Market Research and Job Search
Once you have conducted your self-assessment and identified the work-learning experience(s) that you will need to build your resume and reputation for post-graduate employment, you will need to research the market and conduct a job search within your field of choice.
Remember, you are conducting this research at least one semester, or 4-6 months prior to the semester which you will participate in an internship and the PAF484/584 Internship course.
To determine your internship search parameters you will consider the following:
Positions - the work you want to do
What is the work you want to do? What skills do you want to learn or put into practice?
For example - If you want to "help people", consider how you can help people in your community (academic, geographical/home, faith or interest group or organization)? Is there a special population (children, families, refugees or ethnic group) with whom you would like to work and learn about?
- Is there a special issue (concern, problem or solution) that you would like to work on - economic development, transportation, social justice?
- Do you share an area of interest with other community members - sustainability? environment? education? healthcare? policy-making?
Your job seeking goal is to use your interests, skill sets, and motivation to develop a list(s) to focus your research.
Places - prospective or target agencies and organizations
What agencies, organizations or companies hire individuals to do the work you want to do? What workplace/environment would you like to experience?
For example -
- Research to identify places who are hiring college graduates. Places who have created entry positions and training programs to help students make the jump to young professional.
- Government is BIG. Are you interested in work at the local (city or county), state, or federal level? There are opportunities at each level of government that can provide similar or different work-learning experiences for your exploration and learning.
- Can you identify the various departments within a city whose work interests you or has an impact in your community? And within those departments, funded projects that you care about? They need your research, problem-solving, communications and leadership skills. And you could learn how government works, or about intergovernmental or international relations.
- Nonprofit organizations are no different. They need individuals with skills to perform specific functions - communications (internal and external) and marketing, education and outreach, advocacy, fundraising, grant writing, events planning and management.
- Perhaps you are interested in understanding intergovernmental relations, business policy or law-making from the perspective of private-public partnerships.
Your job seeking goal is to develop a list(s) of the agencies and organizations whose mission and vision fit yours, those who have a need for your skills and abilities, those that support education and training for prospective and current employees.
People - who do you know or need to know
Who is doing work you admire? Who has influenced your previous or present school, work, and community involvement? Who is championing or leading projects, activities, and movements that speak to you?
Some activities to learn about people doing what you aspire to do:
- Read about organizations of interest and their leaders, project champions and successes in shaping policy and best practices for improving our communities.
- Follow agencies, organizations and professional groups and individuals on social media
- Join a university or professional clubs of like-minded individuals, such as the ASU-ICMA (International City-County Management Association), the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (national or your local city), the ASU Parks and Recreation Studnet Association (PRSA), the ASU American Red Cross Chapter...
- Conduct information interviews with ASU and School of Public Affairs alumni and young professionals in the fields or functional areas of work within public service
Develop a list(s) of people leading projects, departments, and divisions, at places you would like to check out, doing work that helps you build skills and knowledge for your successful career launch or advancement after graduation.