Speaking directly with people in careers that you are considering is a great way to get first-hand information rather than relying solely on print material.
To set-up an Informational Interview you must call the business professional to schedule an appointment. Ideally, you will ask for 20 - 30 minutes for the interview, but 10 - 15 minutes can still yield volumes of valuable information. Attend these sessions as if you were the one being interviewed - dress appropriately!
Go into the interview with your written questions and be prepared to take notes. Below are some sample informational interview questions for you.
- Describe a typical day or work week.
- How did you get started in this type of work?
- Describe the education/ work experience that prepared you for this position.
- What do you like most about your job?
- What are the most challenging aspects about this work?
- What are some important things a person considering this field should know?
- What are some of the things in this job that are important to you?
- Describe qualities or characteristics one needs to be successful in this occupation.
- Is there anything else you think would be helpful for me to know about this career?
- Do you know another professional that I could contact for an informational interview?
Always send a handwritten "thank you" note or email within 24 hours of your interview.
Networking is telling instructors, family, friends, and professional contacts that you are exploring careers and/or looking for work. Ask for contact names in the field of interest and set up an Informational Interview (see above).
Job Shadowing,just like it sounds, allows you to watch, listen, ask questions, and take good notes.
Voluteering puts you in the work environment without making a commitment to that field of study or job.
Internships, like Volunteering, puts you in the work environment but also gives the employer a chance to know you and your work habits.
Service Learning program at A-B Tech offers multiple community opportunities for curriculum students. For information call 828-398-7573.
Social Media, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, can increase your reach for possible new contacts.
For transfer students:
What Can I Do With A Major In? University of North Carolina Wilmington majors and career information
UNCA What Can I Do With A Major In? University North Carolina Asheville majors and career information
Purdue University What Can I Do With A Major In? majors and career information
Major Resource Kit from University of Delaware links academic majors to career paths and provides sample job titles
Western Carolina University Career and job information related to majors
North Carolina State Major Planner Information on majors and related career information