2 women discussing their careers

Careers and Networking

By Michael Orange
MS in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases

Georgetown University’s BGE Office of Career Strategy and Professional Development (CSPD) has made available a wide variety of resources to aid your job search. I made the mistake of waiting to utilize these resources until the Spring semester of my graduation year. So, take heed and use them as soon as you enroll in classes. 

The BGE CSPD utilizes the 12Twenty Platform and makes it available to all students. This system allows you to access job listings, peruse the career center resource library, or make one-on-one appointments with a career advisor. The appointments can range from broad long-term goals and career exploration to specific topics such as mock interviews, negotiating offers, résumé and cover letter reviews, and external fellowships. 

BGE also offers career development programs, which include mentoring, courses, and an editorial board that lists career seminar events. Additionally, alumni can access the BGE LinkedIn page, as well as Georgetown’s Alumni Career Services which hosts an active alumni network.  

Personally, I used the one-on-one sessions pretty regularly and worked with Ms. Deborah Cohen. She conducted résumé and cover letter reviews targeted for government positions. One of my favorite resources she provided was a list of résumé power verbs that I still use to this day. The flexible scheduling options were also ideal. Prior to starting her own business, Ms. Cohen worked with the NIH for over 20 years while managing an array of career development programs for populations ranging from interns to Postdocs, so I knew she would have the insight I was looking for. 

Finally, a vital lesson I learned in the federal job-hunting process was that as imperative as it is to be aware of job postings and promptly sending out applications, the most successful job seekers are able to step away from the computer and build a network of relevant people who will aid in your search. LinkedIn can prove to be a powerful tool, but the willingness to take initiative and speak with your professors or seminar speakers outside of the classroom and even ask for their business card will also prove advantageous in the long run.

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