Career Services

SIS students have access to both the AU Career Center and the SIS Office of Career Development.

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.

The following sections provide more information about the services, events, and programs available to SIS juniors, seniors, and graduate students.

Services

Our office remains open, and advisors will continue to be available for video chat and voice call appointments through Handshake. We offer personalized guidance on career exploration, career planning, résumé and cover letter writing, networking, internships, job search strategy, interviewing, offer negotiation, graduate school applications, and other career concerns.

Meet with an advisor via Zoom during our virtual drop-in advising hours every Wednesday from 3:30 to 5 pm. The password is advising. Drop-ins are ideal for quick questions on résumés, cover letters, and internship/job search strategy. For all other topics, please schedule an appointment through Handshake.

We organize events and programs to link students with alumni, employers, and others who can help students develop professional interests and competencies, integrate academic learning with work, and explore career possibilities. 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.

Our network of over 20,000 alumni around the world can serve as a source of guidance and support in career exploration, networking, and job searches. We help students and alumni connect through our events and programs, as well as via Alumnifire and LinkedIn.

The SIS career team created and continues to expand the SIS Career Resource Library, an online library of self-service career resources exclusively for SIS students and alumni. Email siscareer@american.edu for the password.

We send an email to juniors and seniors at the beginning of each semester with reminders about our services and upcoming events, as well as to highlight student intern and alumni profiles. Likewise, every Tuesday at noon, we send graduate students the Career Compass to promote events and share internships and jobs sent to us directly by employers.

Well-written résumés, CVs, and cover letters open the door for students to meet and interview with employers. To get you started, we offer templates and advice online. Reviews can take place during individual appointments and drop-ins. Students who have previously met with a career advisor can also request a review by email without scheduling another appointment.

Events & Programs

Each spring, our Job Search Group gives graduate students and recent alumni access to a support network and the skills and tools needed for a sustainable, effective job search. Over the course of eight weeks in February and March, participants work closely with an SIS career advisor and alongside a small-group of job-searching peers. Students and alumni do not need to be based in the DC area to participate.

During spring break, we give students the opportunity to spend a full or half day on the job with an alum. The visit 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 fictional job applicants (portrayed by SIS alumni) and learn about best practices for job seekers as they review the candidates' applications, interviews, and offer negotiations. At each step, students receive guidance and support from alumni mentors. The event concludes with a student-alumni networking lunch.

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.

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

We host SIS Site Visit Day for graduate students during Fall Break in October. For this event, we send small groups of students to the offices of 2-3 different employers over the course of one day for career exploration. These informational visits offer exposure to various workplaces, career paths, and opportunities through discussions with employees. We are exploring how to move this event online for Fall 2020.

Connect with career advisors, fellow students, and alumni, participate in discussions around the career-related challenges and concerns you are facing, and learn about opportunities and best practices. We are currently hosting at least two online networking events each month. 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 other organization representatives.

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. Contact Shaine Cunningham, Director of Career Education & Employer Relations, at scunningham@american.edu to submit a request.