From my experience, I believe the most important part of the guide my group [Alex Lemaignen and I] constructed is the section on the Notre Dame alumni network and utilizing it to land interviews. While some people think this is “cheating” in a way, I don’t think in the real world taking advantage of your available resources is cheating in any way! The reality is that you are trying to get a job to make a living. Apart from doing things that are unethical, why not use any means necessary to get the best job you can? Especially when so many of the alumni want Notre Dame grads to work for them. They know how much integrity we have and how Notre Dame has formed us in a much different way than most of the country. Use their knowledge as a way in. Possibly even more importantly, use their knowledge of the Notre Dame network. Talk to an alumnus about your skills and career goals. There is a good chance they will know someone or know how to find someone that is interested in your skills and attributes. One of the major attractions of Notre Dame for prospective students is its vast alumni network, might as well use it to its fullest extent!
Possibly even more importantly, use their knowledge of the Notre Dame network.
One thing I wish I knew freshman year is what companies consider during the hiring process. Of course, grades are super important, and the better GPA you have, the more doors you open up. But most students focus too much on grades alone and don’t develop the people skills or real-world problem-solving skills that many companies take into great consideration. Many many times I’ve seen students think that if they don’t have an internship every single summer then they won’t be able to get a good job. While internships are great and helpful, one internship is plenty! Using these summers as opportunities to diversify your education experience can be invaluable for your attractiveness to a company. Most will see it as a sign of well-roundedness.
The best advice I ever received was from the Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) who was a Navy pilot. The 6 midshipmen, who had been selected to become Student Naval Aviators, got to meet with him the weekend of the Navy game. Now I had asked many other Navy pilots for advice when it came to which platform I should choose that would best suit family life. None of their responses had ever really been very adequate and I still was in the same place I started in. When I asked the VCNO this question gave me the first truly helpful advice on this topic. He said to not have my family as a consideration when picking which platform I want to fly. At first, I was kind of shocked and wanted to ignore this advice, but then he went on to explain. He said that no matter what platform I picked, it would be tough for my family. It is just the nature of the Navy. So what I should do is pick whichever platform makes me the happiest to go to work every day to fly. In the end, this will result in the most happiness for my family because I will be happy with my job and will bring that joy back home with me. If I picked something I did not really want to fly, then the family would be more miserable as a whole. So, as a way to apply this across the board, pick a job that makes you happy. It doesn’t necessarily have to pay the most money, because, in the end, money is not the driving force behind a families happiness.
I believe that colleges should teach in such a way that it applies much more practically to real life and prepares students more for the jobs they are most likely going to enter. Getting bogged down in memorizing equations that students will forget a month later seems to be an inefficient way to transfer into the real world. If they rather taught students techniques for problem-solving on a larger scale, this may increase their education for real-life scenarios.