W. P. Carey Alumni Share Advice on landing a great job as a fresh graduate

We asked W. P. Carey Alumni: How can fresh W. P. Carey grads land a great position?

Here are 7 ways they shared:

  • Set Proper Expectations
  • Determine Your Non-negotiables
  • Make Meaningful Connections
  • Be Well Prepared
  • Distinguish Yourself Through Your Personal Brand
  • Understand your values and seek alignment
  • Show That You’re a Good Cultural Fit

Set Proper Expectations

Set the right expectations for your search upfront. This is your first job out of college, and while it certainly won’t be your last one, it is a stage you’ll learn a ton in – so make the most of it.

Rather than go “all-in” on a single company or select few, really focus on WHAT you want to do (or try) instead of WHERE. Only after, pinpoint the companies, industries and sectors which offer the work that you’re looking for. Starting with the right expectations and setting your path from there will set you up for the most success! 

Chris Johnson, MBA ‘11, Cisco System

Determine Your Non-negotiables

Companies are just as eager to fill open roles as you are to find your post-grad job. Companies differ drastically in their industry, mission, and culture. Before hitting company and job posting sites, jot down your top non-negotiables.

For my most recent job pivot, some of my non-negotiables were to join a company where I had the flexibility to work remotely, I had a fixed number for my new salary, and I wanted a female manager. Once I made that list, I was able to refine my search to companies that would offer me all those things and more to eventually land me where I am now.

Macy Graver, BS Marketing ‘19, Dell Technologies

Make Meaningful Connections

One piece of advice: Network! I’ve learned that no matter the industry or your role, networking even in the smallest form can go a long way.

I would not be where I am today without professor Bret Giles referring me to a post-grad internship, which later connected me to my next role, and so on and so forth like the domino effect networking has. In addition to that, remember to network with purpose. Do not focus on making connections just for the sake of them; make sure it’s meaningful and mutually beneficial. This is a huge factor to success in the business world.

Priscilla Negrón, Digital Marketing ’15,  Walmart Connect

Be Well Prepared

There isn’t just “one tip” students can follow that will hack the corporate hiring code. I believe that it takes a variety of strategies to successfully land a career at a great company. Often it takes more than a customized resume, a networking coffee meeting, or even a good interview. However, a good first step is getting to know the company brand, mission and values and evaluating if this aligns with your own values; this can help tremendously in your preparation and evaluation.

Sydney Carey, MBA ‘22, Microsoft

Distinguish Yourself Through Your Personal Brand

Take time to craft your personal brand. Think of it as what people say and think about you. It should encompass what you’re passionate about, what you stand for, and what you do.

Make sure your brand permeates through everything you do. From interviewing for new roles to interacting with your colleagues on a daily basis. Be explicit about what you want people to know about you. When done right this will be a strong differentiator and help you stand out from the pack.

Gary Knox, Bachelor of Business Administration, Meta

Understand Your Values and Seek Alignment

Bosses and co-workers will come and go, but the most influential aspect of a company and your likelihood for success is its culture. I can’t overstate this enough. Be very clear about your values and the type of environment in which you are most productive. A personality assessment is a great first step to identifying your strengths. Find a company with a culture that aligns with what it takes for you to thrive and then show them what a great choice they made by hiring a W. P. Carey graduate! 

Natasha Ozybko, BA Business Administration ‘01 & EMBA ‘22, MOXY: The Voice of Women in Infrastructure

Show That You’re a Good Cultural Fit 

As employers, we frequently see multiple candidate resumes with similar qualifications and work history. In many cases, the person who gets the job is not necessarily the most skilled, but instead, the one who most closely aligns with the company’s culture. As a job seeker, the potential work environment and mission should align closely with your core values and personality.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK, don’t just look at the company website, research social media (take a look at LinkedIn for instance, to review the profiles of key employees) and other outlets as well to understand which issues are relevant for the company and of those which matter most to you.

Once you have decided the opportunity is a good fit for you, you’ve got to convince the hiring manager that beyond your skills and experience, you are also a good cultural fit. How? Provide proof, demonstrate knowledge of the employer and connect the dots on how you have stayed engaged in areas/topics that are important to you both.

Christopher Burrell, MBA ‘10, Axon

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By W. P. Carey Career Services Center
W. P. Carey Career Services Center