/ Asked by Sal
Hello, I recently graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with my Bachelors of Science in Business. My concentration was in finance and accounting. I was wondering what is the next step if I want to get into the company in a human resource or financial field?
Answered by Ashlyn, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, on Monday, April 25, 2016
Hello! Congrats on graduating. Having a BS in Business puts you off to a good start. While it will likely be easier for you to find a role within the financial field (based on your degree) there are ways to find opportunities within the HR realm as well. Whenever I speak to someone about next steps in their career, my first recommendation is focus on networking. Reach out to people within your desired field at companies you’d like to work. Join organizations and attend events where you have the opportunity to meet people. I also recommend taking a look at your resume. Does it show experience within the field you’d like to get in to? Make sure you demonstrate knowledge and the skills required for any position that you apply for. Best of luck!
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Monday, April 25, 2016
Congratulations!  Graduating is always a good first step.  OK...so you are in a really interesting moment in your career.  Have you checked out any leadership development programs or HR specific internships at companies you might be interested in?  Are you working to connect with HR professionals on LinkedIn?  Have you spread the word with your existing Network (and yes, this includes friends and family when you are early in your career) so they can help you?  If not, consider that a first step.

Now about those development programs...many of them have pretty specific timelines...graduated within the last 6 months to a year timelines.  So don't delay if this is the route you are hoping to take.

It is a good idea to think about why HR?  Do you have experience that you can point to on your resume that says...yeah I know a little about Human Resources and want to make it my thing?  HR has a lot of different facets from recruiting and employee relations to strategic design and organizational development.  Keep that in mind as you are tailoring your experience to demonstrate your skill set. 

Now on to finance.  This is also a specialty area, but with a different set of skills than the HR route.  You know the thing that's the same though?  Internships! Development programs! Companies that invest in their people to invest in the future.  I would really recommend doing some deep dive research into the companies you are interested in and preparing your resume, networking discussion points etc. to where you truly want to point yourself.  Your drive will not go unnoticed.  Best of luck!
Answered by Rachael, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Well first off, congratulations on graduating! I think you could closely tie the finance and accounting minor into the compensation or payroll department of Human Resources. It might be tough to get hired in HR/compensation without work experience in the field, so I would recommend looking for internships or entry level roles in HR. Once you are in the position, you can ask to be a part of compensation related projects, or you can request to job shadow a co-worker in compensation or payroll. Its encouraged to ask questions about the job, and about the career path for someone starting out in compensation, so you can gain more insight about how it can fit into your career goals. This will also build your network, and show the company what your interests are, so when a position opens up, they will remember you. In addition, you could consider pursuing your education, by enrolling in a Human Resources Management certificate program, which can be found at most community colleges. The program will provide a broad overview in all aspects of HR, and give you a better chance of landing an internship or entry level role. I hope this answers your question, as I wish you the best in your career!
Answered by Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on Wednesday, April 27, 2016
First, congratulations on your graduation! In terms of entering into either field, I have a number of suggestions. First and foremost, I would suggest you leverage the resources available to you as an alum at Penn State’s Career Center. Many University Career Centers offer the same level of service to graduated students, as well as online access to Career Center sites, and in this case, the Nittany Lion Career Network. The Career Center can help you with your resume, cover letter, job search, etc. My second suggestion is, you can also do a lot of this work on your own. Make sure your resume is updated, if you have a LinkedIn page make sure that is updated, and begin to hone in on exactly what it is you’re looking to do. This way, you can set some filters on job search websites to begin to focus your search. I want to reiterate that you should be looking at what types of jobs you would like to do. Human Resources and Finance are two very broad fields and are inclusive of thousands of different kinds of positions. Knowing what you want to do in those two fields will help you narrow your search. This brings me to my third and final suggestion…search! No one is going to come looking for you, so you should be dedicating some time each day to setting up searches on job search websites, looking around on company pages to see what jobs in particular interest you, what jobs are available, and reaching out to contacts at those companies to learn more about open positions.
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