Each career offers a unique mix of employment opportunity, salary, benefits, work-life balance, job security, creativity, and autonomy. This abundance of choice is partly why choosing a career can be so difficult.
PREPs was created specifically to help guide you as you make this major life decision. Schedule a one-on-one career counseling appointment to explore your natural talents, work style, interests, and values in relationship to the job market.
An informational interview is an interview that you initiate with a professional in a career or industry that interests you. If well executed, an informational interview can be one of your most valuable sources of occupational information. An informational interview will allow you to:
- Explore careers
- Clarify your career goals
- Obtain information about your career field
- Be aware of the skills needed to do the job effectively
- Discover employment opportunities that are not advertised
- Broaden your professional network
- Build confidence for job interviews
- Identify your personal strengths and weaknesses
Job shadowing and professional shadowing is another means of career exploration in which you observe a professional at work. A job shadow can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. During this time, you will be able to see firsthand what professionals actually do, what their working environments are like, and what kinds of people they interact with.
- A job shadow allows you to learn more about a career before you invest too much time preparing for a job that may not be right for you.
- You should also use the opportunity to make connections that will help your future job search.
For anyone who is pre-med or pre-professional, it is very important for you to gain some firsthand exposure to health care to help you make an informed decision about whether you want to pursue it as a career.
Use your job shadow as an opportunity for an informational interview with the professional that you are shadowing. The informational interview will allow you to learn much more about your career interests, and it may also give you a sense of the specific kinds of work available in the field or industry.
For pre-professionals, discussion of your health care experience will be important in your personal statement, application, and interview. Shadowing is also a great way to develop some of the professional qualities you will need in your career.
Service learning and volunteering
Both service learning and volunteer work are great ways to get involved in the community and serve others. However, service learning is integrated with academic curriculum and content. Service learning also requires you to engage in reflection activities after your service experience and applying your learning to real-world activities.
One-time volunteer opportunities are a good way to explore your options, but once you determine a project or organization you enjoy, you should become a sustaining volunteer. Sustained volunteerism allows you to integrate with an organization, add to your professional network, build your skills, and have a broader impact.
IUPUI School of Science resources