An informational interview is a conversation with someone who can give you advice about an organization, field of work or a particular job that interests you. Your interviewee may be someone you already know like a supervisor, family friend or coworker, or it may be with a stranger.
Though it may seem awkward to approach someone you have never met, seeking career information is a very valuable job search tool. Remember, most people are more than happy to discuss what they do for a living. Through your genuine interest in their job and career fields, you can get your questions answered. Learn more about informational interviews.
Job shadowing is a critical but often overlooked element of career development that provides you with the unique opportunity to learn about the careers that interest you firsthand from professionals who do them every day. Shadowing opportunities, which may exist at half-day, full-day and longer lengths, are a great way to build your network and gain an insider's perspective of the jobs that interest you most.
Career Services is here to help you access job shadowing opportunities across the state of Texas and beyond. To learn more about job shadowing, read our job shadowing handout in our Online Publications & Resource Center or contact your college liaison by visiting our Who Can I Contact? (Career Services Liaisons) page.
Volunteering, much like job shadowing or pursuing an internship, is a great way to gain experience, build your resume and create a professional network--all while giving back to your community, school or cause of your choice. You can volunteer at faith-based, nonprofit or government agencies--or even right here on campus. Find volunteer and unpaid internship opportunities at websites including Serve.gov, Do Something!, Idealist.org and Volunteer Match. To learn about volunteer opportunities coordinated here on campus, visit the Texas State Student Volunteer Connection website.
An internship can be the first real-world experience you’ve had with your possible career path. Typically a semester or longer, an internships provides you with critical professional experience--before you graduate! An internship can:
There are many reasons why internships are a critical step to career success. Learn more about internships.