Explore Careers

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  • Allied Health
  • Biotechnology
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  • Translating and Interpreting

Translate Passions & Pursuits into Career

Regardless of your major, the skill sets you gain at Wake Forest allow you to pursue a wide range of career opportunities. You have the resources to explore the possible careers, industries, positions, and helpful resources. From theatre, to journalism, nonprofits, and more, the opportunities are endless.

You can discover a wide range of career options, and find what best aligns with YOUR values and YOUR interests. Why? Because YOU are the driver behind the wheels of YOUR life.


Explore your career options on Vault! This premiere career exploration site gives you the inside scoop on industries, careers, and professions on over 400 career fields. See how Vault ranks companies in your favorite industries and download helpful career guides to learn more about careers that interest you! Search for internships and jobs based on your career options and gather information on your potential careers. Use your Wake Forest email address to log in and investigate your career options.

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Another Way to Explore…

is to meet with a career coach. The OPCD is staffed with coaches to guide you through this process. No need to go it alone!

Meet with a coach now

Explore, in a Class

Earn credit while exploring! EDU 120 and EDU 220 are college-to-career course that will help you find which career aligns with your strengths and passions.

More about Career Courses

Advertising

Advertising is positioning and creating brands and persuading consumers to buy them through messages in mass media. The clothes you wear, the cars you drive, the food you eat and the soft drinks you consume are all brands.

Each year, companies spend billions of dollars on advertisements to encourage consumers to buy their goods or services.  Television commercials, radio spots, newspaper ads, promotional mailings, and banner ads have become part of our everyday experiences. It’s an advertising agency’s job to create and place these ads so that they capture the attention of consumers and encourage customers to purchase a client’s products.

Advertising agencies are typically organized into four major divisions: account management, creative, market research, and media.  Each plays an important role in developing successful ad campaigns for their clients.

Types of Agencies

Full-Service Agency – As the name implies full-service agencies provide clients with a wide range of services from ad creation and production to media planning and buying, to strategic development. In the past 10 years, advertising has witnessed considerable consolidation. Most major agencies are now owned by one of six holding companies.

Creative Boutique – Creative boutique firms provide a more limited range of services typically focused on ad creation and production. Often these firms are founded by established art directors or copywriters who have chosen to leave the “big” agency world. Clients may seek out these firms for more cutting-edge design, or to try to save money.

Media Agencies – Media agencies focus on media planning and buying, which is the management and purchasing of media time and space.

  • Account Services Department

    Positions in account services include: assistant account executive, account executive, senior account executive, accounts supervisor/accounts manager.

    • Advocates for client with agency and for agency with client.
    • Manages relationship with client, acting as a liaison between art department, production department and client.
    • Responsible for keeping team motivated and on schedule.
    • Must communicate well with different types of people, be detail-oriented and be knowledgeable about client/brand.
  • Media Services Department

    Positions in media include: assistant media buyer/planner, media buyer/planner, associate media director, media director, and media manager.

    • Planners strategize where and when to buy media space, buyers negotiate the purchase of that space.
    • Applies statistical models to audience, circulation, and cost figures to minimize media cost and maximize  media effectiveness.
    • Manages the purchase and control of large blocks of media time/space, recommends and allocates this space among clients according to campaign requirements.
    • Must be analytical, detail oriented, able to draw conclusions from research and data, able to negotiate and sell ideas.
  • Account Planning/Research Department

    Positions in research include: research project director, research account executive, associate research director, advertising research director and research department manager.

    • Research focuses on quantitative analysis; researchers serve as experts in statistical applications, mathematical modeling, project design, and methodology.
    • Account planning involves qualitative evaluation of consumers including focus groups, telephone interviews, surveys, etc.
    • These areas may be separate or combined areas depending on the needs of the agency.
  • Creative Department – Art Direction

    Positions in art direction include: assistant art director, junior art director, art director, and senior art director.

    • Requires knowledge of advertising trends and strong visual communication skills.
    • Develops and recommends visual strategy and oversee creation of final campaign.
    • Oversees progression of campaign from rough sketches through final production.
  • Creative Department – Copywriting

    Positions in copywriting include: junior copywriter, copywriter, senior copywriter, copy chief.

    • Responsible for writing ad and promotional copy and developing concepts for campaigns.
    • Requires knowledge of advertising trends and a strong writing ability, works closely with art director.
  • Creative Department – Production

    Positions in production include: layout worker, graphic artist, production manager.

    • Artists and layout workers create the visual impact of the ad by selecting photographs, drawing illustrations, choosing print size and type, and sketching scenes for commercials to accompany the copy.
    • Designs packages and creates logos, trademarks and symbols.
    • Production managers oversee the actual printing of ads, filming of commercials, and/or recording of radio spots.
  • Business Development

    Focus on acquiring new accounts, usually a small department.

  • Traffic

    Responsible for guaranteeing that departments meet deadlines, get approvals from all departments.

    • Must be organized, detail-oriented and able to work under pressure.

Available Resources

Ad Club of Metropolitan Washington – Website of the Advertising Club of Metropolitan Washington, a chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Hosts local professional development, educational and networking events. Maintains a job bank.
Ad Forum – Includes a search engine to locate agencies by location, client and/or business sector. Site also displays top company website hits, and provides portfolios of select advertising firms. Includes information on over 18,000 agencies and 50,000 ads.
ADWEEK – Weekly magazine covering advertising, marketing and media.
Advertising Age – Magazine of marketing, media and advertising, published weekly. Publishes helpful reports in its “data center.”
Advertising Educational Foundation – Non-profit supported by ad agencies, advertisers and media companies that serves to provide educational content to students and professors studying advertising. AEF sponsors conferences, provides curriculum and classroom resources, and provides career advice.
Advertising Women of New York – AWNY hosts over 40 events a year including an annual advertising career conference. Also includes job database.
American Advertising Federation – Trade association representing advertising professionals. National network of professional advertising clubs as well as over 200 college- and university-based clubs.
American Association of Advertising Agencies – The national trade association representing advertising agencies. Provides roster of members with an agency search that includes a description of the agency; also has a client/brand search tool. Maintains a job search engine.
Media Bistro – Job search engine for creative positions.
New York Time – Stuart Elliott – Sign up for New York Times columnist Stuart Elliott’s weekly newsletters on advertising. Search for “Stuart Elliott” and select “receive newsletter” from the box on the right.
Occupational Outlook Handbook (Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers)
Talent Zoo – Job search engine for communication industry.
Vault Career Insider Guides (must use your WFU email to access)

Skills Needed

  • creativity
  • excellent written and oral communication
  • teamwork
  • design
  • motivation
  • analytical
  • good sense of humor
  • knowledge of popular culture/news/media

Allied Health

The mission of an allied health care professional is to support and complete the work of physicians and other specialists. There are many, many different occupations in the allied health field.  Examples of these professions include nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and physician assistance.

The health care industry is one of the most diverse in its employment of people from varying socioeconomic and educational backgrounds and lifestyles.

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)

    Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education that prepares them to take on management positions within the field. Nurse practitioners are also qualified to provide basic primary care. An NP, working under the supervision of a physician, can do much of what the physician does. Some NPs with advanced training can prescribe medications and diagnose and treat common acute illnesses and injuries. Most NPs have a master’s degree, although there is a growing movement to require NPs to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (CDNP) degree. American Association of Nurse Practitioners

  • Registered Nurse (RN)

    There is always a need for registered nurses (RNs), and employment is expected to grow faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nursing is already the largest health care occupation there is. Nurses provide direct patient care; observe, assess, and record symptoms; administer medications; and assist physicians during treatment and examination. Nurses can specialize in areas such as emergency room, operating room, or pediatric nursing with additional training. To become an RN, you must graduate from a nursing program and pass a national licensing examination. The minimum educational requirements for nursing include a two-year associate degree in nursing (ADN) and completion of a national licensing exam. If possible however, it is better to attend a RN program at a 4-year college or university and earn a BSN. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, the fastest track to an RN is an accelerated second degree BSN program, which gives you credit for non-nursing classes you already took in college.  American Nurses Association

  • Audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist

    Audiologists determine if a person has a hearing loss, and what type of loss it is. If a person can benefit from using hearing aids or other assistive listening systems, the audiologist can assist with the selection, fitting, and training in their effective use. Speech Language Pathologists evaluate speech, language, cognitive communication, and swallowing skills of adults and children; and then determine what problems exist and the best treatment. A degree in communication sciences and disorders is required, which may be acquired on the undergraduate and/or graduate level. A strong background in the liberal arts is also beneficial.  American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

  • Registered Dietician

    Dietitians and nutritionists plan food and nutrition programs, and supervise the preparation and serving of meals. They help prevent and treat illnesses by promoting healthy eating habits and suggesting diet modifications. Dietitians run food service systems for institutions such as hospitals and schools, promote sound eating habits through education, and conduct research. Major areas of practice include clinical, community, management, and consultant dietetics. To become a RD, you must complete (at minimum) an undergraduate degree in dietetics, foods and nutrition, or a related field or a 2-year post-baccalaureate degree in dietetics, foods and nutrition, or a related field. Those who go on to earn a MS or PhD in dietetics or a related field most often teach, conduct research, or work as administrators or consultants. Academy of Nutrition of Dietetics

  • Physical Therapist (PT)

    Physical therapists most often work with patients who are recovering from an accident, injury, or ailment (such as a stroke) or have a disability, which affects their strength or mobility. PTs practice in hospitals, clinics, and private offices, and consult with other health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, educators, and social workers. Some PTs specialize in areas such as sports physical therapy, pediatrics, neurology, or geriatrics. Physical therapists in every state must graduate from an accredited physical therapist educational program and be licensed before they can practice. Degrees in physical therapy are offered on the doctoral level. American Physical Therapy Association

  • Occupational Therapist (OT)

    Occupational therapists work with people of all ages who have suffered from some type of injury, illness, or other impairment that hinders them from conducting basic work or life tasks. Occupational therapists provide exercises and sometimes orthotic devices to help these patients improve their life and work functioning. Some OTs specialize in areas such as pediatrics, neurology, burns, or geriatrics. Occupational therapists undergo a training program similar to the one physical therapists complete. In order to sit for the national certification exam administered by the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board, a person must have a master’s or doctoral degree in occupational therapy.  American Occupational Therapy Association

  • Pharmacist

    Pharmacists dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. They advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosages, interactions, and side effects of medications.  Pharmacists must understand the use; clinical effects; and composition of drugs, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties. Most pharmacists work in a community setting, such as a retail drug store, or in a hospital or clinic. Pharmacists in community or retail pharmacies counsel patients and answer questions about prescription drugs. They also provide information about over-the-counter drugs. A Pharm-D (doctorate of pharmacy) requires at least 2-years of specific pre-professional (undergraduate) coursework followed by 4-academic years of professional study. Most students apply to Pharm-D programs after their sophomore or junior year in college. Some programs may allow graduates of four year colleges and universities to transfer into the Pharm-D program, which would most likely entail 2-3 years of coursework in pharmacy.  American Pharmacists Association

  • Physician Assistant (PA)

    A PA always works under a physician’s supervision, though in understaffed facilities where a primary care physician may not be available every day, a PA might handle all the patient care. More often, a PA will interview patients to record their medical histories, give basic physicals, interpret lab results, and make tentative diagnoses to confirm later with a physician. Many PAs also follow up with patients to monitor their reaction to drugs, teach them about nutrition, and consult with their family members. PAs may also specialize in certain areas, such as surgery. In some states, physician’s assistants can prescribe medicines from certain classes of drugs. Physician assistant is a master’s degree program. For most programs, prerequisite requirements are: bachelor degree including two semesters of biology with labs, two semesters of general chemistry with labs, organic chemistry with lab, bio-statistics, and biochemistry; and 1000 hours of health care experience. American Academy of Physician Assistants

Resources Available

Go here for more information on Allied Health Professions or to research graduate programs for Allied Health Professions.

Click here to contact with Wake Forest’s Health Professions Advisers and to get important information to help plan your course of study.

Biotechnology

Biotechnology, often referred to as “biotech,” is the application of biological research techniques to create new processes and products while using biological systems, living organisms, and/or derivatives of organisms. Although biotech processes have been used for thousands of years, scientists began to use components of microorganisms to solve human problems within spheres such as agriculture, medicine/healthcare, food processing and industry in the 1970s.

If you are considering a career in the biotechnology arena, there are two key questions to ask yourself: Do I like thinking about living things? And what sectors of the economy can I see myself operating in? Being able to answer these questions will guide you toward choosing the right career path within biotech.

For a complete overview of the biotechnology industry, download the Vault Insider Guide for Biotechnology here.

As you think about a career in biotechnology, it can be useful to identify the general areas where your aptitude and interests lie. The following reflect the various divisions within a biotechnology company.

Research and Development: Discover promising drug candidates. Functions include discovery research, bioinformatics, and animal sciences.
Operations: Make commercial quantities of a candidate drug available and assess environmental impact and safety of a new product.
Clinical Research: Take the new drug through the FDA approval process after emerging from the R&D department. Also manage all clinical drug trials and oversee all information related to the drug candidate.
Quality: Responsible for quality control, assurance, and validation. Ensure that all products meet standards of quality in manufacturing process.
Finance and Administration: Responsible for legal relationships to investors, creditors, and employees. Also maintain companywide computer systems/IT.
Business Development: Responsible for identifying prospective new alliance partners and managing existing ones. Also includes marketing function (market research, targeting customers, promotion strategy) and sales function (meet customers in the field—often with specialist physicans).
Project Management: Responsible for ensuring that work requiring collaboration of several departments goes smoothly and efficiently.
Commercial Strategy: Responsible for leading worldwide product lifecycle management. Also work closely with management, marketing, sales, R&D, and corporate development.
Strategic Planning: Responsible for identifying major milestones, investments, and decisions for successful profits of a product. Assess commercial viability of a product in the target market.

  • Laboratory Research Careers

    Discovery Research: Could include protein chemists, geneticists, biochemists, etc. There are jobs at all levels. You can get an entry-level job as a research associate and work for several years, though you will need an advanced degree for more senior jobs. Most supervisory and upper-level positions, however, require a PhD. You can definitely break into the industry after undergraduate studies. Entry-level research positions will get your feet wet and give you a chance to experience the culture of research first-hand before pursuing an advanced degree.
    Animal Science Specialists: Grow cultures, make and purify DNA, and conduct early stages of testing when a drug’s safety is determined via animal testing.
    Bioinformatics: Data analysts who combine the biological sciences with information technology who aid discovery researchers in identifying the most promising drug candidates. The three realms of activity in bioinformatics include: creating databases to store/manage large sets of data; developing algorithms and statistics to determine relationships among datasets; or using these tools to analyze and interpret biological data.

  • Non-Laboratory Research Careers

    Engineering: Determine how to ensure there is enough material available for clinical testing and how to manufacture approved drugs. Includes four distinct paths: process/product development; manufacturing; environmental health and safety; and quality.
    Medical and Clinical Setting: Involves clinical drug testing and analyzing data. Two distinct paths include clinical research (by physicians, nurses, or data management professions) and regulatory affairs (deal with all aspects of drug approval through the FDA).
    Administrative and Support Functions: This area would include career paths in finance, human resources, safety managers, external relations, IT, legal, facilities management, and project management.
    Sales and Marketing: Sales involves becoming a specialist in various medical niches, understanding the biological components of the product, and making contact in the field. The marketing function involves identifying target customers for the product and creating strategies to sell the new drugs and technologies. Additionally, new business development and alliance management is encompassed within this area.

Available Resources

Online Resources

Biotechnology Information Directory of the Web Virtual Library– A directory of over 1,500 links to companies, research institutes, universities, sources of information and other  directories specific to biopharmaceutical product development and delivery of products and services.
Biospace.com-Hub site for bioscience-specific news, information and links on biotechnology and pharmaceutical developments.
FierceBiotech-The biotech industry’s daily monitor: daily bulletin on biotech industry news.
BioWorld Online– Worldwide biotechnology news and information resource.
Evelexa BioResources– Business and career-related information for those interested in biotech venture creation. Also the home of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to a Biotech Startup.
Bioinformatics– Organization for bioinformatics professionals.
National Center for Biotechnology Information– A resource for public databases and bioinformatics tools and applications.
Internship and Summer Research Opportunities – Updated on a regular basis by RIT, this site has a wealth of information.

Clinical Research, Data Management, and Regulatory Affairs Recruiters

Advanced Clinical Services– Full-service, national staffing firm specializing in clinical research and data management for Phase I-IV trials, including contract, contract-to-hire and direct hire options.
Chiltern– Consulting, outsourcing and contract technical assistance in clinical trials.
Biotech Resources– Clinical and manufacturing recruiting.
Clinical Trial Jobs– Clinical research employment opportunities.
MedExec Intl– Pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, diagnostic and biologicals industry clients through placement in clinical research, medical affairs, regulatory affairs, quality and engineering departments.

Life Sciences Disciplines and Bioinformatics Recruiters

BiologyJobs– Targeted resource for job seekers and employers interested in the life sciences.
Genomejobs– Genomics, bioinformatics, biotechnology and biocomputing.
Harcourt and Associates– Professional search firm specializing in biotech and technical placements.
Research Careers– Focus on pharmaceutical and biotech research industry employment.
Sciencejobs– Free science career site for job seekers listing industry, academic and government bioscience employment opportunities from the scientific publishers, Cell, BioMedNet and New Scientist.

Biotech Sales and Marketing Recruiters

Global Edge Recruiting Associates– Pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and medical sales industries.
Medical Sales Associates– National recruiters for sales professionals in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors.
Seltek Consultants– Technical sales positions in the life sciences, biotechnology, molecular biology, chemistry, diagnostics,  immunology and instrumentation industries.

Government Agencies

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention– Federal agency mandated to prevent and contain diseases through partnerships, monitoring and info access.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)– Federal agency mandated to supervise the food, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)– Principal vital and health statistics agency for the U.S. government.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)– Conducts research in its own laboratories and supports research by scientists in universities, medical schools, hospitals and research institutions in the United States and abroad.
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)– State agency to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research and research facilities.

International Biotechnology Organizations

Australia: AusBiotech Ltd.
Canada: BIOTECanada
India: All India Biotech Association
Ireland: The Irish Bio Industry Association (IBIA)
South Africa: AfricaBio
South Korea: Bioindustry Association of Korea
United Kingdom: BioIndustry Association (BIA)

Commercial Banking

Commercial banks take deposits from individual and institutional customers, which they then use to extend credit to other customers. They make money by earning more in interest from borrowers than they pay in interest to those whose deposits they accept. They’re different from investment banks and brokerages in that those kinds of institutions focus on underwriting, selling, and trading corporate and municipal securities.

Most of us maintain checking accounts at commercial banks and use their ATMs. The money we deposit in our neighborhood bank branch or credit union supports economic activity through business loans, mortgages, auto loans, and home repair loans. Banks also provide loans in the form of credit card charges, and render local services including safe deposit, notary, and merchant banking.

Types of Commercial Banks

Consumer or Retail Banking: A small to mid-sized branch with tellers and platform officers. In addition to extending their consumer-banking operations, many of the larger banks have added to their investment banking and asset management capabilities. Make sure you’re applying to the right part of a large diversified organization.

Business or Corporate Banking: Many of the players in this group are the same ones in the consumer banking business; others you’ll find on Wall Street rather than Main Street. At the highest level, the larger players provide a wide range of advisory and transaction management services to corporate clients. Depending on which institution and activity area you join, the work can resemble branch banking or investment banking.

Securities and Investments: Traditionally, this field has been the domain of a few Wall Street firms. However, as federal regulations have eased, many of the biggest commercial banks have added investment banking and asset management activities to their portfolios. For anyone interested in corporate finance, securities underwriting, and asset management, many of these firms offer an option.

Nontraditional Options: Increasingly, a number of nonbank entities are offering opportunities to people interested in financial services. Players include credit card companies, credit card issuers and credit reporting agencies. Although people at these firms are still in the money business, the specific jobs vary greatly, perhaps more widely than jobs at traditional banks.

  • Loan Officer

    Loan officers determine who gets loans (and on what terms) and who does not. They assess a customer’s situation, identify the most suitable loan option to meet the customer’s needs and walk the customer through the loan process.

  • Branch Manager

    Oversees all operations of the branch, including supervising employees, selling and delivery of all financial services, supporting sales goals, and maintaining and developing business relationships in the community.

  • Bank Teller

    This is the front line in the banking world. In addition to having extensive customer contact, tellers have to have a good feel for numbers, a willingness to handle large amounts of cash, and an attention to detail. There are more than 500,000 tellers in the United States; most work 9 to 5, and one-third work part-time.

  • Programmer

    Financial institutions have a huge need for programmers and people with technical skills. Specific responsibilities can range from managing network systems to coding applications for a wide variety of transaction-oriented processes to modeling bank functions such as loan approvals and risk management. Positions usually require specific platform experience or programming knowledge.

  • Sales

    Banks are competing with brokerages, investment banks, and mutual funds, all of which offer more obvious and alluring opportunities in sales. If you seem to have a talent for this and you would like a chance to be a big fish, then a commercial bank might be just the pond for you. Demand is also rising for salespeople who understand product development and for investment managers (brokers).

  • Trust Officer

    Involves helping clients with trust services, estate planning, taxes, investing, and probate law. This job requires diplomacy, tact, deference, and a better, more current understanding of tax law than most attorneys need.

Available Resources

Define FinanceBrief overview of the different areas within financial services and information about the banking sector.

Careers in FinanceInformation on careers in fields like investment banking, real estate and financial planning.

Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statics

Vault Career Insider Guides (*must use your WFU email to access): Check out industry, career, and employer guides, plus hot links to finance firms, newsletters, interview information and more.

WetFeetLearn about financial industry trends, markets, major players, requirements, career tracks, and job outlooks, and more.

Mergers and InquisitionsAn excellent resource for students interested in investment banking.

Wall Street OasisOnline financial community with access to industry and interview guides.

The Wake on Wall Street (WOWS) Guide: This is an overview of  “Navigating the Wall Street Job Market” and is written by the Wake on Wall Street alumni group as a primer for students exploring careers in financial services.

Overview of the World of Finance : A PowerPoint resource produced by the WOWS group.

To access all of the Wake on Wall Street resources, click here

DealBook

DealBreaker

PeHUB

CFO Magazine

Investopedia

The Wall Street Journal

Financial Times

Bloomberg

Barron’s

The Economist

The Street

Yahoo Finance

Morningstar

Professional Associations

American Bankers Association

American Finance Association

Global Academy of Finance & Management

American Institute for Certified Public Accountants

Association for Finance Professionals

European Finance Association

Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards, Inc.

CFA Institute

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

Industry Job Sites

Accounting Career NetworkNational database of employment opportunities in the areas of accounting and finance.

BankJobs.comCareer site for banking and financial services positions

eFinancialCareersOffers news, advice, and job postings for various sectors in the financial services industry.

Financial Job NetworkSite to view global job opportunities for financial executives in the following categories: Chief Financial Officer, Controller, Auditor, Finance (VP, Analyst, Operations, Manager, Development, Tax, Accounting, Engineer, etc.) and Actuary.

Financial Job SiteAccounting and Financial jobs for professionals at all levels.

For a timeline of the job and internship search process and commercial banking industry recruiting, click here.

To learn more about Commercial Banking at Wake Forest contact the Wake Forest Finance Club.

Consulting

Consultants are hired advisors with skill in assessing and solving a wide variety of business problems. Consulting firms are hired by companies who need their expertise, fresh outside perspective, and/or extra set of hands. On a project by project basis, consultants help clients solve a specific business problem, or research and develop strategies for improving the client company.

Types of problems in consulting might include developing an improved service marketing plan, pulling together a strategy for a new product launch, planning for technology investments inside the client firm, valuing external investments from a financial perspective or evaluating the impacts of a government policy. Consulting firms sell services in virtually any industry, such as health care, consumer packaged goods, heavy manufacturing, high tech or energy. With varied/complex company needs, consulting firms are categorized into diverse segments.

In general, consulting firms are looking for candidates who possess strong analytical and quantitative skills, communication skills, research skills, interpersonal skills, a high GPA (3.5+), leadership and team work. Applicants also must perform strongly in case interviews.

  • Analyst

    The analysts or associates are the most junior members of the consulting team and are responsible for performing most of the research and analysis for the project. Analysts work closely with the consultants on the team to plan the most effective way to develop recommendations for clients and to complete the analysis in support of the project. Specific duties include performing research, analyzing data, brainstorming with other team members, gathering information, and preparing and making presentations to the client.

  • Consultant

    The title “consultant” typically refers to the members of the team who have graduated from business school and received an MBA (or who have worked as an analyst for 2 to 4 years). Consultants are responsible for managing the research and analysis performed on behalf of the client as well as the analysts who work on their team.

Available Resources

About.com Consulting Careers – Information about the consulting application process, typical positions, job requirements, and career and job information.
Careers-in-Business, Consulting –Information about top consulting firms, and different practice such as strategy, healthcare, litigation, and finance consulting.
Consulting Crossing – A site dedicated solely to aggregating jobs in the consulting industry from numerous sources.
Consulting Magazine
ALM Intelligence – Provides research information, publications and resources for management consultants and for those exploring the industry.
Princeton Review Career Profile – A brief “day in the life” description with additional facts and figures information.
Top Consultant – A database with job opportunities in the Consulting industry.
Vault Career Insider Guides – (*must use your WFU email to access)
Vault Career Insider – Career Guide to Consulting
Vault Career Insider – Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms
Vault Career Insider – Guide to the Top 25 Technology Consulting Firms
Wake Forest Career Development – Case Interview Preparation
Wetfeet Careers & Industries – Overview of the consulting industry and careers within the field.

Consulting Professional Associations

Association of Management Consulting Firms
International Council of Management Consulting Institutes
Institute of Management Consultants
Society of Professional Consultants

Preparing for Interviews

Case interviews are used by consulting firms to evaluate your analytical thinking skills and your poise under pressure. It takes more time and preparation than general and behavioral interviews.

Consulting Firm Segmentation

Boutique Strategy: Focus on specialized functional areas or industries.  Small in size with narrow group of clients.

  • Sample Firms:  Cornerstone Research (litigation support), Gartner (high-tech research), PRTM Management Consultants (high-tech operations), Putnam Associates (pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical devices)

Human Resources: Focus on maximizing employee performance through effective organizational development or change management initiatives.

  • Sample Firms:  Accenture (Change Management Group), Conduent HR Services, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Hay Group, Aon Hewitt, Mercer, Willis Towers Watson.
  • Example Projects: Recommend change to organizational structure, such as corporate reorganization, business unit development, or downsizing to streamline business operations, in order to facilitate more effective timely decisions; Develop employee evaluation criteria, process, and associated compensation system; Create and implement internal leadership and professional development training.

Management: Focus on a wide range of strategic and core operational issues.

  • Sample Firms:  Accenture, A.T. Kearney, Bain & Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Marakon Associates, McKinsey & Company, Monitor Deloitte
  • Example Projects: Corporate Strategy – Assistance with issues related to mergers and acquisitions, market analysis, and competitive positioning; Operations – Assistance with the way a client’s business runs day to day including marketing, sales and distribution, manufacturing, and research and development; Financial Planning – Assistance with “macro” issues about a client’s business such as examining a client’s financial statements in order to forecast and budget, analyze financial performance, and create a financial strategy.

Technology and Systems: Focus on technical services related to computer system and application design, integration, and support.

  • Sample Firms:  Accenture, Capgemini, DXC Technology, IBM Global Business Services, Oracle, SAP, Synopsys, Unisys
  • Example Projects: Assess how computer systems could improve the efficiency of company operations by automating manual processes; Analyze efficiency of company’s current technology and recommend refresh and purchase agreement plans; Evaluate costs and benefits of establishing new Internet-based B2B exchange.

Environment/Sustainability

Conservation: Conservation includes restoration of polluted or developed lands, preservation of wildlife, and protection of cultural treasures, such as ancient archaeological sites. Most of the field’s jobs are rooted in science, although because federal legislature remains the main force behind conservation, workers in this field also benefit from a background in public policy, law, and finance.

Education and Communication: Because environmentalists depend on the support of an informed, concerned public, education and communication are top priorities within the movement. Scientific discoveries are often mired in complex technical terminology, which puts the burden on writers, teachers, filmmakers, photographers, media specialists, and other “translators” to bring the message in clear terms to the people.

Environmental ConsultingConsultants of all varieties help corporations comply with environmental law, work alongside government agencies as contract specialists, and generally offer vision, advice, and technical expertise to those who need it. Individuals with the ability to combine technical or scientific expertise with a solid understanding of the legal and economic realities of business are in particular demand.

Environmental Management and Planning: Environmental managers deal with and prevent problems with the environment; planners, meanwhile, work with communities and individuals to make eco-friendly decisions when working to develop or reshape their local area.

Parks and Recreation: All kinds of specialists toil in our nation’s parks. There are managers, law enforcement officials, and goodwill spokespeople for nature. While most Americans associate environmentalism with the national park system, urban parks, where landscape architects turn city brownlands into playgrounds, are also included in this field.

  • Government Organizations

    The federal government has several agencies, departments, and initiatives related to environmental issues. While some agencies are regulatory, others are more focused on research and/or education. Examples include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S Forest Service, Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Office of Environmental Management. Visit www.usajobs.gov to see Government job listings.

  • Private Sector – For Profits

    Here is a sampling of For Profit organizations who hire individuals with backgrounds and experience in environmentalism/conservation: Seventh Generation, Burt’s Bees, and Whole Foods.

  • Private Sector – Non Profits

    Within the Non Profit sector, environmental careers can fall within a wide range of categories such as education, outreach, policy, law, community organization, etc.  Non profits who hire for environmental positions include the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Environmental Defense Fund, The Wilderness Society, Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, Earth First!

Skills

Employers in the environmental/sustainability field are looking to hire individuals who possess the following skills:

  • good communication (written and spoken)
  • persuasion
  • interdisciplinarian
  • self-motivated
  • team player
  • integrity
  • politically astute
  • physically fit
  • versatile
  • science background
  • systematic thinker

Event Planning

An event planner is, quite simply, someone who organizes an event. When we think of an “event” we may think of something spectacular, such as the Super Bowl, the Presidential Inauguration, New Year’s festivities in Times Square, or any of the other major events we hear about or see on television. Of course event planners are needed for all these events. However, event planners also work on thousands of smaller events. Any time people gather together for a purpose, whether it is for a wedding, a conference, a festival, a formal dinner, or the grand opening of a new store, someone is needed to oversee all the details to ensure the event happens and that it is a success.

Can you juggle many things at once without missing the details? Do you have the vision to see the big picture and the personality to get other people to see it too? Are you results oriented but always cautious of the bottom line? If this describes you, then you might have what it takes to be an event planner.

Most people who want to become event planners have been organizing, orchestrating, directing and creating for years without really realizing it. All the birthday parties, family reunions, bake-sales, sorority functions, and charity work are, in one form or another, a special event. Many planners get their start this way. The boss tells you to “organize a little something” or you’re asked to do something for a friend, then if you’re lucky, a friend of a friend.

Event planners may also work for themselves out of their homes. Start up costs are very minimal…a phone, a website, and business cards. Most self-employed event planners just starting out spend the majority of their time marketing themselves and finding clients. Getting to know local venues, caterers, florists, and rental companies is also important. Some planners specialize in certain types of events, such as weddings.

  • Who Hires Event Planners
    • Banking/ Investment groups
    • Car Dealerships
    • Casinos
    • Caterers
    • Chambers of Commerce
    • Cities
    • Coalitions
    • Convention Centers
    • Convention & Visitors Bureaus
    • Country Clubs
    • Cruise Lines
    • Department Stores
    • Florists
    • Hospitals
    • Hotels/ Resorts
    • Museums
    • Nonprofit Organizations
    • Pharmaceutical Companies
    • Private Schools
    • Professional Associations
    • PR Firms
    • Shopping Malls
    • Theme Parks
    • Tourism Organizations
    • Trade Associations
    • Universities

Available Resources

Meeting Professionals International – Perhaps the most high profile site that lists job openings specifically for event planners
Meetings and Destinations Search International – MADJobs lists job opportunities in both the hotel and meeting planning industries.
Meetings Net – News and links for the  meetings, hospitality, and business travel industries
Society of Independent Show Organizers
International Association of Expositions and Events – Represents the interests of tradeshow and exposition managers and is the leading association for the global exhibition industry
Special Event Site – Listings of event planning companies and related vendors
National Association for Catering and Events
International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus/Destination Marketing
American Society of Association Executives
Cool Works – Information and links to both seasonal jobs and career opportunities at national parks, theme parks, resorts/lodges, cruise lines, and other tourism related companies. Most positions are seasonal, but there are a few for the career-minded individual.
Wine and Hospitality Jobs
Hospitality Careers
Hospitality Online 
Casino Careers 
National Association of Wedding Professionals 
The Association of Bridal Consultants
Association for Wedding Professionals International 
Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants
Event Management  Certificate Program George Washington University
HSMAI – Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). Check out for event planning jobs and resources.
MPI – Meeting Professionals International, the premier global association community for meeting and event professionals. Job board and resources available.
CIC – Convention Industry Council. Industry best practices, resources, and events.

Event Planning Publications

Business Travel News
Professional Convention Management Association
International Special Events Society
Group Travel Leader
M&C

Skills

  • Event planning requires creativity, organization and flexibility.
  • You will need to work well under pressure to meet deadlines and be able to multi-task as you juggle multiple projects.
  • You need to be assertive when dealing with a crisis yet patient with your client.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills allow you to negotiate well with your client and vendors and an understanding of budgeting will help you stay on target with your expenses.

Fashion

Even though the fashion industry is difficult to break into, there are a variety of different types of opportunities—creative jobs in design and marketing; retail sales and buying positions; and corporate careers in finance, planning, and distribution.

Whether you are seeking a place on the catwalk or in the haute couture clubhouse, the fashion business is just that—a business. Insiders from all over the fashion world say that their jobs are high on stress and low on pay. Moreover, insiders conclude, people are judged as much on looks as on performance. With its rigorous hours, capricious culture and wobbly corporate ladder, the fashion industry certainly isn’t for everybody. Yet for a dedicated few, there is no more exciting and inspiring place.

If you want to get into fashion or retail, get an internship or even a part-time job in sales or merchandising to get started. Finding internships and jobs in the fashion industry can be tricky. Because many are never publicized, networking to find opportunities is critical, but each experience on your resume will help land a better internship or job the next time. To get into the creative end of the industry, you need a proper education. You need to study design (at a design school). Technical people, such as buyers and inventory planners, might benefit more from business, marketing, communication, or English classes.

Staying on top of current industry trends and forecasts by reading industry publications such as Women’s Wear Daily is also very important.

  • Designer

    Designers are involved in the development and production of a line of clothing from concept to finished product. A knowledge of textiles, garment construction, sewing, pattern making, and other technical skills gained from a degree in fashion design or clothing and textiles is required. Many apparel designers specialize in either children’s, men’s, or women’s wear and/or a specific type of fabric and/or a specific type of apparel (such as swimsuits, evening gowns, uniforms, etc.). Salary median: $64,530.

  • Assistant Designer

    Assistant designers help the designer with sketches, sourcing fabric and trim, and preparing presentation materials for the line. Salary range: $22,000 to $33,000.

  • Pattern Maker

    Either by hand or using computer software, the pattern maker creates a pattern piece for each part of the garment as well as specifications for how the garment should be constructed during the manufacturing process. Salary median: $39,800.

  • Merchandiser

    Merchandisers are high-level executives in apparel manufacturing who use both their creativity and business acumen to determine the product direction the manufacturer will take each season. They research, plan, and decide which fashions and/or accessories the manufacturer will produce, and the most profitable way to produce these items. A degree in fashion merchandising, apparel production, fashion design, or marketing is required. Courses or other types of training in advertising and promotion are also helpful. Many merchandisers have MBAs. Most began their careers in either retail or wholesale sales or as a buyer. Salary range: $50,000-$100,000+.

  • Buyer

    This is the person who is involved with and responsible for planning sales, monitoring inventory, selecting the merchandise, and writing and pricing orders to vendors. Being a buyer is the ultimate exercise in living on a budget. You’ll be told what you have to spend for a season, and your job will be to get the most and best for your buck. Buyers get their positions after spending 2 to 5 years as an assistant or by completing a management-training program sponsored by the store. A lot of people want this job, despite its increased emphasis on sales and inventory management and the relatively low pay. Be prepared for some fairly stiff competition. Salary median: $48,700.

  • Assistant Buyer

    If buying is your goal, this is where you begin. Assistant buyers typically help in merchandise selection, deal with vendors, write orders, and learn how to operate within a budget. You’ll need a good head for numbers and the ability to juggle too little time and too much information in stressful situations. Be advised that some retailers are eliminating this position, relying instead on automated processes for some of the more mundane order-taking, delivery, and follow-up aspects of this job. Most assistant buyers have a college degree, and many major in retail management or business. Salary range: $25,000 to $45,000.

  • Retail Management Trainee

    If you’re accepted into a store’s management training program, this is your title for the 4 to 9 months you’re learning merchandising, finance, marketing, operations, and personnel management. Typically, sales associates and others who excel in various departments get first crack at these programs, though company recruiters hire college grads and other outside experienced talent as well for the openings that remain. Salary median: $34,900.

  • Department or Sales Manager

    For management training program graduates and for very successful sales associates, this is typically the first rung in the retail ladder. This is one of the lowest levels of management, but a useful one for those who want a long-term career in the industry. Department managers supervise the sales staff, control the sales floor inventory, and often work closely with buyers. Candidates need to prove that they can sell, work well with people, and keep careful track of inventory. Salary range: $30,000 to $60,000.

  • Merchandise Manager

    Often known as a divisional merchandise manager (DMM), this job oversees several merchandise departments and their respective buyers. Buyers typically move into this position after 6 to 10 years. They help to ensure consistent quality, proper amount of merchandise, and value to customers. They also manage vendor relations, market visits, and the ongoing education and development of their buying teams. This is a senior slot, and if you do well, your next step is the upper ranks of executive retail management. Salary range: $50,000 to $150,000.

  • Market Analyst

    Both retail and wholesale have a growing need for accurate and ongoing analysis of what customers are buying, when and how they’re buying, and what all the data mean for buyers, advertisers, and strategic planning. Marketing majors who understand how to model demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases will find numerous opportunities in this field, both inside large companies and in a proliferating number of independent research groups. Salary median: $61,600.

  • Director of Marketing

    Many retailers are now focusing on loyalty programs and efforts to more accurately predict their customers’ needs and behavior. Seen as distinctly separate from sales, marketing directors and their staff manage external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain their best customers and attract new ones. This is an increasingly visible slot, and e-commerce is now an integral part of the job. Salary range: $85,000 to $135,000.

  • Information Technology

    Big retail outfits employ complex technology systems and specialized software—everything from logistics and supply chain software to Web servers and e-commerce software to POS (point of sale) systems. For those interested in networks and systems, this is still a relatively open arena. Job titles in this area include Web designer, e-commerce manager, system applications programmer, system developer, project manager, and point of sales administrator. Median salary: $70,900.

Skills

Employers in the fashion industry seek individuals who possess the following skill sets:

  • organized
  • open-minded
  • creative
  • assertive
  • thick-skinned
  • professional demeanor
  • verbal and written communication

Corporate Finance and Accounting

Corporate Finance professionals manage an organization’s money, including forecasting where it will come from, knowing where it is, and making recommendations for spending to ensure the greatest return. Activities may involve poring over spreadsheets detailing cash flow, profitability, and expenses, looking for ways to free up capital, increase profitability, and decrease expenses. Within corporations, any department wishing to make a large expenditure must typically run it by the Finance department to ensure funding.  Opportunities for career progression can be in Treasury, Financial Planning and Analysis, Financial Reporting, Operations Accounting, etc.

Two key functions within this industry are accounting and finance.

Accounting: Day-to-day operations. Balance the books, track expenses and revenue, execute payroll, and pay the bills. Compile all the financial data needed to issue a company’s financial statements in accordance with government regulations.

FinanceAnalyze revenue and expenses to ensure effective use of capital. Advise businesses about project costs, make capital investments, and structure deals to help companies grow.

  • Staff Accountants

    Consolidate information for the official corporate financial reports—primarily comparing the present to the past.

  • Financial Analysts

    Assigned to either a product line or business unit. Help management set up profit objectives, analyze current unit results, and anticipate future financial performance. Over time, financial analysts and staff accountants eventually specialize in one of the areas described below.

  • General Accounting

    General accountants are responsible for producing all of the financial records a corporation uses to track its progress internally and to meet government regulations. Such workers also gather all the information needed to compute a company’s balance sheet, profit and loss statements, and income statements. They also track the corporate budget, cash flow, and pay all the bills. Usually, your first job in general accounting will be in accounts payable or accounts receivable. Success in accounting might lead you to a position as a controller, overseeing a larger group, aggregating information, or working on portions of the corporate budget.

  • Internal Audit

    When most people think of an audit, they think of an outside audit—a large accounting firm like Ernst & Young checking the corporate books on behalf of the shareholders. However, most large companies have an internal audit group that regularly visits individual company branches and checks the company’s accounting systems. Internal auditors perform the investigative and corrective work that ensures the external auditors don’t find anything. The internal audit group reviews the quality of the data, making sure it’s both accurate and complete. They also evaluate whether the corporate accounting procedures are effective and universally followed. Finally, internal auditors introduce or revise procedures to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

  • Divisional Financial Services

    In this area, you work with each division’s business team to prepare financial plans, make forecasts, and compare actual financial results to forecasts. You may also evaluate the financial consequences of alternative strategies. Responsibilities include everything from analyzing new business opportunities to restructuring a business or developing a capital spending program. The primary concerns are to find better ways of using company assets, reduce costs, and research better methods of forecasting. Financial services evaluates the risks versus potential return of any course of action and develops recommendations so that managers can pick the most profitable strategies, depending on their goals.

  • Tax

    Activities in this area involve administering taxes (i.e., paying taxes on time—or finding loopholes to avoid paying them) and determining how to decrease the company’s tax burden. Responsibilities include working with attorneys on tax litigation, researching tax laws and reporting requirements by nation (if the company is international), and keeping up with new government rules and regulations. Large companies have an entire department dedicated to recommending methods to minimize the tax impact of any business decision such as a new division launch, a capital spending plan, or purchasing a new company. Investments and pensions also need to be managed with an eye toward minimizing taxes. The tax department helps structure transactions, makes recommendations on the timing of acquisitions or sales based on what else will be written off that year, and can decide what corporate reporting structure reduces taxes—for example, creating a wholly owned subsidiary versus having an internal division.

  • Treasury

    The treasury department is responsible for all of a company’s financing and investing activities. This department works with investment bankers who help the corporation raise capital with stock or bond sales or expand through mergers and acquisitions. Treasury also manages the pension fund and the corporation’s investments in other companies. The department also handles risk management, making sure that the right steps are taken to safeguard corporate assets by using insurance policies or currency hedges.

  • Cash Management

    This is a company’s piggy bank. The cash management group makes sure the company has enough cash on hand to meet its daily needs. The group also sees to it that any excess cash is invested overnight by picking the best short-term investment options. And it negotiates with local banks to get regional business units the banking services they need at the best price.

  • Corporate Development and Strategic Planning

    Corporate development involves both corporate finance and business development. Finance experts in corporate development study acquisition targets, investment options, and licensing deals. Often they assess firms to buy or invest in, such as pre-IPO cutting-edge technology companies with complementary products that could either extend the company’s product line or mitigate competition.

Available Resources

Define Finance: Brief overview of the different areas within financial services and information about the banking sector.

Careers in Finance: Information on careers in fields like investment banking, real estate and financial planning.

Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statics

Vault Career Insider Guides (*must use your WFU email to access): Check out industry, career, and employer guides, plus hot links to finance firms, newsletters, interview information and more.

WetFeet: Learn about financial industry trends, markets, major players, requirements, career tracks, and job outlooks, and more.

Mergers and Inquisitions: An excellent resource for students interested in investment banking.

Wall Street Oasis: Online financial community with access to industry and interview guides.

The Wake on Wall Street (WOWS) Guide: This is an overview of  ”Navigating the Wall Street Job Market” and is written by the Wake on Wall Street alumni group as a primer for students exploring careers in financial services.

Overview of the World of Finance A PowerPoint resource produced by the WOWS group.

Overview of Corporate Finance : This is a PowerPoint overview on the world of finance put together by the WOWS group.

To access all of the Wake on Wall Street resources, click here

DealBook

DealBreaker

PeHUB

CFO Magazine

Investopedia

The Wall Street Journal

Financial Times

Bloomberg

Barron’s

The Economist

The Street

Yahoo Finance

Morningstar

Professional Associations

American Bankers Association

American Finance Association

Global Academy of Finance & Management

American Institute for Certified Public Accountants

Association for Finance Professionals

European Finance Association

Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards, Inc.

CFA Institute

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

Industry Job Sites

Accounting Career Network: National database of employment opportunities in the areas of accounting and finance.

BankJobs.com: Career site for banking and financial services positions

eFinancialCareers: Offers news, advice, and job postings for various sectors in the financial services industry.

Financial Job Network: Site to view global job opportunities for financial executives in the following categories: Chief Financial Officer, Controller, Auditor, Finance (VP, Analyst, Operations, Manager, Development, Tax, Accounting, Engineer, etc.) and Actuary.

Financial Job Site: Accounting and Financial jobs for professionals at all levels.

Government

Often the terms “government” and “politics” are used interchangeably; however, when it comes to a successful job or internship search, having a clear understanding of whether or not you are interested in a government or a political organization is key.

If interested in a “government” job or internship, you are most likely saying that you would like to work for an agency or department within the local, state, or federal government. The Center for Disease Control of the Department of Homeland Security are examples of government organizations. Most often, you will want to refer to www.usajobs.gov or go directly to the agency or department website to look for the most up-to-date job and internship offerings.

“Political jobs or internships typically refer to working on Capitol Hill (federal) in Washington, D.C. or within your home state for a particular political party. A political organization could working for your state legislator’s congressional office, volunteering for a political campaign, interning for a Senatorial committee, working for a public policy or lobbying organization, a politically-affiliated nonprofit, or a specific issue-based think tank organization. Rather than pursing opportunities via USA jobs, you will want to refer to websites such as www.hillzoo.com, www.politemps.com, and other resources listed on the page below.

By having a specific focus on the type of organization in which you are seeking, you can be more strategic and directed as you search, apply, and network for opportunities in this particular field.

  • Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)

    Federal Internship Program – Paid positions ranging from a summer job to a position that lasts as long as the student is in school.

  • Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)

    Federal Internship Program – Work must relate to student’s area of study and requires the agency to have a formal commitment with the student’s school. After completing 640 hours of work, the student can be appointed to a permanent position without going through the traditional hiring process.

  • Recent Graduates Program

    This one-year developmental program is designed for individuals who have received undergraduate or graduate degrees from qualifying educational institutions or programs. Candidates must apply to the Recent Graduates Program within two years of degree or certificate completion.  Participants will receive a minimum of 40 hours of training and professional development, complete an individual development plan and be assigned a mentor.

  • Presidential Management Fellows Program

    The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program has been and will continue to be a government-wide leadership development program for graduate and professional degree candidates. PMFs will participate in an orientation program, receive 80 hours of training and professional development, complete an individual development plan, be assigned a mentor, and have at least one rotational or developmental assignment.

Available Resources

Federal Government Job Search Sites

USA Jobs – The #1 source for federal government jobs
Student Government Jobs – Full-time positions, summer employment, and internships for students and recent grads
Go Government – Student-centered website with a wealth of info about federal jobs and internships

Select Agency and Department Sites

Department of State – Seek Foreign Service Officers in various specialties: Administrative, Consular, Economic, Political, or Public Diplomacy. Also have internships. Exam is required. Go here for test dates and to register.
Department of Transportation – Seek budget analysts as well as other positions
Department of Interior – Seek people in a variety of career fields from archaeology to biology to history to run the National Park Service
Environmental Protection Agency – Seek scientists as well as other positions
Internal Revenue Service – Seek accountants and revenue specialists as well as other positions
National Institutes of Health – Jobs and internships in medical research
Department of the Treasury 
United States Department of Agriculture – Seek budget analysts, scientists, and other positions
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation – Seek math majors for actuarial work and other positions
Department of the Navy Civilian Human Resources – This huge employer would rank #8 on the Fortune 500 list. Seeks project managers, budget analysts, and other positions.
The Library of Congress 
Hill Zoo – Job bank with postings listed by political party as well as non-party affiliated
General listings for various DC job openings
Legislative, government, and political staffing service for the DC area
Washington Network Group of over 2,300 professionals in DC in business, finance, and government
Washington Post
Think Tanks

North Carolina Government Sites

North Carolina Office of State Human Resources – Agency and university system job postings.
State of North Carolina Internship Program

Skills

Employers hiring for government positions are seeking individuals who possess the following skills:

  • communication
  • analytical
  • dedication
  • interpersonal skills
  • leadership
  • flexibility
  • teamwork
  • ability to handle sensitive or confidential information
  • understanding of the legislative process

Student Loan Repayment Resources

Another important factor to consider when making your decision is student loan repayment. Be knowledgeable and understand your options. Click here to learn more about repaying student loans after graduation and starting your career.

Human Resources

Human resources deals with the management and development of the people or employees within an organization. Human resources activities include:

  • Compensation and benefits—Conducting and analyzing salary surveys and administering medical, retirement, and other benefits plans.
  • Employment, recruiting and staffing—Recruiting new employees.
  • Labor and employee relations—In unionized companies, interpreting union contracts and resolving employee disputes and grievances.
  • Training, learning and organization development—Leading new hire orientation and coordinating employee development activity.
  • Human Resources Generalist

    Perform a wide variety of activities depending on the size of the organization. If the position is with a small company, it will require someone with a strong background in individual HR specialties who can perform human resource duties for the entire company. In larger companies, the position is for someone who is learning about the various areas. Responsibilities can vary greatly depending on the needs of the company.

  • Human Resources Manager

    A middle management position that may require overseeing specialists responsible for several distinct areas in a division of a company. Strategic work may be involved such as planning human resource policy and setting procedures.

  • Recruiter

    Screens, interviews, and recommends prospective employees, and extends offers to successful candidates.

  • Benefits Analyst

    Qualifications can vary greatly depending on the company’s needs and the person’s experience. At the bottom of the scale, it can be entry level, involving carrying out benefits programs and possibly researching new ones. At the top of the scale, the position may report to a VP and involve strategy and business planning.

  • Training Manager

    Designs, plans, and implements corporate training programs.

  • Compensation Analyst

    Evaluates and conducts surveys and analyzes salary data to come up with the full monetary package offered to employees, including salary, bonuses and perks, such as stock options. In many cases, compensation analysts deal only with the packages offered to executives or even come in on a contract basis to help research and negotiate the package for an incoming CEO. In other cases, the compensation analyst will deal with all job categories in a company. Regardless, the compensation analyst has to be familiar with a company’s job titles and responsibilities.

  • Labor Relations Manager

    Works primarily in manufacturing or service industries and deals with labor unions. A labor relations manager prepares information for management to use when a contract is up for renewal. He or she may supervise a group of labor relations specialists.

  • V.P. of Human Resources

    The VP of HR helps set the tone of the company’s corporate culture. He or she brings information about the workforce to executive management so that management can set policies after mergers, acquisitions, closures, layoffs, and similar changes. This position often involves extensive travel and very long hours.

Available Resources

Careers-in-Business, HR 
Jobs4HR
HR People – Tips and tricks on how to break into an HR career including interview advice, salary ranges and job expectations.
Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics 
Society for Human Resource Management – Provides educational program information, careers, volunteer opportunities and articles.
Association for Talent Development – The leading resource on workplace learning and performance issues.
College and University Professional Association for Human Resources 
Vault Career Insider Guides (must use your WFU email to access)
Wetfeet Careers & Industries – Overview of the human resources industry and careers within the field.

Skills Required

Human resources professionals often possess the following skills:

  • Organization
  • Multitasking
  • Discretion and business ethics
  • Rapport building/ relationship management
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Ability to balance employee and management viewpoints
  • Ability to demonstrate fairness
  • Strategic mindset
  • Team orientation
  • Analytical ability
  • Customer service

Other Content

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Human Services

Human services careers fit into two categories: social services and mental health services. Social services specialists help people improve their quality of life. Mental health specialists work   directly with individuals who are trying to change behavior or achieve a better mental outlook. Whether someone is overcoming an addiction or healing after emotional trauma, a trained mental health specialist can provide the right guidance.

Social Services

Many community members need a helping hand to meet basic needs or to enjoy a higher quality of life. Among these are the developmentally disabled, the elderly, immigrants and refugees, substance abusers, and crime victims and
offenders. Social workers play an integral role in improving the lives of these individuals.

At a group home setting for developmentally disabled persons, a social worker might create exercise and recreation programs, oversee daily routines, and arrange medical care.

Professionals in nursing homes and senior community centers give direct care and help with issues related to social security and healthcare, while those working with immigrants and refugees do everything from getting work permits for their clients to finding them inexpensive medical clinics to helping them learn English.

One of the major sectors of social services is family service programs. A social worker involved in family issues helps to create a positive, safe environment within households. Duties of a family service social worker vary with specialties. A case manager often works for government agencies or for private groups funded by religious or fraternal organizations. Both child advocacy and adoption assistance make up especially large service sectors employing case managers. Some family service social workers specialize in counseling individuals within particular categories, such as victims of domestic violence or pregnant teens.

Other specialties include addiction recovery, childcare assistance, and help for low-income families. While there are many different options, the bottom line is that a social worker in family services helps meet a family’s critical needs.

Mental Health Services

While most counselors and psychologists see clients with a variety of needs, they tend to specialize in one or two areas. Specialties include family, marriage, children, adolescents, career, crisis intervention, substance abuse, and rehabilitation. Some counselors work in hospitals, clinics, schools, or correctional facilities; others venture into private practice. In every state, most types of counselors need some kind of licensing or certification. Getting a license generally requires earning a master’s degree, completing a specific number of supervised hours of practice, and passing an exam.

Sometimes counseling alone is enough to help a person get back on the right track in life; other times, more intensive treatment is needed. A psychologist is qualified to offer treatment that goes beyond guidance and support. He or she is a professional with a doctoral degree (PhD) and is qualified to test, diagnose, and treat a patient. Depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety problems, personality disorders, and childhood psychological issues are among the problems that psychologists are trained to handle.

Many times, psychologists work in conjunction with other human services professionals. A case manager or a family counselor will refer a client to a psychologist, while a psychologist will rely on a social worker’s reports for detailed background information on the patient. Teamwork is a vital element of the human services industry.

  • Masters in Counseling (MS, MA, MEd, MAEd)

    Counseling focuses on helping people resolve problems or role issues related to career, school, personal, or family matters. Counseling is generally concerned with “normal” developmental issues and challenges related to mental health and wellness rather than pathological problems. Clients’ issues are often instigated by a significant life transition.  Look for graduate programs in counseling that are CACREP accredited. Typical career paths include: Community Counselor, Gerontological Counselor, Rehabilitation Counselor, Substance Abuse Counselor, Marriage and Family Counselor, School Counselor, and Career Counselor.

  • Masters in Social Work (MSW)

    Social work focuses on the relationship between people and their environments or communities. Social workers often work with people who are members of disadvantaged or impoverished groups. Social workers strive to alleviate poverty, address injustices, and support the oppressed. Some social workers also work as therapists, performing roles similar to counselors. Typical career paths include: Social Worker, Case Manager, Child Abuse Investigator, Domestic Violence Counselor, Geriatric Specialist, and School Social Worker.

  • Masters in School Psychology (MS)

    School psychologists administer psychological tests and conduct research on the effectiveness of academic programs and behavior management procedures. They also consult with parents, faculty, school administrators, and other mental health professionals. The typical career path with this degree is School Psychologist.

  • Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)

    Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) work primarily with families, couples, and individuals and frequently treat anxiety, depression, substance abuse, adjustment disorders, marriage and family conflict, and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents. The typical career path with this degree is Marriage and Family Therapist.

  • Doctorate in Counseling and/or Counselor Education (PhD, EdD)

    Doctorate programs in counseling most often focus on counselor education and supervision, i.e. teaching and supervising graduate students in counseling programs. Typical career paths include: Professor of Counseling, Counselor, and Administrator.

  • Doctorate in Social Work (PhD, DSW)

    Doctorate programs in social work provide preparation to teach or do research or policy analysis in either academic or non-academic research. Typical career paths include: Professor of Social Work, Administrator, and Social Policy Creator.

  • Masters or Doctorate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology (MA, MS, PhD)

    Industrial-Organizational (I-O) psychologists study behavior in the workplace. I-O psychologists are particularly interested in the interaction between people in the workplace, leadership development, organization and change, quality of work life, and consumer psychology. Typical career paths include: I-O Psychologist, Researcher, Trainer, and Human Resources Professional.

  • Doctorate in (General) Psychology (PhD)

    Psychology programs focus on conducting psychological research. Areas of psychological research include cognitive, developmental, behavioral, social, etc. Typical career paths include: Professor and Researcher.

  • Doctorate in Counseling Psychology (PhD)

    Counseling psych programs provide training in both psychotherapy and academic/career counseling. These programs also include some training in research methods, but usually are not as rigorous as in clinical psychology programs. The counseling psych model of practice emphasizes solutions and problem-solving, focus on normal lifespan development (as opposed to pathology), and work from a scientist-practitioner model. Masters degree programs in Counseling Psychology exist but are rare. Typical career paths include: College/University Psychologist, Professor, Researcher, and Administrator.

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PhD)

    Clinical psychology exemplifies the scientist-practitioner model more so than other types of psychology or counseling, in that clinical psych emphasizes both scientific research and clinical practice. Training in psychotherapy, and psychological testing are also important parts of clinical psychology. Masters degree programs in Clinical Psychology exist but are rare. Typical career paths include: Professor, Researcher, Psychotherapist, and Administrator.

  • Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

    The PsyD is a fairly new degree, which focuses almost exclusively on psychotherapy training and minimizes training in research. Some PsyD programs do not require a dissertation and are best for people who are interested in practicing psychology and have no interest in teaching or research. One thing to watch out for with the PsyD: There are a lot of “Professional Schools of Psychology” popping up these days, so be careful about where you apply. It is always risky to apply to a clinical program (be it PsyD or PhD) that is not approved by the American Psychological Association. State licensure as a psychologist may be either very difficult or impossible to obtain if you don’t attend an APA-approved program. Typical career paths include: Psychologist and Professor.

  • Medical Doctor (Psychiatrist) (MD)

    Psychiatry is actually one of two related fields, the other being Neurology. Whereas, in general terms, counseling, psychology, and social work take a developmental approach to behavior, psychiatrists work from a medical model. Psychiatrists’ patients most often have some sort of physiological chemical imbalance, which results in abnormal behavior. Typical career paths include: Psychiatrist, Researcher, and Professor.

  • Others

    There is a plethora of other specialized degrees and programs related to human services, such as therapeutic recreation, art therapy, dance therapy, and music therapy.

Skills

Employers in the human services industry are seeking individuals who possess the following skills:

  • good listener
  • compassionate
  • objective
  • insightful
  • empathetic
  • supportive
  • balanced
  • sensitive
  • accepting
  • encouraging
  • analytical
  • creative

Information Technology

E-mail, personal computers, the Internet: These things make your life simpler by enabling faster communication, providing tools for more effective work, and giving you access to vast information with the click of a mouse. They also introduce a risk factor that isn’t totally within your control: If your computer fails or the network connection goes down, you lose time and possibly money.

That’s where information technology (IT) specialists come in. Information technology brings you the information and applications, such as word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software, that office workers everywhere rely on to do their jobs. IT specialists create such products and set up and maintain such systems. Their work varies widely: They upgrade your computer software; get your office computer network, or your computer, up and running again after it crashes; set up and maintain the servers on which your company’s internal applications run; create and customize the software products you use; build websites; and build and maintain the databases that you rely on to gather information to serve your customers.

Many IT jobs are highly specialized, focusing on a small aspect within the grand design of a company’s network. You may associate IT with technology companies, but nearly all businesses—from nonprofits to investment banks—have an IT staff to remedy everyday computer problems and maintain and upgrade systems. IT professionals wear many hats and go by different names, depending on their area of expertise—engineer, programmer, website producer, consultant, and network administrator – to name a few.

But no matter what job they do, all IT professionals focus on improving the usability and efficiency of technological systems and processes. Their goal is a smoothly functioning computer network—free of bugs, glitches, and interruptions—that provides an effective flow of information so the company can keep on improving its work processes, customer retention and acquisition, and other aspects of its business.

The importance of the IT professional’s role cannot be overstated as technology continues to automate, accelerate, and connect the global marketplace. IT professionals are at the forefront of making businesses faster and more efficient.

  • Information Systems Managers

    Sometimes also called information technology managers, they plan, coordinate and direct computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing the appropriate computer systems to meet those goals.

  • Computer Systems Analysts

    Study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and make recommendations to management to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively.

  • Database Administrators

    Use software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They make sure that data is available to users and is secure from unauthorized access. A knowledge of SQL is helpful.

  • Information Security Administrators

    Use technology to advance their organization’s goals. Security analysts ensure a firm’s information stays safe from cyberattacks.

  • Software Developers

    Create applications that allow people to do specific tasks on computers or mobile devices.

  • Computer Programmers

    Write underlying code, using languages such as Eclipse or Objective-C, of software programs.

  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators

    Responsible for the day-to-day operation of an organization’s computer networks. They organize, install and support an organizations’ computer systems, including local area networks, wide are networks, network segments, intranets, and other computer data systems.

  • Web Design

    Responsible for creating the look and feel of a website. They create logos, banners, and other graphics; determine where to put text; and structure a site’s navigation. They work closely with marketing teams and branding experts to ensure that a site conveys a consistent image. The design function is frequently outsourced by smaller organizations that do not have the budget or inclination to maintain a website themselves.

  • Web Programmers

    Turn the Web development team’s concepts into a functioning site. They must know HTML, the basic coding language of websites, inside and out. Most are experts in the more sophisticated programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, CGI, and Perl. Programmers should also have experience with Web development tools such as Dreamweaver, Flash, and Cold Fusion.

  • Web Production

    Play different roles in different organizations. In some cases, they code the text and graphics that are on a site. In other cases, they coordinate across departments to make sure a website’s content works the way it’s supposed to. That is, they make sure links lead where they are supposed to lead; online forms function the way the programmer intended; and everything else that’s on the site works.

  • Project Management

    Lead teams to get things done. They set a production schedule, set deadlines, and make sure everyone works together. Project managers can lead discrete projects, such as adding community to a website; they can also oversee wider areas. In many ways, the project manager’s role is similar to that of the producer, but on a lower level. The role requires excellent communications skills, a strong technical background, financial planning ability, and management experience. An e-commerce site can additionally have a technical administrator for its transactional software.

Skills

Employers in the information technology field are seeking individuals who possess the following skills:

  • technical
  • detail-oriented
  • energetic
  • personable
  • communication
  • analytical
  • logical
  • creative
  • patience

Emphasize Technical Skills

Feature your technical skills near the top of your resume. Immediately following your Education section is a good place.

Most Wake Forest Computer Science grads should be able to list C/C++, Flash, Matlab, Objective-C, Python, Linux, OSX, Solaris, Eclipse and Windows.

You might want to organize your technical skills into categories such as hardware, software, languages, and Web experience.

Insurance

Insurance companies calculate the likely cost of a given loss, divide it by the number of people who want protection against it, add something for profit, and reach an amount that they charge each customer for a policy guaranteeing compensation should the loss occur. But that’s only the beginning. Insurance companies also mount huge marketing campaigns to convince customers that they need protection in general and the company’s products in particular.

They also function as financiers, deriving a large part of their revenues from investments. Insurance companies must maintain enormous reserves of capital to back up potential claims obligations. They invest those reserves in stocks, bonds, and real estate, within the U.S. and overseas, providing an enormous amount of liquidity to financial markets and giving the industry an influence on the national economy far out of proportion to its size. That can be a risk, as when industry-wide over-investment in Latin America during the ’70s led to huge losses for the entire industry and repercussions far beyond the insurance industry itself.

About 1,800 U.S. insurance companies offer personal and commercial product lines including basic health/life and property/casualty protection as well as a long list of other coverages ranging from automobiles to mortgages to insurance for insurance companies (known as reinsurance). These products protect customers from losses resulting from illegal actions, medical needs, theft, earthquakes and hurricanes, and a variety of other causes.

Types of Insurance

Life and Health InsuranceThe policies in this sector provide benefits packages that policyholders pay a premium to enjoy.

Property and Casualty InsuranceThe focus in this sector is on protection for owners of cars, homes, and businesses from loss, damage, and injury.

ReinsuranceThe insurance of insurance companies. Insurance companies pay reinsurers to assume some or all of the risk the insurers have taken on in writing policies for their clients. Insurers use reinsurance to protect against the risk of unusual losses. Reinsurers write reinsurance because their business allows them to pool enormous numbers of individual insurance risks, making their risks even more predictable than the risks faced by primary insurers.

  • Actuary

    Predicts the risk to insure people, property, and businesses. Math, statistics, or actuarial-science major is highly recommended. This job is high-level math and hard core. Get started in this field as an undergraduate by taking and passing at least the first two preliminary actuarial exams.

  • Agent or Broker

    Advises people on how they can best protect their valuables then sells them a policy to do this. Good for people who like selling, have an entrepreneurial spirit, and a good network of leads. Agents often have underwriting certification, financial planning credentials, as well as SEC licensing so they can handle mutual funds, stocks, and bonds.

  • Claims Adjuster

    Negotiates claims with others after a loss of something by fire, theft, flood, etc. Good customer contact skills to interact with the client at the scene of the accident are important in this position, as well as patience and time management skills. A good eye for determining whether claims are fraudulent is also important.

  • Service Representative:

    Acts as liaison between the agent selling the policy and the company writing the policy. Good customer service skills are necessary in this job. Knowledge of the policies is important.

  • Loss-Control Specialist

    Prevents losses by scouting out problems and advising on safety and protection. Good people skills are necessary as well as a keen eye for problems.

  • Risk Manager

    Works with large companies to try to help them figure out ways to save money, advise on the best type of insurance to buy; and help manage employee benefit plans. Good field for engineers or corporations people who have knowledge about medicine, art, the environment, or other areas where a company offers insurance coverage.

  • Underwriter

    Determines whether to insure a person or company based on the risk determined. Successful underwriters are able to analyze risk, read and understand contracts, market insurance products, and understand legal and financial issues.

Investment Banking

I-banking is the term used to describe the business of raising capital for companies. Capital in this sense means cash or money. When firms need cash in order to grow and expand their businesses, I-banks sell securities to public investors to raise this cash. Investment banks may work with corporations, governments, institutional investors and/or extraordinarily wealthy individuals to raise capital and provide investment advice.

  • Securities Sales Representative (Broker)

    Securities sales representatives, or brokers, act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers, and they make money off of commissions. In some cases, such as when trading stocks, bonds, and options, they need to be registered as agents of an investment house. Brokers give advice to customers and then make deals happen. Usually they specialize in a particular type of security, such as futures, options, or bonds. Brokers are sometimes called dealers, investment advisers, investment counselors, or investment representatives, but the work is the same.

  • Branch Manager

    Senior sales representatives who have proven themselves on the trading floor may become branch managers. Branch managers hire salespeople, fire those who don’t do well, and make sure that brokers meet sales and revenue targets. While branch managers make additional income in the form of commission overrides (a percentage of the commissions made by the brokers working under them), they’re responsible not just for their sales, but their office totals.

  • Floor Trader

    Floor traders run around the floor of an exchange (e.g., the NYSE), swapping tickets and making trades. Floor traders are responsible for locating the buyers and connecting them with the sellers (or connecting the sellers with the buyers). As prices change quickly in a turbulent market, traders are under constant pressure to get deals executed at the prices their clients (or their employers) specify. If a trader can’t find somebody to buy or sell at a specified price, the buy or sell order won’t go through, and nobody profits—not the buyer, not the seller, and not the trader (or the trader’s employer)— because there’s no commission. Traders work during an exchange’s hours of operation, usually without breaks. While floor traders used to be common, there are predictions that this track will phase out over the next few years, as more brokerages work with electronic trading tools.

  • Desk Trader

    NASDAQ is what might be called a virtual stock exchange, as there is no physical building where traders meet to make deals with each other. Brokers have a “NASDAQ desk,” which means they can trade on NASDAQ. That desk is actually a bank of traders, all staring intently at their computer screens to see how the market is shaping up, speaking into several phones at once in a mad rush to find buyers or sellers whom brokers or online investors have requested. (Trades made through an online account, such as at Charles Schwab or TD Waterhouse, go directly to the trader, bypassing the broker.)

  • Research Analyst

    Research departments are generally divided into fixed income (debt) and equity. Both do quantitative research (corporate-financing strategies, product development, and pricing models), economic research (forecasts for U.S. and international markets, interest rates, currencies), and individual company coverage. An equity analyst usually focuses on a particular sector—software, oil and gas, or health care, for example. You move up in this profession by consistently predicting the movement of specific company stocks.

Available Resources

Mergers and Inquisitions

Skills

  • Analytical and quantitative ability
  • Competitive nature
  • Interpersonal
  • Creative ability
  • Communication
  • Ability to synthesize information quickly
  • Sales abilities
  • Initiative
  • Teamwork

Sectors within Investment Banking

Corporate FinanceFinancial consulting to businesses. Specific activities range from underwriting the sale of equity or debt for a corporate client to providing advice on mergers and acquisitions, foreign exchange, economic and market trends, and specific financial strategies.

Security Sales and TradingAn investment bank relies on its sales department to sell bonds or shares of stock in companies it underwrites. Investors who want to buy or sell a certain stock or bond will place an order with a broker or sales representative, who writes the ticket for the order. The trader makes the trade. Securities salespeople and traders are independent, working on commission to bring to market the financial products that others create.

Sales (Brokers or Dealers): The bottom line in sales is how well you can sell new debt and equity issues and how quickly you can translate news events or a market shift into transactions for your clients. These jobs are usually much less hierarchical than the banking side. Your sales volume and asset growth are what matter.

TradingThis is as close to the money as you can get. Trading is considered tougher, riskier, and more intense than any other job in finance. Traders manage the firm’s risk and make markets by setting the prices, based on supply and demand, for the securities Corporate Finance has underwritten. Similar to sales, you are tied to your desk and phones while the markets are open. Traders make money by trading securities. Although they’re the ones who transact trades for the brokers and their clients, traders are primarily responsible for taking a position in a security issue and buying or selling large amounts of stocks or bonds using an employer’s (or their own) capital.

Law Enforcement

People depend on law enforcement officers and detectives to protect their lives and property. Law enforcement officers, some of whom are State or Federal special agents or inspectors, perform these duties in a variety of ways, depending on the size and type of their organization. In most jurisdictions, they are expected to exercise authority when necessary, whether on or off duty.

Law enforcement officers must be able to work under a great deal of pressure, while maintaining a clear head and positive work ethic. They must be open-minded, fair, unbiased, and sensitive in order to deal with people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles.

It’s important to realize that law enforcement jobs are not limited to investigative, police, compliance, and security positions. State and federal law enforcement opportunities are also not limited to the SBI, FBI, and CIA. Besides law enforcement officers and detectives, there are also opportunities in the supporting areas of forensics.

Law enforcement has its roots in the military, so it’s no surprise that the selection process is strict, rigid, and complex. Steps in the application process usually include written tests, a medical examination, psychological tests, extensive background checks, and a physical abilities test. This process may take several weeks or months to complete.

  • Police Officer

    Has general law enforcement duties, including maintaining regular patrols and responding to calls for service. They may direct traffic at the scene of an accident, investigate a burglary, or give first aid to an accident victim. In large police departments, officers usually are assigned to a specific type of duty. Before their first assignments, officers usually go through a period of training. In State and large local departments, recruits get training in their agency’s police academy, often for 12 to 14 weeks. In small agencies, recruits often attend a regional or State academy. Training includes classroom instruction in constitutional law and civil rights, State laws and local ordinances, and accident investigation. Recruits also receive training and supervised experience in patrol, traffic control, use of firearms, self-defense, first aid, and emergency response. Contact local police department for more information.

  • Deputy Sheriff

    Enforces the law on the county level. Sheriffs are usually elected to their posts and perform duties similar to those of a local or county police chief. Sheriffs’ departments tend to be relatively small, most having fewer than 50 sworn officers. Deputy sheriffs have law enforcement duties similar to those of officers in urban police departments. Contact local sheriff’s department to apply for positions.

  • State Trooper/Highway Patrol

    Arrests criminals statewide and patrols highways to enforce motor vehicle laws and regulations. Contact state highway patrol for more information.

  • Detectives

    Plainclothes investigators who gather facts and collect evidence for criminal cases. They may be employed by a police department or other organization or work privately. Some are assigned to interagency task forces to combat specific types of crime. They conduct interviews, examine records, observe the activities of suspects, and participate in raids or arrests. Detectives and State and Federal agents and inspectors usually specialize in investigating one of a wide variety of violations, such as homicide or fraud.

  • State Bureau of Investigation (SBI)

    Primarily known for its role in assisting local law enforcement with a wide variety of investigations, including homicides, missing persons cases, robberies, and property crimes. SBI personnel work closely with local police and Sheriffs, other state investigative agencies, and federal authorities. Each unit within the Bureau uses state-of-the-art technology to investigate, analyze, identify, and apprehend criminals. To apply for positions contact your state SBI.

Skills

Employers in law enforcement are seeking individuals who possess the following skills: communication, teamwork, logical, analytical, keen sense of observation, ability to remain calm in stressful situations, detail-oriented, and good physical condition.

Check CriminalJusticeDegrees for more information on online degrees that can help you develop the skills necessary for a career in criminal justice.

Opportunities within Law Enforcement

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) houses the government’s principal investigators, responsible for investigating violations of more than 200 categories of federal law and conducting sensitive national security investigations. Agents may conduct surveillance, monitor court-authorized wiretaps, examine business records, investigate white-collar crime, or participate in sensitive undercover assignments. The FBI investigates organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, fraud against the government, bribery, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, air piracy, terrorism, espionage, interstate criminal activity, drug trafficking, and other violations of federal statutes.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) acts as the principal adviser to the President for intelligence matters related to the national security. The CIA collects intelligence through human sources and by other appropriate means, using research, development, and deployment of high-leverage technology for intelligence purposes. There are four organizations within the CIA: Operations/Clandestine Service; Analysts/Intelligence; Science, Engineering, and Technology; and Support (HR, finance, etc.)

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enforces laws and regulations relating to illegal drugs. Not only is the DEA the lead agency for domestic enforcement of federal drug laws, it also has sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing U.S. drug investigations abroad. Agents may conduct complex criminal investigations, carry out surveillance of criminals, and infiltrate illicit drug organizations using undercover techniques. The DEA also has an Accounting Career Intern program.

U.S. Marshals Service protects the federal courts and ensures the effective operation of the judicial system. It provides protection for the federal judiciary, transports federal prisoners, protects federal witnesses, and manages assets seized from criminal enterprises. It enjoys the widest jurisdiction of any federal law enforcement agency and is involved to some degree in nearly all federal law enforcement efforts. In addition, U.S. marshals pursue and arrest federal fugitives.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives regulates and investigates violations of federal firearms and explosives laws, as well as federal alcohol and tobacco tax regulations.

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the Department of State’s security and law enforcement arm. It is the only law enforcement agency with representation in nearly every country in the world. Overseas, it advises ambassadors on all security matters and manages a complex range of security programs designed to protect personnel, facilities, and information. In the United States, it investigates passport and visa fraud, conducts personnel security investigations, issues security clearances, and protects the Secretary of State and a number of foreign dignitaries. It also trains foreign civilian police and administers a counter-terrorism reward program.

The Department of Homeland Security employs numerous law enforcement officers under several different agencies, including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Secret Service.

  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents protect more than 8,000 miles of international land and water boundaries. Their missions are to detect and prevent the smuggling and unlawful entry of undocumented foreign nationals into the United States, to apprehend those persons violating the immigration laws, and to interdict contraband, such as narcotics.
  • Immigration Inspectors interview and examine people seeking entrance to the United States and its territories. They inspect passports to determine whether people are legally eligible to enter the United States. Immigration inspectors also prepare reports, maintain records, and process applications and petitions for immigration or temporary residence in the United States.
  • Customs Inspectors enforce laws governing imports and exports by inspecting cargo, baggage, and articles worn or carried by people, vessels, vehicles, trains, and aircraft entering or leaving the United States. These inspectors examine, count, weigh, gauge, measure, and sample commercial and noncommercial cargoes entering and leaving the United States. Customs inspectors seize prohibited or smuggled articles; intercept contraband; and apprehend, search, detain, and arrest violators of U.S. laws.
  • Customs Agents investigate violations, such as narcotics smuggling, money laundering, child pornography, and customs fraud, and they enforce the Arms Export Control Act. During domestic and foreign investigations, they develop and use informants; conduct physical and electronic surveillance; and examine records from importers and exporters, banks, couriers, and manufacturers. They conduct interviews, serve on joint task forces with other agencies, and get and execute search warrants.
  • U.S. Secret Service protects the President, Vice President, and their immediate families; Presidential candidates; former Presidents; and foreign dignitaries visiting the United States. Secret Service agents also investigate counterfeiting, forgery of government checks or bonds, and fraudulent use of credit cards.
  • Federal Air Marshals provide air security by fighting attacks targeting U.S. airports, passengers, and crews. They disguise themselves as ordinary passengers and board flights of U.S. air carriers to locations worldwide.

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is America’s cryptologic organization. It coordinates, directs, and performs highly specialized activities to protect U.S. government information systems and produce foreign signals intelligence information. A high technology organization, NSA is on the frontiers of communications and data processing. It is also one of the most important centers of foreign language analysis and research within the government.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is a team of federal law enforcement specialists dedicated to protecting the people, families, and assets of the US Navy and Marine Corps worldwide. Law enforcement specialties within NCIS include computer investigations, forensic science, threat assessment analysis, economic crimes, and electronic countermeasures. Applicants are not required to enlist in the Navy or Marine Corps or have previous military or law enforcement experience.

Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) provides combat support for the Department of Defense. The DIA is a major producer and manager of foreign military intelligence. It operates in countries around the world, collecting and analyzing intelligence in support of national decision makers and military commanders.

IRS Criminal Investigation, basically “accountants with guns.” IRS criminal investigators/special agents conduct criminal investigations involving tax laws.

INTERPOL/U.S. National Central Bureau serves as a conduit for a cooperative exchange of criminal information to help detect and combat international crime. Criminal investigations within one country which involve the citizens of another country are routed to or through INTERPOL.

The Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) is a federal investigative and protective program established to carry out the Coast Guard’s internal and external criminal investigations.

Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Enforcement Program uses stringent sanctions, including jail sentences, to promote deterrence and help ensure compliance in order to protect human health and the environment.

Postal Inspection Service fights criminals who attack the nation’s postal service and use it to defraud, endanger, or otherwise threaten the American public.

Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation conducts and coordinates investigations of suspected criminal violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; the Federal Anti-Tampering Act; and other related acts.

Marketing and Sales

Marketing is the strategic function between product development and sales. The four components of marketing are product, price, promotion and place. Marketing takes a product with specific features and benefits, creates pricing and promotional strategies, and oversees the methods that will be used to bring it to market.

Marketing and Sales requires creativity, energy, organization and tenacity. You must be able to effectively communicate about projects and analytically think about your projects. The marketing world requires that you be flexible and able to handle criticism as decisions are made quickly.

  • Account Director or Supervisor

    Administer client relationships with an agency. This person delivers presentations to potential clients. They also supervise the account managers. Qualities like great interpersonal, customer service and organizational and communications skills are required.

  • Account Manager or Senior Account Executive

    Creates the strategy, organizes, direct and applies publicity campaigns. S/he confers with management to know the publicity needs and determine objective and establish annual financial plan. Directs creative and production of the advertisement media. Establish timing and calculate costs. Supervise account executives.

  • Account Executive

    Serves as liaison to the clients to ensure a successful and timely execution of the marketing plan/project. Help clients to create strategy and secure all the business.

  • Junior Account Executive

    Gives support to account services department. Research new business opportunities, track projects and provide assistance to managers.

  • Marketing Manager

    Directs all the activities of the marketing department. These managers require having finest communication, organizational, analytical and managerial skills.

  • Assistant Marketing Manager

    Help in creation and application of marketing goals. Direct market research and coordinate the creative and production teams to realize promotional materials. Need effective communication and directorial skills.

  • Brand or Product Manager

    Creates the strategy, directs and applies brand and marketing publicity for a particular product or business.

  • Copy Editor

    Edits the written material to be published by correcting it of spelling and grammar errors. Editor need to have good attention to detail and knowledge of grammar and spelling.

  • Copywriter

    Develops and writes concepts for publicity campaigns. Develops materials such as scripts, print or web projects, reports, and speeches.

  • Event or Trade Show Manager

    Creates and directs events for a company. The manager works with corporate marketing and public relations department. Identifies event locations; develops budgets for functions; acquires event permits; secures speakers, products for display and promotional giveaways; oversees set up and tear down of demo booths; ensures availability of proper equipment and supplies; books hotel or conference rooms; and coordinates activities.

  • Event or Trade Show Coordinator

    Helps the trade show manager with all the organization of the event.

Resources

Ad Age (Marketing and Media News, Analysis and Data)
Careers In Marketing
Creative Hotlist (Career site for creative professionals)
Creativity Online
Data & Marketing Association
Know This (Knowledge source for market research, internet marketing, etc.)
MarketingHire.com (Alliance of leading US marketing associations)
Marketingjobs.com (General marketing career information)
Occupational Outlook Handbook (Career exploration info)
Talent Zoo (Ad, Marketing, Media, Digital Jobs)
Vault Career Insider Guides (must use your WFU email to access)
Vault Career Insider – Career Guide to Marketing and Brand Management

Professional Associations

American Association of Advertising Agencies
Smart Brief
American Marketing Association
Business Marketing Association
The National Association of Sales Professionals
The Professional Association for Design

Responsibilities

 

There are many aspects of marketing that may interest and appeal to you. Most marketing positions involve one or more of the following activities: cultivating relationships, managing information, speaking, researching and evaluating. The following is a sample of some of the potential departments within marketing:

Brand and Product ManagementPlan, direct, and control business and marketing efforts for products; concerned with research and development, packaging, manufacturing, sales and distribution, advertising, promotion, market research, and business analysis; a newcomer will join a brand/product team and learn the ropes by doing numerical analysis and watching senior members.

Business to Business MarketingMarketing targeted at organizations such as businesses, non-profits, government entities, and middlemen; this represents a large majority of marketing efforts.

Internet MarketingOpportunities in this field are new and still emerging, with options in electronic retailing, web page design, internet promotions, and managing websites.

Marketing CommunicationsCreate promotional efforts and other marketing activities that communicate with the organization’s customers; includes advertising, public relations, sales promotions and direct marketing.

Marketing ResearchDefine problems and identify the information needed to resolve them; determine what drives people to buy certain products by designing research projects, preparing questionnaires and samples, analyzing data, preparing reports and presenting findings.

Non-Profit MarketingPerform marketing and public relation functions and conduct fundraising for non-profits.

SalesA sales career path ranges from salesperson to the highest levels of management; opportunities can be found in advertising, financial, insurance, consulting and government organizations.

Securities and Financial Services MarketingSell banking and related services, provide many related services to clients, often in positions such as account executives, stock brokers, and registered representatives.

Sports MarketingPromote and manage athletes, teams, and sports facilities; sports marketers may work for a team, association or marketing firm to strategize about how to best leverage sponsorship, plan and coordinate events; conduct market research and produce promotional material.

Skills

  • Creative
  • Analytical thinker
  • Excellent communication
  • Motivated
  • Thick-skinned
  • Energetic
  • Tenacious
  • Outgoing
  • Organized
  • Flexible

Media and Journalism

Headlines and deadlines—that’s the field of journalism. Writing under the gun is the essence of the job, and the culture of the industry reflects the urgency of the journalist’s task. Here are some of the most prominent characteristics of the culture of journalism:

Competition

There is a strong tradition of competition among journalists and publications. As a journalist you’ll always be on the lookout for a scoop—an important story that you and your paper report first. And just about the worst thing that can happen to a reporter is to get scooped—to find out that your competitor beat you to the big story of the day.

Hectic Pace

Journalism is more than a nine-to-five job—it’s a way of life. Newspapers must cover the news beyond regular office hours, so journalists should expect to be awakened at 3 a.m. to cover a breaking story. (Keep in mind that the journalist may then return to the newsroom with just 15 minutes left to write the story and be expected to do it all over again the next day.)

Stress on the Job

It can definitely be frustrating putting in many “extra” hours for a relatively small      paycheck. (Some newspapers do offer over-time pay.) Deadline pressure and erratic hours may be less extreme at magazine publications.

Curiosity and Aggression

Most journalists tend to have a strong streak of curiosity in their personalities, but it’s aggressiveness that gets them the stories they go after.

Tough Crowd

The field of broadcast journalism is famous for its big egos and difficult personalities, especially in the higher ranks. Newsrooms attract aggressive, opinionated, ambitious people. While the traits may help reporters survive, they don’t make for the most pleasant employee relations. As one insider states, “You need to be thick-skinned. If you’re covering breaking news and something goes wrong, it can be complete chaos.”

Abridged and reprinted with permission from Experience.com

  • Broadcast Networks

    Networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox operate by paying local stations, called affiliates, to carry both network-produced shows and programs purchased from other sources. Most networks produce a variety of news programs, including daily national news shows, morning talk/news programs, such as The Today Show, and news-magazine shows, such as Dateline. Networks employ thousands of newspeople, but they seldom hire anyone without some type of television experience.

  • Cable Operations

    The growth of cable news and information networks such as CNN and FOX News Network has created more jobs for broadcast journalists. Because they provide 24-hour news programming, these stations have a need for more journalists and offer more entry-level opportunities than the networks. In fact, rumor has it that CNN hires more entry-level people than any other broadcast news operation in the world. On a community level, a new trend toward local,   24-hour cable news stations is opening up even more opportunities for aspiring broadcast journalists. Don’t forget your local community access channel; many of these stations also produce news programs, although the paid news staffs tend to number as few as one or two people.

  • Magazines

    Magazines can be organized into two groups. The first and larger group is made up of consumer magazines, many of which address a niche market related to hobbies and leisure activities (Tennis, Vegetarian Times), or offer a variety of news, information, and entertainment (The New Yorker, Esquire). The “big three” news magazines, Time, Newsweek, and US News & World Report, are influential consumer magazines that have large circulations and employ large staffs. Niche consumer magazines usually have small staffs and rely on freelance writers for much of their content.

    The second group is trade or professional magazines, which contain material of interest to certain industries or professions. For example, Editor & Publisher helps newspaper professionals stay abreast of events and trends affecting their business.

    Deadlines tend to fall farther apart in the magazine industry than at many newspapers, so the pace can be a little less break-neck. “Working at a news magazine is quite different from working at a newspaper. There is not all that much room in the publication for the actual stories—the magazine comes out just once a week and a lot of space is taken up by advertising; many of the articles have to be very brief. This intensifies competition among the writers, who jockey to get their stories in the magazine with their bylines in the largest font possible. The atmosphere is also different in that it’s a lot more corporate than at most newspapers—the organization is very hierarchical, there’s no newsroom (we work in cubicles and offices), and the men wear ties to work every day,” says a reporter at Newsweek.

  • Newspapers

    The largest employer of journalists is the newspaper industry. There are about 6,700 newspapers published in the United States today (1,700 daily and 5,000 weekly)—even the smallest towns in the nation are covered by a local or regional paper. Although they compete with other media—radio, television, and the Internet—newspapers are still an essential source of news and information for the public. Broadcast and electronic media cannot provide the in-depth news coverage and analysis that news-papers offer. Most large metropolitan newspapers appear daily. Some papers such as USA Today and the Wall Street Journal are national in scope and, therefore, skip over much regional news. Smaller suburban and local papers, which are usually published once a week, concentrate on news that affects their immediate areas.

Skills

  • Dedication
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Patience
  • Curiosity
  • Competitive spirit
  • Flexibility
  • Knowledge of current events
  • Creativity
  • Ability to research
  • Writing —This is a key component for anyone in the field and should be developed over a lifetime. Starting early is key, and gaining continual experience and practice is crucial.

Mutual Funds and Brokerage

When a large amount of money is needed for any enterprise, from building a factory to funding a corporation to drilling wells in a new oil field, that money is raised from investors—usually a large number of them. Commonly, the enterprise raises that money by either selling ownership shares in itself or simply borrowing it. When ownership is sold, the investor gets shares of stock. When money is borrowed, the investor gets bonds. Stocks and bonds are both securities. Investors buy and sell individual securities through brokers, also called securities dealers.

Additionally, mutual fund companies—and other so-called asset management firms—form funds, which consist of a variety of securities. The asset management company buys and sells the securities in a fund, seeking to maximize its value, and it sells shares in these funds to investors directly and through securities brokers.

  • Portfolio Manager (Mutual Funds)

    Portfolio fund managers use their knowledge of investment theory, market experience, research from staff and outside companies, and occasionally luck to pick investments for their fund portfolios. To reach the pinnacle in this profession, count on many years in the ranks of investment advisory and money management. Passing the SEC’s Series 7 exam is necessary to be registered and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is a huge plus for people planning on entering portfolio management.

  • Wholesaler

    Brokers and many of their clients tend to like passive investments, and funds are ideal for these types of people. But they may also want a little more involvement in fund information and more details than Mr. and Mrs. J.Q. Public. Enter the wholesaler from mutual fund XYZ, ready to host a “client appreciation program.” Wholesalers market their funds to huge clients such as Merrill and Morgan Stanley, but also must focus on smaller brokers and independent financial advisors.

  • Analyst or Researcher

    Here you delve into the fundamentals, examining every single feature of a security to determine if it’s really a buy. You specialize in a certain industry or an industry segment and come to know the companies that compete there inside out. Expect to give computer screens lots of quality time and to really get cozy with annual reports. If you don’t like reading, accounting, crunching numbers, and more reading, you won’t be happy here. But it’s excellent training for more substantive and lucrative investment-advisory work or portfolio management.

  • Financial Planner

    Financial planners help people work out money questions and problems. You need to know a lot about tax law and different investment strategies. You can work alone with a fair amount of flexibility as an independent or join a firm. Many of these professionals now opt for a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) certification.

  • Sales and Marketing

    These jobs are similar to product management positions at consumer products companies, but the products are financial products. Marketers focus on both the long-term picture and specific current product offerings. Who needs what and how much will they pay for it?

  • Customer Service

    Responsible for being on top of challenges and issues and making them disappear or at least diminish by the close of trading. And investors, especially the new ones, have endless questions. It is your job in customer service to “research” the right answers quickly, capably, and cordially. If you are interested in working in marketing or portfolio management this is a good place to start because you will gain customer knowledge.

Resources

The Wake on Wall Street (WOWS) Guide: This is an overview of  ”Navigating the Wall Street Job Market” and is written by the Wake on Wall Street alumni group as a primer for students exploring careers in financial services.

Overview of the World of Finance : A PowerPoint resource produced by the WOWS group.

Nonprofits

The nonprofit industry is a vast and growing collection of more than 700,000 organizations that employ over 10 million people. While these organizations have varied goals and missions, they all have one thing in common: a concern for quality of life and a commitment to the betterment of a specific population.

Nonprofit organizations come in all shapes and sizes, from the local museum to the United Way to your alma mater. Many nonprofits work at the forefront of such major issues as AIDS, civil rights, homelessness, and the environment.

The exact structure of a nonprofit varies greatly depending upon the size and type of the organization. In a smaller nonprofit, one or two people may work as generalists fulfilling the requirements of all functions of the organization, while larger nonprofits often have entire departments set up to manage each function separately.

People who work for nonprofits agree that the best part of working in the industry is the sense of meaning and purpose they get from their job and from being part of their respective organizations. In most cases, this creates an environment that is less competitive and more communal than that of most for-profit organizations.

Nonprofit organizations expect a strong degree of commitment and dedication to their cause and the organization. This is expected of everyone—from the executive director to the administrative assistants and interns. This type of commitment often means that you work long, hard hours. It can sometimes be difficult to maintain a personal life in this type of work, and people can easily get burned out.

As nonprofits grow rapidly in size and number, they urgently need enthusiastic and dedicated graduates to get involved in a variety of challenging ways. Often, the best way to find a job in a nonprofit is to start out as a volunteer.

The Pro Humanitate Institute

The Pro Humanitate Institute is a core of learning, teaching, research, service, and action that transforms the ethos of Wake Forest University into an explicit mission connected to clear practices with meaningful social justice outcomes. Many of the PHI’s programs work directly with local Nonprofits. Check out the Programs portion of their website to learn how you can get involved!

Pro Humanitate Institute Summer Nonprofit Immersion Program

The Summer Nonprofit Immersion Program (SNIP) is a summer immersion program that brings together undergraduates at Wake Forest University with community partners to enhance both the learning of the student and the capacity of the nonprofit partner. The student participants selected are seeking scholarly, professional, and personal development through intensive work in the nonprofit sector.  Ideal community partners are able to provide committed mentoring and supervision to the student and a work plan that enriches the capacity of their organization while connecting to the student’s academic and/or professional interests.

Program Information

Dates
June-July

Application
Available mid-February

Support
Fellows are provided free housing and receive a $750 fellowship award

Contact
Shelley Sizemore (gravessa@nullwfu.edu)

Main Differences Between For Profits and Nonprofits

  • The purpose of a nonprofit company is to serve society rather than make money, and at the end of the year any profits that do exist are recycled back into the organization’s programs.
  • Nonprofits are tax exempt.
  • Volunteers make up a large portion of the workforce.
  • Nonprofits depend on fundraising to survive by soliciting money from the general public, private companies, government, and foundations.
  • Nonprofits are required to have a board of directors made up of three or more volunteers responsible for setting policies, electing officers, and ensuring the organization’s mission is carried out.
  • Decisions are not based on cost-effectiveness, but rather on more “mission-related” criteria.
  • A nonprofit company measures its productivity not in dollars but in how well it reaches its goals and fulfills its mission.
  • Nonprofit salaries are generally 15 to 20 percent less than for-profit companies.
  • The atmosphere in most nonprofits is more casual and relaxed.
  • Nonprofits often provide experience in many different areas and functions.

Public Relations

Public relations is the business of perception. Public relations professionals are responsible for shaping people’s viewpoints; how the consumer, the competition, the international community and the average person on the street view a client. A large amount of the news put in print, on television, and on the internet is the direct result of public relations.

  • Research

    Determining attitudes and behaviors of the public and analyzing the causes for these attitudes and behaviors in order to plan, implement and measure activities to influence or change them.

  • Media Relations

    Relating with communications media in seeking publicity or responding to their interest in an organization.

  • Employee/Member Relations

    Responding to concerns as well as informing and motivating an organization’s employees/members, its retirees and their families.

  • Community Relations

    Continuous, planned and active participation with and within a community to maintain and enhance its environment to the benefit of both an organization and the community.

  • Public Affairs

    Developing effective involvement in public policy, and helping an organization adapt to public expectations; a term also used by military services and some government agencies to describe their public relations activities.

  • Government Affairs

    Relating directly with legislatures and regulatory agencies on behalf of an organization, usually as a central element of a public affairs program; often called “lobbying.”

  • Issues Management

    Identifying and addressing issues of public interest in which an organization is, or should be, concerned.

  • Financial Relations

    Creating and maintaining investor confidence and building positive relationships with the financial community; also called investor or shareholder relations.

  • Industry Relations

    Relating with trade associations and other firms in an organization’s industry.

  • Development/Fund Raising

    Demonstrating the need for and encouraging an organization’s members, friends, supporters and others to voluntarily contribute to support the cause.

  • Multicultural Affairs

    Relating with individuals and groups in minorities.

  • Special Events

    Stimulating an interest in a person, product or organization by means of a focused “happening;” also, activities designed to enable an organization to listen to and interact with its customers and the public.

  • Marketing Communications

    Combination of activities designed to sell a product, service or idea, including advertising, collateral materials, publicity, promotion, packaging, point-of-sale display, trade shows and special events.

Resources

Agency Pimp
The Association for Women in Communications
 – Organization for women across communication disciplines. Hosts conference and other professional development activities. Includes a job board.
Council of Public Relations Firms – Represents over 100 of the leading PR firms. Provides “find a firm” features with roster of member PR firms by geographic location, size and expertise. Maintains a job bank.
Institute for Public Relations – An independent non-profit organization serving educators, researchers, PR professionals, and their clients. Site includes free, downloadable research reports and news.
International Association of Business Communicators – Professional network including more than 70 countries and 14,000+ professionals; hosts seminars (including web) and conferences, publishes research and publications, and maintains a job bank. Some content is members-only.
Media Bistro – One of the best job search engines for communications jobs. Site also includes events, forums and news.
Adweek – Site of trade publication for media industry. Focuses on news, analysis of and commentary on the media business. Includes job search engine (for all media/communications jobs, including PR).
O’Dwyer PR – Includes free access to rankings of firms, list of PR firms by specialty (located under “1,000 PR specialties”), extensive list of PR associations and organizations, blogs, and related links. Maintains a job bank.
Occupational Outlook Handbook (Advertising and Public Relations Services) 
PR News Online – Provides the latest news and strategies related to PR and marketing, including industry resources and research.
PR Temp Jobs
PRWeek – Extension of PRWeek, a weekly industry trade publication. Site provides news, reviews, profiles, techniques, and fresh research relating to the PR industry. Includes job postings.
Public Relations Society of America – The largest professional organization for PR professionals (also includes 255 college and university chapters, PRSA focuses on continuing education for members through networking, professional development and publications. Maintains a job bank.
Public Relations Student Society of America
Talent Zoo – Job search engine featuring media blogs and the latest headlines in the communication industry.
Vault, Career Insider Guides (must use your WFU email to access)
Vault, Career Insider – Vault Guide to Top Advertising and PR Employers

Publishing

Editorial: Book editors come from a variety of educational backgrounds, although most are liberal arts graduates with degrees in English, communication, or journalism. If you major in a non-liberal arts field (like biochemistry or economics) you should ensure that you get experience in writing and editing.

The most valuable experience for editorial jobs comes from internships with publishing firms or positions at small nonprofit, college, association, or online publications where you have the opportunity to write a lot and to edit other people’s writing. Getting a good internship often requires that you have worked on the campus magazine, newspaper, or yearbook, preferably in a responsible editorial position.

Extracurricular activities that involve writing and editing are also valuable, as are any part-time positions that involve the business side of publishing. Jobs at bookstores, for instance, can teach more than you might think about how the retail part of the publishing industry works. And read as much as you can; stay current with what’s hot in the market.

Marketing: Business majors are useful for prospective book marketers, although English, journalism, and communication concentrations are more common. Courses in public relations are especially helpful. Experience in handling publicity is extremely useful, as is any general marketing experience involving writing marketing copy, buying advertising, and/or working with retailers. Event management is also helpful; try to get involved in running book signing events, handling speakers, etc.

Production: Art and design programs give a solid foundation in the principles of graphic design and typography. You should also work in production for a college publication (newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, etc.) Any work that will help you to fill out your portfolio is useful training for a graphic arts production job. These days you need fluent mastery of digital tools, so get experience with design software, scanners, and digital cameras wherever you can. Get this experience under your belt and have examples of your layout and artwork to show. Any familiarity you can gain with printing terminology and processes by working at printing firms or copy shops doesn’t hurt either.

  • Editorial Assistant

    Entry level position in publishing. An unspoken rule is that the level at which you assist has a great bearing on how far you will go and how quickly you will get there. Assisting lower level associate editors, some of whom have just been promoted and given their first-ever assistant, may include more menial tasks and doesn’t allow for the direct experience you’d get assisting someone on an executive level. Approximate salary: $43,000

  • Production Assistant

    Maintains the deadline schedules of the magazine and follows up on all internal delays, in addition to typical administrative duties. The production department focuses on all stages of editorial production from beginning concepts, page numbers, and budgets to final approvals by editors and editors-in-chief. Approximate salary: $45,000

  • Copy Assistant

    Responsible for maintaining records of what pages and projects have gone through the departments as part of the production process. The copy assistant may also line edit short copy and fact-check on credits as well as perform administrative duties, usually for the Department and Copy Chief. Approximate salary: $47,000

  • Community Relations

    Continuous, planned and active participation with and within a community to maintain and enhance its environment to the benefit of both an organization and the community.

  • Research Assistant

    Responsible for the department’s administrative duties as well as any research requests that come in from other editors. The research assistant also makes certain that every fact published is correct. This is a great position for someone who loves detail, research, and fact-finding. Approximate salary: $48,000

  • Photo Assistant

    Logs in and returns film and portfolios; corresponds with photographers; assists with travel arrangements for shoots; orders prints; prepares expense reports, invoices, and budgets; sends issues to contributing photographers; and organizes countless files for the department. Approximate salary: $33,000-52,000

  • Art Assistant

    Does administrative follow-up and page proof trafficking and finds pictures and photographs for relevant pages. Computer knowledge and use is essential; most art assistants use InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Approximate salary: $49,000

Skills

  • Excellent written and oral communication
  • Teamwork
  • Interpersonal
  • Organization
  • Multi-tasking abilities
  • Analytical
  • Knowledge of literature
  • Flexible

Real Estate

Job opportunities in the real estate industry are divided into four distinct fields: sales, management, development, and acquisition and analysis. Although crossover among these sectors is possible, most people start out specializing in a specific area.

Sales and Leasing: This segment includes everything from residential real estate brokers to larger corporations that broker bigger commercial properties such as office towers.

Management: Property managers are responsible for maintaining property values. They deal with tenants, manage finances, and physically tend to the property.

Development: Developers are responsible for taking a property idea and making it a reality. This is a complex process involving architects, engineers, zoning officials, builders, lenders, and prospective tenants.

Acquisition and Analysis: Any kind of investing in real estate requires a thorough understanding of how to analyze the value of a property and navigate the maze of land-use regulations, zoning laws, environmental impact reports, financing realities, and other barriers to buying and developing a property. The people who develop, market, and manage REITs and other real estate investments are financial types, who are charged with evaluating and arranging for the purchase of properties.

  • Residential Real Estate Agent/Broker

    Real estate agents and brokers are usually independent sales professionals who contract their services to real estate brokers in exchange for a commission-sharing agreement (normally six percent). There are over 400,000 real estate brokers and agents in the United States. To become an agent or broker you must pass a written test on property laws and real estate transactions. Most states also require 30-90 hours of classroom training.

  • Production Assistant

    Commercial property brokerage offices use sales associates who market office buildings, hotels, and many other types of commercial real estate for brokers. Commercial real estate sales people usually specialize in a particular property type such as apartments, retail, office, hospitality, shopping centers, or industrial plants.

  • Appraiser

    Real estate appraisers provide unbiased estimates of a property’s value and quality. Appraisers usually work for banks or for appraiser firms and will normally value properties by finding comparable sales in an area or by estimating the discounted value of cash flows expected from a property. This profession is less cyclical than real estate brokerage because appraisers are required when homes are refinanced—a time historically when the real estate market has been slow.

  • Property Manager

    Leading real estate owners require professional property managers. Managers are responsible for negotiating leases, ensuring that tenants are satisfied, that rent is paid and that rents reflect market conditions. The career of property manager requires good interpersonal and analytical skills and a fair amount of negotiating prowess. This job is personally rewarding and allows managers to learn the real estate markets should they wish to embark in business on their own. Their training programs include the Certified Property Manager (CPM) and Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) designations.

  • Developer

    Are you willing to work hard and take risks to develop new properties? Then a career in real estate development may be for you. You can enter this business working for another developer, moving up to construction manager, or you can strike out on your own, starting with some smaller transactions. Good developers are results-oriented and know how to get work finished on time, which involves managing labor, establishing time estimates, and getting appropriate equipment operators and construction crews.

Skills

  • Personable
  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Negotiation
  • Honesty
  • Motivation
  • Analytical
  • Organizational
  • Detail oriented
  • Good memory
  • Knowledge of markets

Sports

While there are very few people who play professional sports as their “job,” there are many ways to work in sports.  You can work for professional teams or leagues, amateur sports conferences or leagues, and much more.  At the highest level, college sports are governed by the NCAA and have multiple conferences, with Wake Forest competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), a conference made up of NCAA Division I colleges and universities. Other colleges and universities that choose not to compete at this level may complete at the NCAA Division II or III, the NAIA or in other divisions or conferences.

In addition to working for teams or leagues, it’s important to remember that the media plays an important role in the world of sports.  Professional teams and “big-time” college sports generate millions of dollars by selling media rights to networks like ESPN, Fox, and others.  Television shows, magazines, and internet sites focus their attention on what teams and athletes are doing and offer a variety of opportunities if you have strong communication and/or technical skills.  Beyond these roles, you can also “work in sports” by working with firms that create and sell sporting goods or by applying your skills on behalf of a firm that develops sports technology.  There are Wake Forest graduates working in athletic departments, as writers for major sports media websites, as announcers for professional leagues, and in a variety of other roles.

When considering a career in sports, feedback from professionals that work in sports suggest that it is important for you to remember these 3 points:

  1. Working in sports looks exciting and challenging, and in many ways, it is.  But because it looks exciting and challenging, there can be a lot of competition to land internships and jobs.  It is  common for hundreds of people to apply for a single position.
  2. Because so many people apply for these positions, it is hard to stand out.  One former minor league GM said that he started his career in a wooden ticket booth in upstate New York and suggested that if you land a position, any position, in sports, you should accept the position as a way to get your foot in the door.
  3. If you are working for a team, league, or conference, the reality is that you are going to have a “normal” job every day and then you will be expected to attend sporting events themselves.  Working in sports is not a 40 hour-a-week job!
  • Athlete Representation/Agent

    As an agent, you are responsible for the business and legal representation of your client.

  • Athletic Director

    On college campuses, there is a single head Athletic Director, but there are also Associate/Assistant Athletic Directors that focus on things like marketing, fundraising, academic performance, and other key functions.

  • Athletic Equipment Manager

    These are the people responsible for ensuring that equipment is ready for practices and game day.

  • Athletic Trainer

    Trainers often have Physical Therapy degrees and work with athletes to address physiological issues and to make sure that the athletes are ready to perform.

  • Sports Marketer

    These are the people that use  sporting events as a mechanism to market their products, services, or companies.  Sports marketing professionals can be found working for teams and leagues, but they can also be found working for the firms that pay to advertise at the events.

  • Ticket Operations

    While big-time sports generates a lot of revenue from television broadcast rights, many teams and leagues generate most of their revenue from selling tickets.

  • Sponsorship Coordinator

    Often working with external sports marketing professionals, the sponsorship coordinator ensures that firms that are paying to promote their products, services, or companies get the attention they deserve.

  • Sports Information Director

    Often the primary point of contact between the media and a college athletic department, SIDs publicize and promote their programs.

  • Sports Broadcaster/Journalist

    Although there are fewer sports journalists working for local stations and newspapers, there remain a variety of roles available for the professionals that write, report, and editorialize on sports teams, figures, and events.

Employers

There are a variety of “sports” employers for you to consider.  While you can probably name the professional or college teams that you are familiar with, you should also consider athletic associations, athletic conferences, colleges and  universities, country clubs and  resorts, high schools, major leagues and  associated teams, minor leagues and  associated team, race tracks, sporting goods companies, arenas and  stadiums, and sports marketing and  management agencies.

Sports Marketing

The billboards at your local stadium, the corporate sponsored tournament you watch on TV, and the commercials with athletes promoting your favorite fast-food chain are all products of the innovative thinking and hard work of sports marketing professionals. Although the hours can be long and the environment fiercely competitive, sports marketing offers many rewards. Generous salaries, challenging work, and excellent perks such as free tickets to sporting events and the chance to meet pro athletes are only a few of the reasons sports marketing is a popular career aspiration.

Sports marketing allows corporations to associate their brands and products with the excitement, enjoyment, and admiration that audiences assign to games and athletes. This industry, as a whole, derives its promotional techniques from fields such as advertising, public relations, and marketing.

Sports marketing is a profession notorious for low turnover, and quick advancement through the ranks is not common. More often, individuals in entry-level positions can expect to stay there for several years. Mid- and upper-level executive positions often become lifetime jobs because worker satisfaction is so high. Salaries available in the sports marketing field vary by region of the country. Most salaries for the entry-level are generally low. Wide salary ranges for the upper-level executive positions reflect the sheer variety of sports employers, even within the specific categories covered: sports marketing firms, corporate sports marketing divisions, and sports leagues and associations. For example, the Director of Marketing for a major league baseball team could earn two to three times as much his or her counterpart in the minor leagues.

In conclusion, the sports marketing industry is fast-paced, exciting, and often hectic. Marketing representatives and event coordinators deal with a never-ending stream of requests from sponsors and clients. A quick mind, a personable attitude, and a good deal of energy are necessary to keep up with all the work.

  • Floater (Sports League/Association)

    At most professional sports leagues and teams, the entry-level position available to recent college grads is called a floater. Floaters are essentially temporary office assistants. When a position in a particular department is vacated, a floater works in that division until the job is filled. The floater’s job is not very glamorous, consisting mostly of gofer work. However, because floaters move from department to department they get to see how the team or league is run from the inside as well as meet many people along the way. Floaters usually work with the marketing, public relations, human resources, and ticket sales departments.

  • Account Coordinator (Sports Marketing Firm)

    Account Coordinators at sports marketing firms support upper-level executive staff in the creation of marketing strategies, the coordination of corporate sponsorships, and the planning of sporting events. Account Coordinators help to maintain strong relationships with the firm’s corporate clients. Previous experience in sports marketing, such as an internship or volunteer position, is required. Account Coordinators do a little bit of everything and must have good writing and oral communication skills.

  • Event Coordinator (Sports Marketing Firm)

    The Event Coordinator position is available both within sports marketing firms and “in-house” departments. This position requires a great breadth of experience in the field and is one of the more difficult entry-level positions to acquire. Working with the Event Director, an Event Coordinator assists with operations both on and off-site, and must be attentive to every detail of event staging. Event Coordinators also correspond with corporate sponsors, ensuring that all their needs are met.

  • Marketing Representative (Sports Marketing Division)

    Marketing representatives for sporting goods manufacturers are called upon to do a wide variety of tasks, from keeping track of the athletes who endorse your company’s products, to grassroots market research. Marketing reps need to be flexible and able to handle multiple tasks. They primarily work with athletes on college and pro teams, making sure they are supplied with the company’s product.

  • Public Relations Assistant (Sports League/Association)

    Most teams, leagues, sports merchandise manufacturers, and sports marketing firms have a PR department, because public relations is a big part of sports marketing. In order for a sporting event to be successful, it must receive media attention, which is often generated through public relations. PR assistants work with the department head to draft press releases and pitch stories to the media. PR assistants for pro teams may help direct activities in the press box on game night. PR assistants at sports marketing firms keep track of news coverage of clients and assemble clipping reports.

Teaching

The Department of Education at Wake Forest University offers various majors and minors intended for licensure and non-licensure pathways into teaching as well as other careers in the field of education and/or related professions. For more information, click here, or visit WFU’s Department of Education located in B201 Tribble Hall.

Get Your Foot In the Door

Contact the State Board of Education and local school districts
Your State Board of Education is a great resource. State boards can provide you with state-specific certification requirements, procedures, and applications. They also provide other valuable information, such as listings of local school districts and schools. States might have their own exams and additional teaching requirements, so you should plan to contact the licensure officer of the districts you are interested in directly. Districts also do their own recruiting and hiring; they are your best resource for local job vacancies and other essential information regarding individual schools.

Attend job fairs
Local school districts often pool their recruiting efforts by organizing job fairs. These gatherings are excellent chances for you to meet potential employers, find out about job vacancies, and get your resume and name out there. February through June are the typical months for fairs. Check with the Office of Personal & Career Development to find out about job fairs in your area.

Network your way in
Take advantage of every contact you have in the educational system. Start with the school system’s licensure officer. Former teachers, professors, family members, and friends may also provide you with job opportunities and information, as well as further contacts in the field. Use LinkedIn to network with WFU graduates who are already working in the field. When you contact these alumni, ask to set up informational interviews. Joining a professional association, such as the American Federation of Teachers or the National Education Association, is a smart networking move as well; you’ll not only learn more about the field, but you’ll also meet other education professionals. The key here is to be assertive and not afraid to ask for help. The majority of people will be happy to talk about their teaching experience and flattered that you asked.

Substitute teach
Substitute teaching is an excellent way to gain experience, make contacts, and bring home a little money while you search for more permanent employment. Many experienced teachers will tell you that they got their first full-time break through a substitute teaching job. Once schools get to know you and your teaching style, they will be more likely to consider you for an opening when a position becomes available, and you’ll certainly have an advantage over a total stranger when it comes time for them to pick a candidate. Contact the school districts you’re interested in for information on substitute teaching opportunities.

Teacher placement agencies
If you’re interested in working at a private school, look into registering with a teacher placement agency. These agencies act as intermediaries between private schools and teaching candidates. Some agencies require schools to pay a fee for finding candidates, while other agencies charge teaching candidates for finding them jobs. Be sure to research any organization fully before registering with them—especially those that ask you to pay a fee. No fee placement agencies, such as Southern Teachers Agency and Carney Sandoe & Associates, hold on-campus interviews at Wake Forest. Check Handshake to find out when agencies will be interviewing.

Send out resumes
Some teachers recommend that you send unsolicited resumes to as many school districts as possible. You can locate the names, addresses, and other details of schools and school districts on the internet. If you don’t have a contact name, call the principal of the schools in which you are interested. Remember to customize each cover letter to the school system to which you are applying, and always follow up your mailings with a call. Whether or not there are positions available, at least you’ll get your name out there, and schools will keep your resume on file.

Skills

  • Excellent oral and written communication
  • Positive attitude
  • Creativity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Organization
  • Sense of humor
  • Confidence
  • Patience
  • Good listener

Teach without a license in North Carolina

Traditionally, North Carolina’s public school teachers have come from formal teacher-education programs of in-state and out-of-state colleges and universities.  However, today’s demand for teachers far exceeds the supply of new graduates from these traditional programs. “Alternate” routes to teaching were established by the North Carolina State Board of Education to help alleviate this shortage. These “non-traditional” or “alternate” routes to teaching were established for qualified individuals with college degrees outside the field of education who want to become teachers. Individuals interested in becoming teachers should contact the specific school system in which they want to teach to inquire about that particular system’s licensing options.

Lateral entry is an “alternate” route to teaching for qualified individuals outside of the public education system. Lateral entry allows qualified individuals to obtain a teaching position and begin teaching right away, while obtaining a license as they teach. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Licensure Section authorizes lateral-entry licenses on a provisional basis in licensure areas that correspond to the individual’s academic study.

Steps for becoming a lateral entry teacher and pursuing a “professional” teaching license

  1. The individual must first qualify as a lateral entry teacher to be able to seek a position with a school system.
  2. The individual is hired by a school system, which recommends the individual to the NC Department of Public Instruction for a lateral entry license. The individual is issued a three year lateral entry provisional license.
  3. Upon being issued the initial provisional lateral entry license, the individual affiliates with a college or university with an approved teacher education program in the license area or with one of the Regional Alternative Licensing Centers (RALC) in North Carolina. An individual plan of study is prescribed for the lateral entry teacher.
  4. The individual follows their plan of study prescribed by the college or university or the RALC. A minimum of six semester hours per year from the plan of study must be taken until the plan has been completed. All coursework and the Praxis II exam for their licensure area must be completed within three years.
  5. When the individual completes the required coursework prescribed by the college, university, or RALC and satisfies licensure testing requirements, they is recommended for licensure by the institution or RALC. This recommendation is sent to the NC Department of Public Instruction where it is evaluated and if the individual has met all the requirements, he/she is issued a Standard Professional 1 License.

Alternative Teaching Opportunities

The National Cathedral Elementary School (Beauvoir) Associate Teacher Programseeks current students or recent graduates interested in working in a program that will clarify their career goals and refine their pedagogical skills in a dynamic teaching environment in Washington, D.C. Click here to view the program brochure.

TNTP Teaching Fellows is a highly competitive program which looks for accomplished professionals and recent graduates who aren’t yet certified as educators, but who possess the skills and knowledge to teach high-need subjects. In 2012, about 40 percent of Teaching Fellows taught special education, 15 percent taught science, 12 percent taught math, and 10 percent taught bilingual education.

TNTP Teaching Fellows offers a centralized application process to apply to their various nationwide teaching fellows programs, which include:

Baltimore City Teaching Residency
DC Teaching Fellows
Indianapolis Teaching Fellows
Nashville Teaching Fellows
NYC Teaching Fellows
TeachNOLA

Go to TNTP Teaching Fellows for more information about subject area needs and to compare programs.

The Stanwich School Associate Teacher Program seeks liberal arts majors interested in pursuing a career in education. Interns work beside a master teacher at The Stanwich School (a private, coed K-9 school in Greenwich, CT) for two years, earn their master’s degree, and have a teaching job waiting for them when they graduate. Interns receive an annual salary in addition to medical and dental benefits, plus assistance with graduate school tuition.

The NYC Department of Education’s Graduate Scholarship Program prepares participants to work in NYC public schools. The program provides full tuition for a masters degree in a designated critical shortage area (bilingual, bilingual school psychology, speech pathology, or visually impaired). In exchange, participants serve as a teacher or clinician and repay two years of service for each year of tuition assistance. Upon graduation, participants are placed in areas of high need in the city schools.

The Boettcher Teachers Program, an intensive, field-based, dual licensure and master’s degree program in Colorado designed to recruit, prepare, and retain outstanding teachers for urban schools, seeks prospective teachers in math, science, bilingual and elementary education, Spanish, English, and social studies. Participants earn their teaching license and master’s degree in urban education from the University of Denver, mostly paid for in exchange for a commitment to teach in partner districts’ high priority schools for a total of five years, including the teaching residency year. Benefits include a living stipend during the teaching residency year, ongoing collaboration through a network of urban teachers, and facilitated visits to classrooms of master teachers around the Denver metro area. No previous teaching experience is required. Spanish speakers are especially encouraged to apply.

Teach Kentucky recruits recent graduates from selective universities to teach in either urban or rural Kentucky public schools for two years while at the same time pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of Louisville. Participants receive a competitive salary, health insurance, and tuition assistance.

The Math for America Fellowship is a five year program in that trains mathematically-talented individuals to become high school math teachers and supports them in the early years of their careers. Fellows receive a stipend, a full tuition scholarship to a masters level teacher preparation program, a position as a high school math teacher in Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, Utah, and Washington, D.C., a teaching certification, and a teacher’s salary. During the first year of the program fellows are enrolled as full-time graduate students.

Inner City Teaching Corps is a two year program that places outstanding recent college graduates in teaching positions at inner-city Chicago elementary and middle schools. The program is based on the principles of service, simple living, faith-based community, and spirituality. Free housing, transportation, a monthly stipend, health insurance, student loan deferments, and master’s degree scholarship options are also included in the program.

Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship offers rigorous teaching preparation, extensive clinical experience, and ongoing mentoring, as well as a $30,000 stipend. Fellows are outstanding college juniors and seniors, recent college graduates, and second-career professionals interested in teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (the STEM fields) in high-need middle or secondary schools. Accepted Fellows begin their studies in the summer in a master’s degree program at institutions in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. In exchange, Fellows will commit to teaching math or science in a high-need middle or high school for three years upon completing the master’s degree and teaching certification. Applications are usually due in January.

New Teachers Collaborative prepares participants with a strong college background in mathematics, science, the arts, English, humanities, history/social sciences, Spanish, or physical fitness/wellness for a teaching career. For two summer sessions and one academic year participants teach in a small middle or secondary school in Massachusetts as well as earn a teaching certificate. Participants pay no tuition and receive a stipend and benefits.

The MATCH Teacher Residency Program is a highly selective, urban education fellowship program in Boston. The MATCH school is often compared to Teach for America and the New York City Teaching Fellows Program. MATCH is a one year program and Corps members may work with elementary, middle or high school low-income, urban students. MATCH Corps members receive housing and a modest stipend.

Mississippi Teacher Corps is a competitive, alternate-route teaching program serving critical-shortage public school districts throughout Mississippi. The two-year program is designed for non-education majors to teach full-time in Mississippi schools in either the Mississippi Delta (rural) or Jackson (urban) areas while simultaneously earning a master’s degree in education from the University of Mississippi.

Citizen Schools is a network of after-school programs for middle school students in 38 locations across the country (in CA, IL, MA, NC, NJ, NM, NY, and TX). The Citizen Schools National Teaching Fellowship is a service program offering a two-year, leadership development experience, including service as a team leader at a Citizen Schools campus, professional development with a partner organization in the community, and the opportunity for optional enrollment in a pioneering master’s program in out-of-school learning. Proficiency in Spanish is a plus. The Fellowship is paid. Loan forbearance for qualified student loans is available through AmeriCorps.

The Brookwood Teacher Training Program in Manchester, MA is an intense study and work experience that entails one year of teaching experience, Massachusetts Initial Licensure, and a master’s degree in education. The program begins with a summer of graduate study at Lesley University and is followed by a nine-month teaching internship experience at Brookwood School, which includes part-time course work at Lesley. Brookwood School is an independent day school for grades pre-K through 8. Participants may earn licensure in early childhood education or elementary education.

Memphis Teaching Residency is a faith-based program that allows participants to combine theory (masters degree in urban education), practice (teaching internship), and support (personal coaching, housing, and $12,000 stipend) to transform Memphis urban classrooms.

The Mentor at Punahou Program (located in Honolulu, Hawaii) is an opportunity for aspiring teachers to work with experienced Punahou mentors who teach grades 9 – 12. This yearlong teaching program is designed to give support, training, and experience to college graduates who are considering teaching as a career. It is not an internship; participants in the MAP Program are fulltime members of the Punahou Academy faculty.

Theatre, Film and Television

Most of the creative roles—directors, writers, actors, composers, designers, cinematographers, and editors—are entry-level positions. So, if you want to become a writer or an actor, become one—writers only need a word processor and actors only need head shots and a subscription to BackStage.

Designers, composers, cinematographers, and editors should look to student and independent films to practice their craft and build up a reel. Unlike writers or actors, there are a variety of opportunities for these artisans to earn money and build contacts while “supporting their hobby.” Production designers can find work in art departments as art directors, coordinators, costumers, prop masters, set designers, and location scouts. Sound designers can work as sound transferrers, mixers, engineers, recording artists, Foley editors and so on. Cinematographers work as assistant cameramen and gaffers, and composers may work as orchestrators, conductors, music editors, and music supervisors. These positions are still competitive, but they can be acquired through standard job hunting methods: networking, informational interviews, classified ads, and working your way from one job to the next.

Between your day job and your career pursuit, you will be very busy. Unfortunately, you also need to promote yourself simultaneously. Acquiring an agent, lawyer, and manager will provide you with a stamp of legitimacy, but unless you’re extremely fortunate, these individuals will likely focus on their more prominent clients, leaving you to fend for yourself. Your next step is to cozy up to the individuals who can offer you work: producers, directors, casting agents, etc.

  • Examples of entry-level positions

    Director, 2nd Assistant Camera/Camera Loader or Clapper, Assistant Costumer, Assistant Editor, Assistant Make-Up, Assistant On-Set Dresser, Assistant Props Master, Boom Operator, Casting Assistant, Executive Assistant, Film Laboratory Assistant, Library Manager, Page, Production Assistant, Reader, Runner, Script Supervisor, Set Painter, Sound Transfer Assistant, and Writer’s Assistant.

  • Script Reading

    A script reader’s duties entail reading scripts that have been submitted to the studio or production company and writing coverage, which is a specialized industry template that includes a summary of the film’s plot, an evaluation that describes why you did or didn’t like it, and a breakdown of ratings – poor, fair, good, excellent – of such script components as character, dialogue, and story. The reader then decides whether or not to recommend the script and/or the writer; often a reader will recommend the script for purchase for commercial reasons, but will not recommend the writer. Similarly, there are times when a reader will pass on a writer’s script for commercial reasons, but will recommend the writer for consideration for future assignments. Finally the reader passes the scripts that fall into the recommend pile along to the next rung up the ladder.

  • Producer Assistant

    Producer Assistants are highly competent administrators who work closely with Producers throughout the production process, from script development and pre-production through to marketing and distribution. They must be well organized, highly flexible, and possess a good overview of the film production process. Producer Assistants may be either freelancers keen to learn about the business, or long-term employees of a production company. They occupy a privileged position, which offers great insight into the film making process, and this role should not be confused with that of a Production Assistant. If they rise to the challenge, Producer Assistants may come to wield considerable influence over the production.

  • Writing Assistant

    Serving as a writing assistant is a great way to get your foot in the door. The responsibilities of a writing assistant will based upon the writer’s preferences. Some duties may include editing, research, transcribing, or clerical duties (i.e. taking notes at studio meetings). Some writing assistants may also take on responsibilities similar to that of a personal assistant such as running errands or ordering lunch for the writer. Serving as a writing assistant can help you to learn a lot about the industry (i.e. how to create an effective pitch, how to work with producers etc.) as well as revision process. If you have a good working relationship with your supervisor, they may be willing to serve as your mentor by reading your work and referring it to producers and agents looking for new talent.

  • Production Runner

    Production Runners are the foot soldiers of the production team, performing small but important tasks in the office, around the set and on location. Their duties may involve anything from office administration to crowd control, and from public relations to cleaning up locations. They are usually employed on a freelance basis, are not very well paid, and their hours are long and irregular. However, the work is usually extremely varied and provides a good entry-level role into the film industry.

  • Script Editor

    Script Editors provide a critical overview of the screenwriting process, and liaise between the Producer or Development Executive and the Screenwriter. Script Editors do not offer solutions, but instead use their analytical skills to help Screenwriters identify problems, explain the potential consequences of Screenwriters’ choices, and thereby help to strengthen and develop screenplays. Script Editors are sometimes full-time employees of a Production company, but more often they are employed on a freelance basis, and their fees and levels of involvement are negotiable.

  • Production Assistant

    The production assistant does just about anything and everything, from getting coffee, to making script copies to shuttling crew or equipment around town as needed. The PA position is a lot of grunt work, but can be extremely educational. It is a highly visible position in that just about anyone can give you an order, from the producer to a sound technician. The production assistants who do as they’re told without complaint are the ones who are remembered when it comes time to fill more important positions.

Skills

  • Flexibility
  • Patience
  • Creativity
  • Talent
  • Determination
  • Good sense of humor
  • Thick-skinned, able to deal with rejection
  • Resourcefulness
  • Ability to network and make new connections

Tips for Landing Your First Job

As with most businesses that deal in artistic endeavors, the film and television industries don’t need to actively recruit new employees. Thousands of interested applicants clamor for jobs every year, hoping to break into the field. While blanketing production companies, networks, and studios with resumes is one way to get hired, there are other avenues of opportunity open to students looking to break into film and television:

Internships: Most major studios, networks, and production companies use interns, and those that don’t can often be easily convinced of the benefits of hiring cheap labor. State and local film commissions are a good way to find out about productions filming on location that might need some temporary (usually unpaid) interns or assistants. Although interns usually spend their time engaged in grunt work, few opportunities offer students a better chance to learn the inner workings of these industries. In addition, interning is an excellent way to make contacts and to discover unadvertised job openings.

The Trades: The trades are the daily and weekly newspapers and magazines, such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, that report on trends and happenings in film and television production. In this business, knowledge is power, and the trades are the primary sources of information concerning projects in development, company shakeups, and other sources of new opportunities. The trades list job openings, auditions submission requests, and upcoming film productions.

Networking: Contacts are the key to doing business within the film and television industries. As part of an insular community, entertainment professionals look to one another for help in arranging financing, setting up projects, or securing creative talent. Unfortunately for applicants, they also tend to look to insiders when filling available job openings. Networking will allow you to make contacts who can assist you in breaking into the field.

Independent Productions: The success of low-budget, independent feature films has resulted in an unprecedented rise in the number of such projects. Independent productions offer those with little or no experience the chance to work on both short-subject and feature-length films. While the pay is often low, especially given the long work hours, the opportunity for recognition and advancement is far greater on these smaller, less rigid production crews than on industry sets.

Film School: Although receiving an undergraduate or graduate degree in film production won’t guarantee you a place inside the Hollywood community, it can provide you with a chance to gain contacts and educate yourself in the technical aspects of film. That said, unless you have an unquenchable passion for structured learning and enough money to cover tuition and living expenses, your time will likely be better spent interning, enrolling in a shorter training program, or looking for a job immediately upon graduating. You can always decide to go to film school, but if you find the right job, you’ll never want to.

Translating and Interpreting

Translators and Interpreters enable the cross-cultural communication necessary in today’s society by converting one language into another. Although some people do both, interpretation and translation are different professions.
Translators
 convert written materials from one language into another.
Interpreters
 convert one spoken language into another.

Resources

American Translators Association – Information on translation and interpretation professions. This association offers accreditation to translators. Website includes job postings and list of regional chapters. There is a membership fee to join the association.
Language Automation – Language Automation is located in the Silicon Valley and is a provider of translation services (especially Japanese) for the videogame, Web, and software industries.
The American Association of Language Specialists – This association represents language specialists working at the international level, either at conferences or in permanent organizations, and determines their qualifications and standards. It includes a membership of interpreters and translators based in many countries, which may be useful for networking.
The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators – NAJIT is a non-profit organization dedicated to the court interpreting and legal translation profession. General information about the profession is included in the “Frequently Asked Questions” section.
National Council on Interpreting in Health Care – The NCIHC is a multidisciplinary organization whose mission is to promote culturally competent professional health care interpreting. Forsyth Tech offers medical interpreting classes using NCIHC’s guidelines.
American Literary Translators Association – ALTA is dedicated to the promotion of literary translation through services to literary translators, forums on the theory and practice of translation, collaboration with the international literary community, and advocacy on behalf of the literary translator. A link to ALTA Guides to Literary Translation offers practical advice for both beginning and experienced translators.
International Medical Interpreters Association – With over 2,000 members, who provide interpreting services in over 70 languages, the IMIA is the oldest and largest medical interpreter association in the country.
Department of State Language Services – Language Services facilitates communication with non-English speaking governments and people by providing high-level interpreting (spoken word) and translating (written word) support to the Executive Office of the President, the Department of State and other federal agencies.