Career Center By Region
For more information, please reach out to the Regional Directors in your college/region. To see who the RD(s) are for your college/region, please visit regions.southcentralscholars.org. If there is no RD, please reach out to the Regional Director Advisor, currently Kyra Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What You and Your Parents should Know: For Pre-Med students
What Every Parent of a Pre-Health Student Needs to Know
New Student Orientation 2005
Department of Biological Sciences, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Courses to take:
2 semesters General Biology 1 semester Biochemistry
1 semester Molecular Biology 2 semesters Physics
2 semesters General Chemistry 2 semesters Math (calculus, statistics)
2 semesters Organic Chemistry 2 semesters English Composition
Same, plus a 3-dimensional art class.
Nursing/Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy/others:
Similar; usually also require anatomy, physiology, psychology.
What?s the best major?
Biology is the most common major, but is not necessarily the best for a given student. Bio majors have the lowest acceptance rate into medical school, but still provide the majority of the students (there are lots of bio majors applying). Philosophy, for example, has a 90% rate of acceptance (for 9 students, 97/98).
Rule of thumb: go where the student?s heart is, but away from science if there is an aptitude and interest elsewhere.
Useful to gain admission to college, and provides university credit toward graduation. Some professional programs do not recognize AP credits, and the courses must be taken again (Biology, Chem., for medical schools). Need to check with each school of interest; we recommend taking them again to keep the student?s options open.
What should they do other than classes?
Get to know faculty members (nice people, letters)
Clinical exposure (relevant to discipline; we have many programs)
Social or community work
Research experience (this campus; health sciences campus; local hospital)
Extracurricular activities (emphasize leadership if possible)
Take the necessary professional qualifying exams (MCAT, DAT, etc)
Great letters of recommendation
When and how to apply?
For medical and dental school, in spring of junior year. This is very early, and will necessitate some planning on the part of the student. All the required courses need to be taken by this time, and a refresher course is often taken as well. We provide a Pre-Health Committee Process through the College Advising Services (CAS); student should take advantage of it. Better to work carefully with CAS and faculty advisors.
Lengthy, expensive. Typical evaluation at a medical school involves two steps: an initial screening to reduce the pool to about 10% of the applicants, and a second screen to pick those to whom admission will be offered. The initial screen is based almost exclusive on quantitative criteria (usually MCAT scores and GPA); the second screen is a very thorough evaluation in which every aspect of the application is scrutinized. Receiving a request for a ?secondary application? from a medical school does not necessarily mean the applicant has reached the second level of consideration, although it implies it. Other professional schools have similar procedures, but are less overwhelmed with applicants.
Prospects for success.
For the class matriculating in 2003: 34,786 applicants (392118) applications thus an average of 11 schools/applicant) for 16,365 spots (overall acceptance, 47%). 122 medical schools in the continental US; 15 in the 6 western states, 9 in California. This acceptance rate is remaining steady over the past few years (in 2001 the rate was 46.9%). Acceptance rate in California in 2001 was 48.0% and in 2003 it was 48.2% (counting both residents and non-residents). Percentages in other health professions are usually higher, for their poor of qualified applicants approximates the number of available slots.
When should they re-evaluate?
Continually. Some specific points at which careful thought should be given:
A. At college entrance. Not too important; aim for medical school, since it?s the hardest. It?s important to keep your options open.
B. After freshman year (6 of 12 required courses probably done).
C. After sophomore year (10 of 12 now done)
D. After medical school application (go to Plan B, or to a post-baccalaureate program).
What are Plans B?
There are many. Start by asking why Plan A has been so important for all these years (humanitarian/scientific/prestige/security/admiration/family?)
Health care: medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, PT, OT, nursing, NP, PA. There are many technical fields in health. Salaries are good in all, especially in NP and PA.
Social care: psychology, social work, genetic counseling, teaching, the ministry, environmental work politics.
Science: biomedical research, biotechnology, engineering, computer science
Other: business, law, entertainment, journalism, publication industry, etc.
The state of residence is very important. If you are an out-of-state student at USC, you may be a student without a state: neither your state of origin nor California may acknowledge you. This varies with the state agency, and is probably most restrictive with regard to the professional schools (especially the medical schools). To be a resident of California to the satisfaction of the medical school at UCA (which is superb, contrary to our feeling during the football season), you must have: lived in the state at a non-university address for a year; have utility bills in your name for the year to prove this; worked in California; and filed an income tax form in California. A student at USC can do this during his or her education, but must plan to do so: live off campus in an apartment during the senior year, work here a summer, etc. The situation may be equally bad with respect to the state of origin. For example, students from Washington by the UW medical school if they choose to apply there. Since acceptance rates at the state medical schools are usually much higher for residents, and tuition is cheaper than at the private schools, this is a problem worth careful consideration. A student may have to move back to her or his state of origin and live there for a year in order to regain their residency.
Medical School Admission Requirements. Published annually by AAMC. Lists each medical school, and has excellent information and statistics to guide the admission process. Required reading in the junior year.
www.aamc.org Superb source of information of all aspects of medical schools and admission. Many statistics are given on http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/start.htm.
Other agencies have their own sites: American Dental Education Association (http://www.adea.org), Association of American Dental School Application Service (http://www.aadsas.org), American Dental Association (http://www.ada.org), American Physical Therapy Association (http://www.apta.org), American Dental Hygienists Association (http://www.adha.org). Search for more; they?re all there.
From College to Career!
On November 9, 2011, the Wall Street Journal published an article/report titled From College to Career which provides compelling data on the employment and earnings potential based on majors.
"Choosing the right college major can make a big difference in students' career prospects, in terms of employment and pay. Here?s a look at how various college majors fare in the job market, based on 2010 Census data. Some popular majors, such as nursing and finance, do particularly well, with unemployment under 5% and high salaries during the course of their careers."
Scholar Internship Search Portal Now Available!
In an effort to streamline the way students request internship assistance through SCS and to make information more accessible, SCS has deve;p[ed an internship database that Scholars can access online!
Scholars will be able to run searched based on criteria (geography, requirements) and learn of opportunities available for the summer or year-round!
To access the portal, you must submit an Internship Placement Assistance Request Form!
Tips to Getting an Internship
If you haven't made arrangements for Summer 2010, you need to! As we stressed profusely at the 2009 Summer Business Conference at USC, DO NOT WASTE YOUR SUMMERS. The #1 way to find out if you are making the right career choices is to experience the industry through an internship or shadowing opportunity. Requests for internships SHOULD HAPPEN between October and February, so ACT NOW! Here are some ways you can start making preparations to take advantage of this coming summer.
Talk to South Central Scholars (SCS)
SCS's Jobs & Internships Program is meant to help connect you with potential internship opportunities through partner organizations, word-of-mouth referrals, and daily postings. While we have partners that we work with every year to provide internships, we can also work with our scholars on a case-by-case basis to find the best opportunity to meet your needs, or to provide other assistance, such as recommendation letters, referrals, or even introductions. To get started:
1) Visit the website at www.southcentralscholars.org/scholar_center-career_resources. View job postings and announcements that are updated regularly!
2) Contact the SCS office. Think HARD about what kind of opportunities you are interested in and contact Meredith at email@example.com. In your email, attach your most updated resume and a general cover letter stating your interest and qualifications. In the body of the email, include your availability (start and end dates and weekly availability), transportation, cumulative GPA, and geography of where you can work (just LA or all LA County).
3) Follow up with Meredith on a monthly basis between now and March, and on a bi-weekly basis from April to June until you have been helped! The key words here are FOLLOW UP.
Look Into On-Campus Resources
Whether you realize it or not, there are resources and departments provided by your school to help you with internships and career placement SPECIFICALLY. Do not overlook these programs as they are both free and targeted for you and your peers! To get started:
1) Visit your Career Center, EOP office, and/or other campus groups that work with students to provide job opportunities.
2) Make sure you submit your updated resume to them and give them a list of opportunities you are interested in.
3) FOLLOW UP.
Career Planning & Job Placement Panels
South Central Scholars, with the participation of key members and volunteers, hosts a Career Planning & Job Placement Panel each month to discuss important issues regarding employment and job placement. These panels provide:
- One-on-one feedback and advice regarding your specific concerns and career-planning questions;
- Guest speakers with the experience and expertise to give scholars in most industries up-to-date information about the best approach to looking for and applying to jobs in this competitive market;
- A review of both basic and sophisticated strategies for job search and career planning; and
- Resources made available through the website and email, such as sample resumes and cover letters, and up-to-date job/internship openings.
Career Panels are held every month starting in September! To see the topics and register for one, go to our Webinars page!
Many students ask us how to prepare a resume. This template is about the best we've seen for college students of all ages and experiences. It allows you to show your leadership and experience, both through summer internships (if you've had them) and extra-curricular involvement. This template is strong enough that it can evolve into your resume after you graduate and be used when seeking full time employment.
SCS sample resume template (to use, simply follow the outline of this template and use the SCS sample resume to guide flow and verbiage)
In addition, this is a sample cover letter for students applying for internships.
Here are additional resume templates provided by our partner, DBL Associates.
Additional advice about writing your resume:
NOTE: Please put your name in the file name of ANY document you send to someone, be it a professor, employer, scholarship committee, etc. Readers tend to forget who you are, misplace your file, and/or have difficulty searching for files that do not have your name in them. This simple gesture can set you apart from many applicants.
Career-Related News Articles
What Will be the Hot Jobs of 2018? Updated on 6/4/10!
By Sue Shellenbarger, The Wall Street Journal
Published May 26, 2010
The New Untouchables
By Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
Published October 20, 2009
Government Jobs Have Grown Since Recession
By Michael Cooper, New York Times
Published August 19, 2009
Southern California's vital signs are improving
Data suggest that an economic recovery has begun in the region. But the state's picture isn't all bright.
By Alana Semuels and Ronald D. White, LA Times
Published September 16, 2009
Jobless in America
Is Double-Digit Unemployment Here to Stay?
By Joshua Cooper Ramo, Time Magazine
Published September 11, 2009 New!
Students Borrow More Than Ever for College
Heavy Debt Loads Mean Many Young People Can't Live Life They Expected
By Annie Marie Chaker, Wall Street Journal
Published September 3, 2009
Downturn Dims Prospects Even at Top Law Schools
By Gerry Shih, New York Times
Published August 25, 2009
A&D Leaders Plan for Workforce of Tommorow
By Carole Hedden with Joseph Anselmo
Published August 20, 2009
For Today's Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics
By Steve Lohr, New York Times
Published August 5, 2009
Other Career-related Information
The Savvy Networker
10 Boilerplate Phrases That Kill Resumes
By Liz Ryan, Yahoo! HotJobs
The 2009 job market is very different from job markets of the past. If you haven't job-hunted in a while, the changes in the landscape can throw you for a loop.
One of the biggest changes is the shift in what constitutes a strong resume. Years ago, we could dig into the Resume Boilerplate grab-bag and pull out a phrase to fill out a sentence or bullet point on our resume. Everybody used the same boilerplate phrases, so we knew we couldn't go wrong choosing one of them -- or many -- to throw into your resume.
Things have changed. Stodgy boilerplate phrases in your resume today mark you as uncreative and "vocabulary challenged." You can make your resume more compelling and human-sounding by rooting out and replacing the boring corporate-speak phrases that litter it, and replacing them with human language -- things that people like you or me would actually say.
Here are the worst 10 boilerplate phrases -- the ones to seek out and destroy in your resume as soon as possible:
* Results-oriented professional
* Cross-functional teams
* More than [x] years of progressively responsible experience
* Superior (or excellent) communication skills
* Strong work ethic
* Met or exceeded expectations
* Proven track record of success
* Works well with all levels of staff
* Team player
* Bottom-line orientation
You can do better. What about adding a human voice to your resume? Here's an example:
"I'm a Marketing Researcher who's driven by curiosity about why people buy what they do. At XYZ Industries, I used consumer surveys and online-forum analysis to uncover the reasons why consumers chose our competitors over us; our sales grew twenty percent over the next six months as a result. I'm equally at home on sales calls or analyzing data in seclusion, and up to speed on traditional and new-millennium research tools and approaches. I'm fanatical about understanding our marketplace better every day, week and month -- and have helped my employers' brands grow dramatically as a result."
You don't have to write resumes that sound like robots wrote them. A human-voiced resume is the new black -- try it!
The 10 Biggest Minutes of Your Interview
Why the first 10 minutes of your interview can make or break you and how you can prepare.
By Joe Turner, Career Coach
You've heard it said often: "First impressions are the most important."
When it comes to the job interview, here's recent proof that bears this out:
"Hiring managers often know whether they might hire someone soon after the opening handshake and small talk," a new survey suggests. Executives polled said it takes them just 10 minutes to form an opinion of job seekers, despite meeting with staff-level applicants for 55 minutes and management-level candidates for 86 minutes, on average. Executives were asked, "How long does it typically take you to form either a positive or negative opinion of a job candidate during an initial interview?" The mean response was 10 minutes.*
This came from a survey published April 12, 2007, and developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting, the largest specialized financial recruitment service in the world. It included responses from 150 senior executives with Fortune 1000 companies.
So what does this mean for you as you approach job interviews?
Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, sums it up when he says, "The interview begins the moment job seekers arrive, so applicants need to project enthusiasm and confidence from the start. The opening minutes of the conversation often set the tone for the rest of the discussion, making it wise to prepare especially well for the first few interview questions."
Here's how to make the first 10 minutes of your interview work in your favor:
1. Know the four most important questions
Pay close attention to those four most important questions they want answers to:
1. Why are you here?
2. What can you do for us?
3. Will you fit in? (Will you get along with our values and culture here?)
4. What makes you different from everyone else that we may have talked with? (Will you go that extra mile?)
Rehearse your answers with your own personal "stories." These are short narratives describing times when you overcame a crisis, led a team, met a deadline, resurrected a failed project, etc.
Some common questions you'll often encounter at the beginning of the interview:
"Tell me a little about yourself." (Question #2: "What can you do for us?")
"What do you know about us?" (Question #1: "Why are you here?")
"Why are you here today?" (Same)
"Why are you looking to change jobs?" (Question#2: "What can you do for us?")
"What's your most important accomplishment to date?" (Same)
Why should we hire you (over everyone else we've seen)? (Question #4: "Will you go the extra mile?")
2. Know the company
Do your homework. Always research the company before you interview. Know who they are, what they do, what their major products and services are, who their competitors are and the current "buzz" about them.
The first few minutes of the interview are the time to flatter them. Remember the question, "Why are you here?" Show them that you've done your research and not only know something about their company, but also have several reasons for being enthusiastic about working for them. Let this enthusiasm carry over into your demeanor as you walk in the door.
3. Know your role
First impressions count for a lot, especially in the job interview. You're on stage from the minute you enter the room. So play your role by first getting into character:
The "character" you play is that of a problem solver, not a job seeker.
As a problem solver, you know why you are here, you're excited about this company, and you know you can help them achieve their goals. With this kind of ammunition, you can score direct hits on their opening questions and win big points for yourself by demonstrating you are both knowledgeable and excited about their opportunity.
Now have a killer interview!
As a recruiter, Joe Turner has spent the past 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their careers. Author of "Job Search Secrets Unlocked," Turner has been interviewed on radio talk shows and offers free insider job search secrets at: http://www.jobchangesecrets.com.
Copyright 2008 Joe Turner. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authority.
Story Filed Monday, June 23, 2008 - 2:04 PM