I’m leaving school on a jet plane

Searching for jobs is challenging when you have to look across the entire country for what you want.

by Martha Pietruszewski

Job searching is like running a marathon. It’s long, you’ll get tired and at points you’ll question whether it will all be worth it. 
Maybe you have a good network of alumni. But what if you want to move outside the state? That can be daunting because many alumni stay around the area where they went to college. 
The University of Minnesota has great career services in place, but it needs to develop a more robust program for helping students who want to start a national job search. 
One problem with job searching outside your college town is that you lose a support network. Colleges may be hesitant to help you search outside of the city if they want you to support the local economy.
Our school could improve this by developing mentorship programs within career centers to connect recent alumni with juniors or seniors looking for jobs or internships. The key is to have strategic partnerships. 
For example, alumni at the executive level would not be very useful partners because they are too far removed from the job-searching process to offer tangible advice.
This program would require a lot of upkeep. Recent graduates might move and update their contact information, making it hard for the
University to accurately match potential partnerships. 
An alternative solution is to host “career treks.” I recently participated in one to Seattle. We visited companies and had an alumni networking event. It was a great opportunity, and if I ever wanted to start a career in Seattle, I wouldn’t be a fish out of water. 
Regardless of its form, any help from the University would be appreciated. Job searching is hard — so wherever you go, it’s a good idea to prepare for what’s ahead. 
Martha Pietruszewski welcomes comments at [email protected]