Landing a Job After College: The Four-Year Plan

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Most college students avoid thinking about the real world until at least their junior year, putting off that visit to the campus career center as long as possible. According to Matthew Brink of Saint Joseph’s University’s Career Development Center, sometimes it’s the waiting that can make the task overwhelming.

According to Brink, students who make the trip as freshmen and continue to visit all through their college years, are more likely to land a job out of college. At Saint Joseph’s, Brink outlines a four-year plan for all students.

“While adjusting to college life can often be enough for freshmen to handle, there are plenty of services offered at SJU to help them get grounded and thinking  about the future,” Brink explains. “For example, freshmen often haven’t declared a major and may need help figuring out what they’re best suited for.”

Beyond that, Brink says freshmen need to understand from the start the value of joining clubs and activities to round out their college experience, because employers are looking at more than G.P.A.

Sophomores, according to Brink, should be set in their major before their second year is up, and a résumé should be in the works.

“By junior year, students should be working to secure internships, researching graduate school options and networking with alumni,” he adds. “Senior year can sometimes be too late to start gaining real work experience.”

By following Brink’s four-year plan, students in their senior year can often already have job placements.

“If a student hasn’t already secured a job by the middle of their senior year, they’re probably well on their way if they’ve used their four years not just to learn, but to network and make themselves as marketable as possible,” he says.

Brink can be reached by e-mail at, by phone at 610-660-3101, or by contacting the Office of University Communications at 610-660-1222.

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