Career Services

SIS students have access to both the AU Career Center and the SIS Office of Career Development. The following sections provide more information about the services, events, and programs available to SIS juniors, seniors, and graduate students.

First- and second-year undergraduate students can participate in events and meet with an advisor to explore different majors and career options through the university’s central career center. Then, when they become juniors, SIS majors receive additional tailored support from the SIS Office of Career Development.

Are you the parent of an undergraduate student? Please read our Parents Guide to SIS Career Support.

Services

We offer one-on-one career coaching tailored to your personal career development needs and goals. Topics covered include career exploration, career planning, résumé and cover letter writing, networking, internship and job search strategy, interviewing, offer negotiation, applying to graduate school, and more.

We organize a full calendar of innovative programs and events to help you explore career possibilities, develop professional interests and competencies, integrate academic learning with work, and connect with alumni and other industry contacts. To see a list of our upcoming events, search Handshake Events for keyword SIS. Learn more about our signature events and programs below.

Handshake is the university's online career platform where students and alumni can schedule career advising appointments, search and apply for thousands of internships and jobs, and sign up to participate in career events. To log in, enter your AU credentials. If you cannot remember your login information, click on the "Forgot Password" link to reset your password or contact the AU Career Center at careercenter@american.edu for help.

We regularly engage with alumni and other industry contacts to maximize opportunities for our students. From these relationships, we learn about hiring trends and gather employment data that we incorporate throughout all facets of our career support.

When you become an SIS student, you join a diverse and remarkable community of over 25,000 alumni around the world. Our alumni serve as a source of inspiration, guidance, and support to current students, and we offer formal and informal networking opportunities in our events and programs throughout the year.

The SIS career team manages the SIS Career Resource Library, an expansive online library of self-service career resources available exclusively to SIS students and alumni. Current students and alumni may email siscareer@american.edu for the password.

We send the SIS Career Digest email to juniors and seniors three times each semester with a list of opportunities and upcoming events, as well as profiles of successful student interns and alumni. Likewise, every Tuesday, we send graduate students the Career Compass to promote networking opportunities and to share internships and jobs sent to us directly by alumni and employers.

Well-written résumés, CVs, and cover letters open the door for students to meet and interview with employers. We strongly encourage you to work with our advisors to create polished application materials that will catch the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. To help you get started, we offer templates and advice online.

Events & Programs

We host our Industry Spotlight Series every October to connect small groups of students with several different employers for career exploration. These informational visits offer exposure to various workplaces, career paths, and opportunities through discussions with employees.

For this early fall event, we invite juniors, seniors, and graduate students to sign up for pre-arranged informational interviews with SIS alumni.

Each spring, our Job Search Group gives graduate students and recent MA/MS alumni access to a support network and the skills and tools needed for a sustainable, effective job search.

During spring break, we give students the opportunity to spend a full or half day on the job with an alum. Visits may include observing daily work, an office tour, sitting in on meetings and/or helping with events, and informational interviews with other employees at the organization.

Jump Start January is a half-day reverse hiring simulation and networking event for SIS graduate students. Participants work in teams to “hire” the strongest candidate for a fictional job and learn about best practices as they review applications, interviews, and offer negotiations with guidance and support from alumni mentors.

SIS Meet & Greets are mini speed networking events that require active participation by everyone who attends. The audience changes based on the topic and featured alumni and/or industry representatives. Past themes include "How We've Used Our Degree" and "Strategies for Learning From Failure." To see a list of upcoming events, search Handshake Events for keyword SIS.

The SIS Mentoring Program connects students with alumni mentors for one academic year. Our volunteer mentors help students explore post-graduation pathways, learn how to create networks that support their goals, and move towards their next professionals steps. The program is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Students and alumni do not need to be based in the DC area to participate.

We partner with international relations recruiters to host a day of mock interviews in March called Mock Interview Madness. These practice interviews help students develop effective interviewing skills, learn how to answer difficult questions, and reduce stress before an actual interview.

Our speaker panels give students the chance to hear from small groups of SIS graduates about what it takes to prepare for a career in a specific organization or field. To see a list of upcoming events, search Handshake Events for keyword SIS.

The AU Career Center hosts employer-in-residence, on-campus interviews, and employer meet-ups and pop-ups to help students and alumni connect with recruiters and hiring managers.

The AU Career Center plans the AU Job & Internship Fair every fall and spring to give employers the opportunity to meet talented students and alumni seeking internships and jobs.

Faculty who find themselves unavailable to hold class are invited to request a career advisor and/or alumni guest speaker to present to their students. Topics covered can include career exploration, résumé and cover letter writing, networking, internships, job search strategy, interviewing, and offer negotiation. Our team is also happy to moderate discussions with one or more alumni to showcase career pathways and offer information and advice relevant to course material. Faculty may submit requests to Shaine Cunningham, Director of Career Education & Employer Relations, at scunningham@american.edu.