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Teaching the Career Exploration Project

Now that you know a a bit about the career that interests you, it is time to interview a professional in your chosen field. This is an opportunity to pick his or her brain about what it's REALLY like to be a ________. 

This can be really intimidating, but don't worry, there's a whole team of people on campus to help.

Suggested Questions

  1. On a typical day in this position, what do you do?
  2. What training or education is required for this type of work?
  3. What personal qualities or abilities are important to being successful in this job?
  4. What part of this job do you find most satisfying? Most challenging? 5.   How did you get your job?
  5. What opportunities for advancement are there in this field?
  6. What entry level jobs are best for learning as much as possible? 8.   What are the salary ranges for various levels in this field?
  7. How do you see jobs in this field changing in the future?
  8. Is there a demand for people in this occupation?
  9. What special advice would you give a person entering this field?
  10. What types of training do companies offer persons entering this field?
  11. What are the basic prerequisites for jobs in this field?
  12. Which professional journals and organizations would help me learn more about this field?
  13. What do you think of the experience I've had so far in terms of entering this field?
  14. From your perspective, what are the problems you see working in this field?
  15. If you could do things all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself?  Why?
  16. What would you change?
  17. With the information you have about my education, skills, and experience, what other fields or jobs would you suggest I research further before I make a final decision?
  18. What do you think of my résumé?  Do you see any problem areas?  How would you suggest I change it?
  19. Who do you know that I should talk to next?  When I call him/her, may I use your name as a referral?

Created by Barbara Eckenfelds.

Ask a Professional

Another reason for starting to talk to a professional is to network. There are professional associations and social networking sites that you can join. They are wonderful resources to learn about the profession, issues being talked about, and help find a job.

Remember to:

  • Take notes and document all the information that was shared in the interview. You may forget an interesting story when you go to write your paper and present your findings.
  • Send a THANK YOU note to your interviewee. Expressing gratitude is helpful for building professional networks.

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