Frequently Asked Questions

You ask, we answer! We’ve compiled our most popular parent questions and answered them below, along with plenty of links to additional information.

How can my student make an appointment with the Career Center?

Students can schedule appointments online, 24/7, via Handshake, our career development platform. We also offer drop-in hours every weekday for resume/cover letter reviews and other quick questions. Students can stop by for 15-minute consults in Dowling Hall, the Campus Center, the Tisch Fitness Center, the Engineering buildings, or the SMFA @ Tufts. A schedule is available on our See an Advisor page.

When should my student start using the Career Center's services and resources?

The earlier, the better! We help students of all class years and at all stages in the career development process. From strengthening career competencies and researching majors and career paths to applying for internships, jobs, and graduate school, we’re committed to providing individualized assistance and top-notch resources. It’s a common misconception that the Career Center is primarily for seniors; in fact, our career advisors assist students from the moment they set foot on campus! In addition to programming for upperclassmen, we offer specific programs just for first year students and sophomores.

My student is interested in “everything” and is having a difficult time choosing a major.  What should he/she/they do?

It’s normal for students to experience difficulty when it comes to choosing a major.  Many Tufts students enjoy and excel at a number of different subjects. To help them narrow their options, we encourage students to explore broadly, engage in self-assessment, and evaluate their competencies and career readiness. They should take time to reflect on their values, interests, personality, and skills, and gauge how those fit with the subject areas they are studying. Students can also take a wide range of classes in their first year and talk with older students, faculty, and alumni to learn more about the disciplines that most interest them. Complementing this independent work, we encourage all students to meet with a Career Advisor and their Pre-Major or Academic Advisor for guidance.

Does major determine or limit career choice?

We believe that major does not determine or limit your student’s career options. Unless students are planning to enter a technical field, such as engineering or accounting, they can obtain the skills necessary to succeed through any of the 70+ majors offered at Tufts.  We encourage students to study what they enjoy, assess their values, interests, and personality, and explore careers related to what they have learned about themselves. As you’ll see from our destination outcomes, Tufts alumni from all majors go on to a wide range of career paths.

Can my student take a career “test” to figure out what he/she/they wants to do?

We do offer a number of career assessment tools, including the Strong Interest Inventory, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, numerous worksheets, and more. Good news: these tools are assessments, not tests, so there are no right/wrong answers! On that note, it’s important to remember that there’s no “magic test” (a.k.a. assessment) that will tell students exactly what they should do. In 1-on-1 meetings with career advisors, we help students determine which assessment(s) would be most beneficial for  their particular stage of career development.

Should my student have an internship after the first year?

The short answer to this question is “no.”  For a first year student, the word “internship” can sometimes evoke a sense of anxiety and the feeling that “I must have an internship my first summer or I won’t succeed later.” However, an “internship” is not a necessity during the summer after a student’s first year.  In many career fields, organizations don’t hire first year students; they may only hire rising juniors and seniors as interns because they have more experience and completed coursework.

Still, there’s plenty for your rising sophomore to do! We encourage younger students to gain experience through summer jobs (e.g., working in retail, food service, an administrative office role, or as a camp counselor or lifeguard). They can also conduct research, study abroad, perform volunteer service, or, possibly, complete an internship. These activities will allow students to learn more about themselves, gain professional experience, and build resumes -- all critical pieces of career development!  Students can meet with a career advisor to explore summer opportunities for first year students.

Can my student network with alumni?

Absolutely! Each semester, we offer numerous programs that give students opportunities to engage with alumni, including industry nights, career workshops, Professional in Residence programs, and more. These events are listed on the Career Center calendar. Students can also create their own LinkedIn profiles and join Tufts LinkedIn groups such as the Tufts University Career Network. Our career advisors regularly work with students to develop their networking skills and prepare for informational interviews and other networking conversations.

How can I best assist my student with career readiness?

Research indicates that parents can profoundly influence the career decisions of their students. To ensure that they get the maximum benefit from your coaching, consider the following questions:

  • Do I objectively guide my student in looking at their skills, competencies, interests, and abilities?
  • Do I allow my student the freedom to explore occupations and engage in new experiences without being judgmental?
  • Do I impose ideas (even with the best intentions) that can limit their options?
  • Am I positive and supportive when my student fails? Do I encourage my student to assume responsibility for career decisions?
  • Do I check in periodically to ask, “How can I be helpful?” and listen with openness and understanding?
Which attributes do employers look for?

According to a NACE (National Association for Colleges and Employers) 2018 survey, employers seek the following attributes (in order):  problem-solving skills, ability to work on a team, communication skills (written), leadership, strong work ethic, analytical/quantitative skills, communication skills (verbal), initiative, detail-oriented, flexibility/adaptability, technical skills, interpersonal skills (relate well to others), computer skills, organizational ability, strategic planning skills, creativity, friendly/outgoing personality, tactfulness, entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker, and fluency in a foreign language.

Tell me about student "placement."

The Tufts Career Center does not conduct “placement” for students. After all, it is the student who explores careers, engages in networking, writes a resume and cover letters, applies to positions, and conducts interviews. We provide them with helpful tools and assist as they develop the necessary skills, but in the end, securing an internship, job, or grad school offer is truly their achievement. If you’d like to learn more about where Tufts grads go after graduation, view our first destination data. To get a sense of the variety of places where Tufts students intern, check out the check out the Tufts Internship Profiles (TIPs).

What resources does the Career Center offer to help students with finding jobs and internships?

We offer two primary avenues: Handshake and our online resources. Handshake is Tufts’s online recruiting database with postings for both internship and full-time opportunities. We also have a robust offering of additional tools through the Internship and Job sections of our website. Students have access to numerous databases for career exploration, job/internship searching, company research, salary information, and current industry/organization news. Beyond online resources, we encourage students to network with Tufts alumni, professors, family and friends.

Does the Career Center help students with graduate or professional school applications?

We certainly do. This could be everything from polishing one’s resume for applications to offering feedback for essays and preparing for grad/professional school interviews. Students interested in pre-law and pre-med paths may also seek assistance from the Tufts Pre-Law and Pre-Health Advisors.

Does the Career Center assist students who want to work for a year or two before attending graduate or professional school?

Definitely! We can help students research programs and prepare applications for fellowships, post-grad internships, year-long service programs, 1-2 year rotational programs -- and more! Moreover, Tufts Alumni Career Services is a lifelong resource for alumni, whatever their career or grad school plans.

Which types of employers recruit at Tufts?

Every year, employers representing many industries and job functions attend our career fairs, conduct on-campus interviews, and post jobs and internships in Handshake, our career development and recruiting platform. Employers represent career fields including arts, communications & media, consulting, consumer products & business services, education, engineering, environmental, finance, government, healthcare, law, nonprofit, real estate, research, sports, startups, and technology. To get a sense of the variety of organizations that come to campus and/or post positions in Handshake, check out the current Fall 2019 Career Fair employer list.

In addition, we're excited to announce the following Industry Nights for 2019 - 2020: consulting, government/policy/law, consumer products, environmental/sustainability, social impact, start-ups, and communications/media/marketing. Students will have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals about these and related industries; learn about organizations, emerging trends and roles; explore different career paths; strengthen and build confidence in communication and networking competencies; and connect with others who are interested in the same career fields.

How do I (or my student) learn about upcoming career events?

A multitude of different ways! Students receive a regular Career eNewsletter with upcoming events and application deadlines. Parents and students may also visit the Career Center calendar, and students may view and register for events in Handshake.