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Now that you’ve assessed your interests, skills, and values and identified your career goals, research can help you determine what’s feasible and target the best industries or functional areas for you. Even if you decide your ideal will be difficult to reach immediately, there are likely to be alternatives out there that further your long-term career goals.
Once you focus in on your target industry/function/position and your choice geographic location, you can start to make a list of companies. Gather as much information as you can about organizations and the field they’re in. Take note of industry trends, key players, financials (even if you’re not looking for a finance position), and company products or services. Find out the day-to-day tasks associated with a job (particularly if you’re a career changer) and get a sense of the cultures of different companies.
It’s important to gather as much of this as you can before you start networking. We have resources to help you get started.
Alumni Directory: Search fellow alumni by name, industry, company, job function, or special interests.
Hoovers: Company database allows you to build lists of targets based various criteria.
First Research: Industry database with information on challenges, trends, opportunities, and forecasts for 25 different industries and hundreds of sub-industries.
The Vault: Best known for its industry guides.
WetFeet: Guides on companies, careers, and industries. Networking and interviewing tips, too.
Watson Library: Use your alumni ID to do research in Uris Hall. Reference librarians are there to help. Visit the Library Information Office to get borrowing privileges ($30 a month).
Career Management Center Library: Also in Uris Hall (Stairway Y, Room 1M), the center keeps a collection of materials related to resumes, cover letters, and interviewing. Also information on specific industries and companies. Call 212-854-6070 for more information.
Columbia University Alumni Libraries Website: University site premium electronic resources for alumni. Just sign in with your UNI and password.
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