Get started on career planning today!