FAQs

When should my son or daughter start visiting CareerLAB?

Students are encouraged to begin working with us in their first year of study and throughout their Brown career. We begin by helping students clarify their interests, passions, and goals. We then connect them with a variety of programs and events that allow students to interact with alumni, employers, and experienced peers. By allowing us to be a part of their learning process, students are more likely to hear about, and apply for, opportunities that fit their own abilities and objectives. Whether your son or daughter has decided on a career path or is still unsure, he or she can benefit from connecting with CareerLAB now.

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How can I help my student navigate the career development process?

To encourage your student to take the right steps and stay on track for a successful journey from college to career, get to know the process. Many students have difficulty in selecting a major and/or career. Others need help getting prepared for the job search. Urge your student to visit CareerLAB for help. For a year-by-year guide for helping your student navigate the career search, check out our Guide for Parents.

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Which concentrations are most likely to lead to a job after graduation?

Brown graduates succeed in the job market regardless of concentration. Why? In a rapidly changing employment environment, employers are most interested in applicants who can adjust to rapid developments in a given industry. While a particular knowledge base may be desirable, the essential elements for successful performance are intelligence, motivation, and a flexible skill set. For most employment fields, these characteristics carry more weight than a job applicant’s concentration choice. Students are therefore best served by pursuing concentrations that are most congruent with their abilities and interests.

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When should my son or daughter start looking for an internship?

Increasingly, students are completing multiple internships, with an early placement serving as the foundation for a later more substantive or prestigious position. Moreover, early involvement with internships helps students figure out what kind of work they want to do in the future, and ultimately to achieve their career goals. We can help students develop a plan for seeking internships that suits their individual needs.

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What’s the best way to land an internship or job?

Search strategies vary by field of interest. Students interested in finance, banking, and consulting often secure positions at on-campus recruiting fairs.  But the majority of Brown students secure employment through other means. This is why it is so important to meet with a career advisor: most students need to develop their own customized job or internship search plan. Working with our career advisors can reduce the stress associated with such searches, and is most likely to lead to a successful outcome.

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What do Brown students do after graduation?

Upon graduation, between sixty and sixty-five percent of Brown alumni go directly into employment; almost a quarter go directly into graduate or professional studies. Others pursue a variety of activities including fellowships, volunteer work, or additional non-degree course work at other colleges. The careers that Brown graduates pursue are as varied as their interests and talents, ranging from healthcare and law to education, finance, nonprofits, technology, and consulting. View our CareerLAB: By the Numbers infographic.

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What are the top companies that hire Brown students? How can my son or daughter secure a job or internship with them?

Some of the best-known companies and organizations recruit at Brown. These “top employers” hire a number of Brown graduates each year. The majority of graduating seniors go on to work for a broad range of large and small organizations. We encourage students to find an employment situation that will be the best fit regardless of the prominence of the employer.

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Is it better to go straight into graduate/professional school or to take some time off?

This is very much an individual decision. Many students choose to enter a professional degree program (medical, law, business) in the fall after graduation. Just as often, students will delay further study for a year or two to pursue a passion that may or may not be related to their graduate study plans. Still others find that they need to acquire additional skills, or want to strengthen their credentials to secure admission at the schools of their choice. Our career advisors can help students prepare a plan for further study that fits their own goals and aspirations. In addition, students interested in law school, business school, or health careers can meet with an advisor for these fields.

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In a bad economy, is it better to go to grad school instead of looking for a job right after graduation?

In a word, no. There are good jobs to be had in any economy. Our students often forget how desirable they are to employers, how much their Brown education is valued by the outside world, and how competitive they are. While high unemployment can be daunting, students who seriously engage with the job-search process should expect a positive outcome. Retreating to graduate school to wait out the storm is both unnecessary and costly.

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