A Senior’s Perspective on Gaining Experience at UTSA

 

As a Roadrunner, you may be wondering how to gain experience that can ultimately help you with determining your career path. As a Senior I have discovered that there are so many ways to gain experience, whether it’s volunteering, researching, internships, job-shadowing, peer mentoring, etc. Regardless if you are a freshman, a senior, or a non-traditional student, there are resources available to support you on your career journey. So let’s explore your options! 

Freshman/Sophomore

You’ve picked your major, now what? Do you know the common career paths for your major? What about the types of employers in your industry? If you aren’t certain how your major can be used career-wise, check out What Can I Do With This Major? on the Career Center’s website. This is a fantastic resource that provides insight on projected career paths, employers, and recommended strategies based on your major.  

Start to think about activities that interest you and seek out related experiences such as volunteer work, peer-mentoring, projects, and/or completing an internship.  Summer jobs are also a great way to gain experience!   The University Career Center’s annual summer and part-time job fair is a great place to find opportunities along with checking on Handshake for job postings and internship opportunities. For more information on internship opportunities and gaining experience check out the Internships and Experiential Learning pages on the Career Center website.

Additional Opportunities to Explore:

UTSA Leadership & Volunteer Services

UTSA provides leadership training and volunteer opportunities regardless of your experience level.  Through these activities, you can further develop as a leader and begin to engage in life-long learning, community engagement, and active citizenship.

Idealist (Volunteering & Nonprofits)

Idealist is a great source to find a large listing of volunteer opportunities, along with nonprofit job postings, internships, and grad programs that revolve around being a humanitarian, environmentalist, and everything in between!

Work-Study Jobs (Must be approved by Financial Aid)

If you are eligible for work-study, consider applying for positions on campus. This is a great way to build your professional skill set for future internships & opportunities. 

Non-Work-Study Jobs

Seek out additional work-related opportunities on Handshake!

Junior/Senior

Are you ready to further explore careers that might suit you best? Use the Career Explorer to reflect on areas of interest, identify work preferences, and receive over 800 potential career matches. It only takes about 30 minutes and you can take it as many times as you like! 

Continue to Seek out Opportunities

As you approach your upper-division courses, now is the time to put your learning into practice out in the field. UTSA offers a variety of experiences that you can pursue including internships, micro-internships, undergraduate research, service-learning, and industry projects. While you can start engaging in these experiences during your freshman/sophomore year, upper-level experiences really prepare you for entry-level positions and may even lead to obtaining one. 

Roadrunner Network

Grow your network by connecting with UTSA alumni, faculty, and staff on the Roadrunner Network. Here you can find mentors who are interested in providing you with advice and job shadowing opportunities.

Seek UT

Deciding on a career can feel overwhelming at times. Seek UT does a great job providing you with additional information such as salary, debt, jobs, and  graduate outcomes from UTSA alumni that can help you in determining a future career or industry of interest

Marketable Skills 

Your future boss wants to know what skills you can bring to the table. To find a list of desirable skills based on your major, check out the Marketable Skills resource on the Career Center website. Then set some goals on what skills you would like to gain and put them into practice! 

Job Search Resources:

Resources for International Students

Interstride

Interstride is the perfect place for International students to build a network, find jobs, and learn new skills along the way.

GoinGlobal

Whether you’re looking for an internship/job internationally, as a U.S. citizen, or as an International Student, GoinGlobal is a great resource in finding opportunities and identifying resources in your host country. Remember to log in via Handshake to access GoinGlobal for free.

International Student Career Handbook

Resources for Non-traditional 

Transfer Student Guide

If you are new to UTSA, the Transfer Student Internship Guide is a great place to start! This guide will assist you in exploring your options and seeking out career-related experiences. 

LinkedIn Learning

Become job-ready by gaining in-demand skills for your industry! LinkedIn Learning provides over 16,000 courses led by experts in their field. You can earn a certificate after you complete each course, which can boost your resume!

Micro Internships

If a semester-long internship is not an option for you, consider completing a shorter, project-based experience that fits around your schedule! 

Najim Scholars Program 

The Najim Center offers multidisciplinary projects with industry partners. During these projects, you have the opportunity to explore new career fields, work with peers across campus, and gain new skills. Time commitments for projects are flexible and can be discussed with the project manager. For more information on the Najim Scholar Program visit Handshake. 

Roadrunner Network – Projects With Alumni 

Grow your network by connecting with UTSA alumni, faculty, and staff on the Roadrunner Network. Once you connect with a Career Mentor you can opt into completing a project together.

Resources for Military Affiliated Students

Purepost

This free service will translate your military experience into a civilian resume and online profile. 

How to Get Started

Now that you have a collection of resources, let’s get started! And remember that you are not alone in your career journey! Take advantage of your connections with advisors, professors, and even the Career Center’s Counseling Team. Start by getting familiar with some of the online resources available to you. These will be instrumental in your search for campus and community experiences, as well as securing a job when you graduate.  

Handshake

Available in the app store for iPhone and Android.

Handshake is the primary platform for connecting with employers and meeting with Career Counselors. Ensure your profile is 100% complete to increase your chances of being noticed by employers. Remember if you make your account visible to employers, recruiters will contact you directly via your message inbox.

    • Appointments – Meet with Career Counselors by selecting the ‘Appointments’ tab on Handshake
    • Jobs/Internships – Whether you are looking for a job (on-campus, off-campus, full-time or part-time), internship (paid or unpaid) check here regularly for postings
    • Events – Career fairs and info sessions with employers are posted here for you to register and attend

Resume Help

If you have never written a resume or need guidance with updating your resume you can start by using the resume samples as a template for your resume before you meet with a counselor. 

    • Virtual Resume Reviews: Vmock utilizes AI software that can review your resume instantly! You will receive detailed feedback on improving your resume and gaining insight into how to customize your resume for each job position you’re applying for.
    • Walk-Ins (virtual & physical)

If you need your resume reviewed or have questions about writing a cover letter, you can meet with staff members at the University Career Center for 15 minutes during virtual & physical walk-ins at the UTSA Main Campus. 

Please note the Career Counselors have drop-in hours based on their assigned college. Be sure to review their profile for  up to date drop-in hours.

Interview Prep

With everything going virtual, Interview Stream is a great place to practice your online interviewing skills!  

Specific Resources By College

There are also specific resources for you based on your college! These will give you a jump start in seeking out new opportunities. 

College of Science: What can I Do With My Major?  

College of Liberal & Fine Arts: Internships 101

College of Business: https://business.utsa.edu/cspd/cspd-internships/

College of Engineering:

College of Education & Human Development:

College of Health Community & Policy

University College: Four Year Plan

Now that we have explored potential starting points, I challenge you to identify a couple that stood out to you and start there. Think about what is most important to you and what kind of experiences excite you. Remember no one has the same story, so find something that you like and see where it takes you!

By Tyra Allen
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