Though some CCD students know exactly what their career path is going to be, you may be among the many who are not so sure. Most students starting college are undecided or unclear and that's ok. We recommend you take some time to explore.
If you are currently taking classes, you are eligible for FREE career advising sessions with our staff. Please visit us during walk-in advising hours so we can get you started.
Walk-In career advising hours are for quick career advising questions and information, such as resume reviews, accessing career resources, information for class projects, and/or starting the full career advising, multiple-appointment process (accessing career assessments). No appointment necessary; just stop by our office in Cherry Creek Building, suite 111 during walk-in hours.
Nearly every employer wants a job applicant to have at least one previous and relevant experience. Experience can include job shadowing, informational interviewing, internships, volunteerism, leadership opportunities, and CCD involvement opportunities. But how do you get experience? What if your previous experiences aren't exactly like the job you're applying for?
An "internship" is a work-related experience that most closely resembles "the real world." For transfer majors and programs (AA/AS/AG), most students will not be a qualified candidate until after completing 75-90 credits worth of coursework. Most transfer colleges and universities have a dedicated office or staff person who helps students to coordinate and find these opportunities so that it occurs at the right time that is related to their specific major or career goal.
Additionally, many of our Career & Technical Education programs at CCD help to place you with local businesses to gain job experience before you graduate. Internships are normally taken as the student completes 30 – 45 hours in their Associate of Applied Science degree or certificate program.
For example, the CTC works closely with the Career & Technical Education programs who are partnered with over 50 Colorado businesses placing our students with side-by-side job shadowing in the fields of welding, machining, engineering graphics and giving special attention to women and U.S. Veterans.
Internships are temporary assignments that last approximately three months up to a year. Students work in both paid and unpaid internships, depending on their career field and the internship provider. Ideally, interns are given real-life work that they will do in the future to help grow their skills and connect their academic coursework to the "world of work."
Additionally, an internship can be a key component in finding your next job. Internships are all about timing. Many employers hire for their entry-level positions directly from their internship program. However, there is no expectation of ongoing employment at the end of the internship.
Job Shadowing is a great way to get an inside look at a potential career. You can experience "a typical day" of any occupation by arranging to meet and "shadow" a person who is currently in a job you're interested in. To arrange a job shadow, similar to an informational interview, identify a work setting you would like to know more about, research options, and contact a professional to ask if they might allow you to visit their workplace.
Informational interviews take no more than 45 minutes and you can ask the person-specific questions to see if that career might be a good fit for you. Check out these sample questions and be sure to research the occupation before the informational interview.
To begin, research potential areas of interest and target where you would like to gather more knowledge. Identify people who might be doing the type of work you are exploring. It is appropriate to send an email or call to set up the visit. Ask to come to their worksite so that you can observe it as well, and request 20-30 minutes of their time. Plan the questions you would like to ask ahead of time and bring a copy of your resume. Be sure to send a thank-you note after your visit!
Name: Timothy Curry
Major: Graphic Design
Interview with: Phil Satterley, Assistant Manager, Media Productions with NCM Media Networks
What Tim Learned: "NCM media is in Colorado and their main sponsors are Sony and Walt Disney. They are able to produce their ads by using a satellite and shooting the ads to multiple theaters across the country to mostly AMC Theatres. I never knew it took this much effort to put an ad on the big screen. Not only that, but each step is not controlled by one person but by a team for people. I have to say I love the media business. I am thankful I received this opportunity to meet Phil Satterley and learn a lot about NCM media."
How can I do an Informational Interview? Contact Us! CTC, Cherry Creek Building, Suite 111, Career@ccd.edu, 303.352.3306
You don't need to get paid in order to develop great skills and gain experience! Some of the best experiences are in volunteer settings. Not only do you get experience in your career field, but you are also able to help another person or your community. Here are some ideas for finding a volunteer position:
One major trait that employers look for in a job applicant is whether they have "leadership skills." Whether you're a vocal, visible leader or a behind-the-scenes leader, employers want to see that you can take the initiative to get the job done.
A great way to be active at CCD and gain leadership experience is to join a student club or start one yourself. There are many kinds of student organizations and clubs to join, including cultural clubs, recreation and academic organizations.
In order to know what career or academic major is the right fit for you, it often helps to connect with the CTC for career advising. We can help you learn how you are wired so that you can make an informed decision about your academic and career pathways. Career exploration means collecting the necessary information to make the best career decision possible. Some information you'll need to make a good decision regarding your career path include:
In addition to helping you pick a major and choosing a career, the CTC will help you in a number of ways. We'll help you get practical experience while in school by recommending activities and leadership opportunities available, as well as help you develop an effective resume, cover letter, and assist you with searching for employment during school and after you graduate.