Job Searching Through Your Years at Cal

As your time here at Cal goes by, the purpose of your job search will change. When you enter either as a Freshman or a Junior transfer, you will definitely be looking for different types of positions than your last year here at Cal.

Freshman Year

Alright, congratulations on making it into Cal! You are no longer a high school scrub. You're in the big leagues now, and you need a job to finance that big league life (i.e., all the good times you'll be having). Here are some thoughts on ways to look for jobs as a freshman.

  1. Work-Study positions on campus (an easy commute and usually pretty cool people to work for).
  2. Handshake, that's right, the Career Center's very own online job posting board! Check us out.
  3. Sign-up for CareerMail now; it provides emails from counselors about neat opportunities.
  4. Check The Daily Cal's job board where employers post jobs specifically because they're looking for Cal students.

Sophomore Year

So you've made it past your first year. You no longer live in a 10x10 cell with 4 others, and miraculously you haven't gotten any of the mysterious illnesses that go around the dorms and cause people to drop out. Yet you still need to fund the fun. This year you might want to think more seriously about the career path that you want to pursue and try and get yourself a position in that field.

  1. Work-Study positions on campus (again an easy commute and usually pretty cool people to work for).
  2. Handshake - this year you're searching for more targeted positions! For example, if you are thinking advertising is the way you want to go you might want to search for an internship at an ad agency or a marketing internship.
  3. Additionally check out our internship resources.
  4. If you haven't already, orient yourself with the resources available to you at the Career Center (and the rest of the campus), especially the counseling services!

Junior Year

WooHoo!! This is most likely the year that y'all turn 21! Welcome. Here the fun really begins. Oh, did I forget to mention that along with your 21st birthday comes real responsibility? This year it would be good if you got yourself a job in the field that you want to work in when you graduate, and you should definitely be thinking about an internship for the summer after your junior year.

  1. Check out the Career Center calendar for panels and programs on the field that you are interested in (if you haven't already).
  2. Consider participating in summer On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) to find an internship in your desired field.
  3. Alternatively, if you are interested in going the nonprofit route it is not likely that you would find a good position through OCR. However, Handshake and the Public Service Center are good resources , as is our job listings webpage.

Senior Year

(Note: some of you may repeat or delay this year.) You've arrived and are about to achieve a long sought after goal: graduation. You laud graduation as the coming of a new day: no more annoying TAs, boring professors, and irrelevant homework. That is until you realize the working world has many parallels to school! Yet despite these parallels your first few years out in the real world will always be ones that you never forget; they really are when the good times begin. So to get out there consider these strategies:

  1. Participating in On-Campus Recuiting (OCR) exposes you to some great opportunities and provides your most direct access to employers. Remember to update your profile.
  2. Searching for jobs on job boards such as Handshake, Craigslist, etc. Note - Handshake is most likely to have relevant opportunities for Cal students; other job boards often post positions that require experience.
  3. Networking! Talk to anybody you know in the field you want to enter about how to get your foot in the door. Create your LinkedIn profile and build and use your connections. Additionally Career Center counselors may have some great ideas about ways to break into an industry.


If at any point you're feeling a little stressed about this career stuff, make an appointment to see a career counselor.
Also, if you're just feeling stressed in general, don't be afraid to make an appointment to see a counselor at the Tang Center. It's a fun 4 years, but at times it can also be really rough and we can all use a little help.

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