Career Services

Please read through the diverse range of services we offer to learn how to make the best use of our career support.

Services

Schedule an appointment to meet with a career advisor in person or by phone or Skype for 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.

Handshake is the university's career platform where students and alumni can schedule career advising appointments, search and apply for thousands of internships and jobs, sign up to participate in career events, and access online resources like Big Interview, GoinGlobal, and Alumnifire.

All students are welcome to take advantage of our drop-in hours in the SIS atrium. These 10-minute sessions are ideal for general questions on résumés, cover letters, and internship/job search strategy. For all other topics, please schedule an appointment through Handshake. Drop-in hours are subject to change. Please check our advising page for current information.

We organize a full calendar of career programming to link students with alumni, employers, industry representatives, professional organizations, and others who provide opportunities to develop professional interests and competencies, integrate academic learning with work, and explore future career possibilities. All require an RSVP in Handshake as a courtesy to presenters.

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 provide opportunities for students and alumni to connect through our programming, as well as via Alumnifire and the American University School of International Service group on LinkedIn.

Every Tuesday at noon, we send graduate students our weekly opportunities email, the Career Compass, to share internship and job postings sent directly to our office by employers.

Our online career resource library is a password-protected site created exclusively for SIS students with career guides, résumé and CV templates, cover letter outlines, tools for interview prep and salary negotiation, and other materials needed to pursue a career in international affairs. Speak with a career advisor or visit Handshake for the site password.

Each spring, our Job Search Support 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, participants work closely with a 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.

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.

We regularly engage with alumni and employers 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.

Career Events & Programs

Contact us to learn more about the events and programs we run to link students with alumni and industry contacts.

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.

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.

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.

In early March, we partner with recruiters and hiring managers to host a day of mock interviews 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.

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.

Faculty are invited to request guest speakers from our network of alumni and industry contacts as part of our Don't Cancel Class initiative. Contact Shaine Cunningham, Director of Career Education & Employer Relations, at scunningham@american.edu for more information.

Each year, we co-sponsor a series of industry-themed networking events with the AU Career Center, AU Alumni Relations, and partner schools CAS, SOC, Kogod, and SPA to give students a chance to connect with alumni, employers, and faculty, seek professional advice, and learn about organizations and opportunities.

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.

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