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Student FAQs

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Major/Career Exploration & Decision Making

I’m undecided about my major. Can you help me?

Making a decision about your college major blindly--without exploring and learning as much as you can about your options could potentially hinder your college and post-grad experience. Yes---our career counselors are experienced in helping you determine & explore your major options, guide you in researching majors of interest and counsel you to analyze the pros/cons in making an informed decision. Taking a career assessment might help you learn about yourself and provide college major options to consider---your career counselor can help you determine if taking one would be helpful. We strongly encourage you to make an “Assessment Initial Overview” and/or a “Major/Career Path Exploration” career counseling appointment through Handshake as early as possible in your college journey to get started!

Should I see a CCD counselor or OAA advisor for help in choosing a major or minor?

We recommend scheduling appointments with both offices to help you choose your major and/or minor.

The CCD assists students from a career development perspective (how your major relates to your post-Rice career goals. We help you explore majors that best align with your interests, skills, values and preferences; guide you in conducting major research; help you consider the pros/cons within/between majors and lead you through the decision making process.

The OAA assists students from an academic perspective (the right mix and sequence of courses needed to complete major and minor degree requirements). They help to provide information about courses, develop degree plans considering your Rice & non-Rice college credits, help provide resources to overcome academic challenges and keep you informed of important academic policies, procedures and deadlines.

I’ve decided my major--but can you help me choose a career path?

Congratulations on choosing your major! Some majors may easily lead to designated career fields, while other majors lead to many career path options but might be more challenging to navigate. Yes---our career counselors can help you navigate & explore your options and help guide you to choose the best path for you. Taking a career assessment may be helpful to start your career exploration if you don’t have any career paths in mind. If you already have some career paths from which you are trying to choose, schedule a Major/Career Path Exploration” counseling appointment through Handshake to discover ways to explore your career paths of interest and make an informed career path decision.

I’ve decided on my major and career path---what now?

Congratulations on making these monumental decisions! So now--once you’ve chosen your major and career---the fun really begins! NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) research states that students need to gain experience (in and out of the classroom) during their college experience to successfully land meaningful work in their desired career field. That means externships, research, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, volunteering and internships are critical to your Rice experience--and career counselors can help! Counselors can help you: brainstorm ways to get critical experience; explore career resources, job listings, on-campus interviews & career-related events; discover ways to gain experience thru Rice extracurriculars and research opportunities; prepare your resume, cover letter and interviewing skills; practice networking and create a plan to get all this done in 4 years! To get started, choose from the following appointment types (in Handshake):

  • Internship Exploration
  • Employment Exploration
  • Resume/CV Review
  • Mock Interview

How do I learn about the X industry?

The CCD has many online resources and events that can help you explore and learn about career paths and industries. We strongly suggest starting with Vault---it’s a particularly comprehensive website (available through Handshake>Career Center>Resources) that provides career intelligence (downloadable books, company profiles, videos, interviews, and internships) for thousands of careers and industries. Going to company info sessions, joining on-campus student professional associations and networking through Sallyportal.org with Rice alumni in industries of interest can also be extremely helpful, not to mention participating in externships and internships. We encourage you to schedule a career counseling appointment or visit during CCD drop-in hours to learn more.

I’m a Humanities or Social Science major; can the CCD help me?

Absolutely--the CCD mission is to educate, connect and empower ALL Rice students---and we are available year round to help Rice students in all majors and degree levels achieve their professional goals. Whether you are intersted in employment or graduate school, the CCD is here to help you!

You may find that organizations recruit in very different ways---some attend the Career/Internship Expo, some conduct on-campus interviews/events and others do not. If an organization does not attend the Expo---it’s very likely they prefer to engage with students/candidates using other recruitment methods. We strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with a career counselor to help you explore ways to find connections and opportunities, and gain experience in your desired field. The CCD also assists with graduate school exploration and applications.

What are career clusters & how can they help me?

To free students from the constraints of viewing careers based on majors, the CCD uses a system focused on 7 career interests called Career Clusters. Career Clusters facilitate broad exploration within a targeted area. Students can choose a cluster in their Profile, and sort internship/job opportunities by cluster in Handshake. Career Cluster info is available here. Below are the career clusters:

  • Arts, Communication and Entertainment
  • Computer, Information Technology and Math
  • Education, Nonprofit and Social Enterprise
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Finance, Consulting and Enterprise
  • Public Policy, Government and Law
  • Sciences and Health

I’m a senior student; is it too late for me to seek help with the CCD?

No--it’s never too late to start working with the CCD to help you reach your career goals. In fact, we assist Rice Alumni at all levels and all graduation years---so it’s never too late to schedule an appointment with a career counselor, come to a CCD workshop or event, participate in the Expo, on-campus interviewing, or use our online resources. We are a shame-free zone--so let us help educate, connect and empower you towards future success!


Handshake

What is Handshake?

Handshake is your online, one-stop shop for all of your career development needs! On Handshake you can:

  • Schedule an appointment with a counselor.
  • Search and apply for jobs and internships.
  • Register for upcoming events, including information sessions, CCD workshops, and Expo.
  • Apply and sign up for on-campus interviews.
  • Research employers interested in Rice talent.
  • Check out our online resources.
  • Report professional experiences.
  • And more!

How do I login to Handshake?

If you are a current Rice student…

You should already have an account, as accounts were created for all current Rice students upon enrollment. Go to rice.joinhandshake.com and click where it says Rice University Sign On and then log in using your Net ID and password. If for some reason you cannot sign on with your Net ID, please create a student account and contact the CCD at ccd@rice.edu or 713-348-4055.

If you are a recent Rice alum…

You still have your student Handshake account. However, this account is linked to your Net ID. If you would like to update your contact information please email the CCD at ccd@rice.edu. Once the information is updated, you can sign in by going to rice.joinhandshake.com and click where it says Log In using Email and Password.

If you are an alum who graduated before 2015…

You still have access to Handshake but you will need to create an account. To create an alumni account in Handshake, please visit rice.joinhandshake.com select "Sign Up for an Account," select the "Student/Alumni" button and then choose "Register a New Account.” It may take up to one week for your account to be approved. Please do not hesitate to be in touch if you have any additional questions.

What are career clusters & how can they help me?

Searching by major for internships, jobs & events may not yield the best results because majors don’t always easily translate into careers. Career Clusters can help you find the opportunities that better match your interests and desired industries. There are currently 7 Career Clusters that you can opt into and search on Handshake:

  • Arts, Communications, and Entertainment
  • Computer, Information Technology, and Mathematics
  • Education, Non Profit, and Social Enterprise
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Finance, Consulting and Enterprise
  • Health and Sciences
  • Public Policy, Government, and Law

Learn more about these Career Clusters here.

All jobs, internships, interview schedules and events in Handshake are categorized through our cluster system. You can filter through these clusters by clicking on the jobs page, clicking ‘filters’, and scrolling down to the drop down menu under ‘labels’.

How do I edit my Handshake profile?

Very easily! Go to Handshake and click on your name in the upper right hand corner. Then click ‘My Profile’. For every section of your profile you will see a little blue pencil. If you click on this pencil you will be able to edit this section. This feature allows you to add experiences to your profile, change your major, add courses, and more.

I can’t login on with my net ID…what should I do?

If you are a current student and cannot login with your Net ID, please email or call the CCD at ccd@rice.edu or 713-348-4055. Do not create a student account until we advise you to do so.

I’m an alum and don’t/no longer have a net ID …what should I do?

If you are a recent alum…

You still have a Handshake profile from when you were a student. This account, however, is still linked to your Net ID. Please email the CCD at ccd@rice.edu with your old Net ID and your current contact information and we will update your Handshake profile.

If you are an alum of the graduating class of 2015 or earlier…

As an alum, you can gain access to Handshake but you will need to create an account. To create an alumni account in Handshake, please visit rice.joinhandshake.com select "Sign Up for an Account," select the "Student/Alumni" button and then choose "Register a New Account.” It may take up to one week for your account to be approved. Please do not hesitate to contact the CCD if you have any additional questions.


Appointments

Where do appointments take place/where are you located?

Appointments take place in our office at Huff House (1st floor, building #13 on the Rice Campus Map). You can also schedule an appointment over the phone or via Skype.

Drop-ins vs. Appointment?

If your question can be answered in 15 minutes or less, stop in for a drop-in appointment. Quick resume/CV or professional correspondence questions can easily be answered in a Drop-In appointment. If you have a more complex or general question, we recommend you schedule an appointment so you can have as much time with the counselor as possible. Drop-In Hours are Monday through Friday, during the Fall and Spring semesters when class is in session (times may vary). You can schedule an appointment with a counselor via Handshake.

How can I make an appointment?

You can schedule an appointment with a career counselor via Handshake. Once you log in, click on the “Career Center” tab in the upper right hand header of your screen. Select “Appointments” and “Schedule a new appointment.” Please note that you may have to schedule your appointment a couple of weeks in advance.

Can I schedule more than one appointment at a time?

No-- you can make only one appointment at time through Handshake.

Can I come in today?

You can! We have Drop-In Hours Monday to Friday, during the Fall and Spring semesters when class is in-session (times may vary). Drop-In appointments are quick 10-15 minute appointments, designed to answer easy and specific questions. Also check out our events calendar to see if we are holding a workshop that can help you!

I missed my appointment; can I reschedule?

Yes, you can reschedule your appointment the same way you scheduled it via Handshake.

Can I call in for my appointment?

Yes, you can call or Skype in for your appointment. Just be sure to specify the medium of appointment when you create your request in Handshake.


Career & Internship Expos

What should I wear to the Expo?

No matter what industry you are interested in, the CCD always recommends you dress business formal to Expo! Men should wear a dark suit with a plain, light colored shirt, tie, nice shoes, and dark socks. Women should wear a dark colored suit as well with pants or knee-length skirt with closed toed shoes (flats or heels). If you decide to wear a dress, please also wear a blazer. Your outfit is not complete without a folder with multiple copies of your resume. If you have any questions about what to wear to Expo or about obtaining professional attire, please make an appointment with a career counselor or attend our drop-in hours.

Why doesn’t Employer X attend the Expo?

Just because an employer doesn’t attend Expo does not mean that they are inaccessible or not interested in Rice students. Many employers do not recruit at Expos or on-campus at all! In lieu of traditional recruiting methods, many industries find alternative ways to recruit interns and full time positions. If you are interested in reaching out to an employer that does not attend our Expo, we suggest that you make an appointment with one of our career counselors to identify the best ways to connect.

How to prepare for Expo?

There are 4 things that we recommend all students do to prepare for Expo:

  1. Polish your resume (and bring a lot of copies) -- many companies collect resume at the Expo so be sure to meet with the CCD to get your resume Expo-ready.
  2. Develop your elevator pitch -- an elevator pitch is a brief, compelling introduction that will communicate your skills, talents, and aspirations. Your pitch should communicate who you are as a student/potential employee and why x recruiter or employer should be interested in you. Meet with the CCD to help you prep and practice your pitch.
  3. Dress Professionally -- It is expected that you dress business formal for Expo, no matter which employers you plan on talking to. Dressing professionally tells employers that you are ready, respectful, and interested in their company and the opportunities that they have to offer. Please be sure to plan your attire at least 2 weeks in advance just to be sure that nothing is missing from your wardrobe. If you are not sure of what professional attire means for you, check out our pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/riceccd/?eq=riceccd&etslf=10579 or email us at ccd@rice.edu. If you are having trouble obtaining professional attire, please schedule a Dress for Success appointment with one of our career counselors.
  4. Do your research -- This is the most important thing you can do to ensure your success at Expo! Before you attend Expo make sure you:
    1. Research the companies that will be attending,
    2. Prioritize the companies you want to speak to, and
    3. Develop interesting questions that demonstrate your knowledge of and interest in each company.

To help craft these conversations, schedule an appointment with one of our career counselors or check out some of our virtual resources on Handshake.

If you follow all of these steps, you will rock it at Expo!

What should I say to employers at Expo/how to develop elevator pitch? / How can I practice/get feedback on my elevator pitch?

There are many different ways for you to develop and practice your elevator pitch before Expo! Attend one of our Expo prep workshops, Resumayhem, or make an appointment with one of our career counselors for feedback. Don’t have time to go to Huff House? Consult with a Peer Career Advisor (PCA) in your residential college, or consult some of our online resources, such as Optimal Resume, to help you develop your pitch.

How can I avoid the long lines at Expo?

Attend one of our Skip the Line events prior to Expo! Get your name tag and wrist band so you can avoid the long check-in line the day of. This is especially great if you are on a time crunch or if the Houston weather is not cooperating.

Can I visit with Expo employers before it begins (before 10AM)? / If I arrive early, why can’t I visit employers early?

No. To ensure that all students and all employers get the same amount of access, the CCD holds a strict 10am start time.

I talked to employers but I haven’t heard back from them…

Expo is a great time to meet employers but it is not the only way to connect to them. Keep in mind that the recruiters you meet at Expo have a very busy schedule and may not have time to get in touch with you as soon as you would like. We advise that you use your network, LinkedIn, or SallyPortal to find more connections with the company and get in touch with the employer that way. The more contact points the better! If you are unsure about networking techniques, please make an appointment with one of our career counselors.


Policies

How to negotiate a job offer?

Negotiating job offers is an important conversation that can sometimes be challenging to maneuver. Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to help you find the best way to have this conversation and come out on top.

What is Rice’s Offer Policy?

You can find Rice’s Offer Policy at https://ccd.rice.edu/students/jobs-internships/preparation. Rice believes that students should have the opportunity to explore the options open to them in order to make responsible and well-informed decisions about employment offers. We want employers to hire the best candidates and for our students to obtain the best opportunity for them. For these reasons and to maintain consistency with peer institutions, our job offer policy for organizations participating in campus recruitment is as follows:

Timing of Offer

Offers from Summer Internships

Offers from Fall Campus Recruiting

Offers from Spring Campus Recruiting

Date by which to decide on offer

November 1 or minimum of two weeks

(whichever is LATER)

November 1 or minimum of two weeks

(whichever is LATER)

February 20 or minimum of two weeks

(whichever is LATER

All official offers must be in writing. Written offers are defined as electronic or hard copies. The start of the offer timeline is determined by the date on the written offer letter.

Will you provide contact information for recruiters?

Outside of on campus interviews, the CCD does not provide the contact information of the recruiters we work with, including recruiters that attend information sessions or Expo. If you are interested in contacting a recruiter for general questions about their company, industry, or opportunities, we advise that you connect with Rice alumni that work for the organization in question. Check LinkedIn or SallyPortal and schedule an appointment with a career counselor to help build your network. If you have a specific question about your application and you do not have the contact information of the recruiter, please email ccd@rice.edu and we will help you communicate your question.

Can I cancel an OCR interview?

Yes (as long as it is more than 24 hours before your scheduled time)! If you cancel your interview within 24 hours of your appointed time, you are required to notify the CCD immediately and write an apology email to the employer. Please note that the CCD has a late cancellation and no show policy that is heavily enforced by our office. You can learn more at https://ccd.rice.edu/students/jobs-internships/preparation.

If you scheduled your interview through Handshake: go to your applications and select “withdraw” under the application in question. You can learn more about withdrawing your application at https://support.joinhandshake.com/hc/en-us/articles/228725227.

If your interview was scheduled elsewhere: Write to the employer and withdraw your application.

Everytime you withdraw your application, please write a quick note to the employer explaining that you wish to withdraw your name from consideration and thank them for the opportunity. If you do not have the employer’s contact information, please write to the CCD (ccd@rice.edu) and we will forward it to the appropriate contact.


On-Campus Interviews

How do I schedule an on-campus interview?

If you would like to interview with a company that will conducting interviews on campus, you must first apply for the position they are interviewing for. You can find this job postings either on Handshake or through their own website. Once you have submitted your application, you will be notified if you are selected for an interview. For additional tips on how to secure an interview, please check out https://ccd.rice.edu/students/jobs-internships/preparation to learn more.

Can I reschedule an on-campus interview?

If you signed up for an interview slot on Handshake: simply go to the interview page in Handshake: click “leave slot” and then select a different time slot. If your desired time slot is unavailable, select “swap request” to see if that student would like to swap with you. You can learn more about how to navigate signing up for interview slots on Handshake at https://support.joinhandshake.com/hc/en-us/articles/218693438-Interview-Schedules-Applications-and-Taking-Slots.

If your interview was scheduled outside of Handshake: contact the recruiter immediately to see if you can find a better time.

Please contact the CCD at ccd@rice.edu or 713-348-4055 if you wish to reschedule your interview within 24 hours of your scheduled time.

Can I cancel an on-campus interview?

Yes (as long as it is more than 24 hours before your scheduled time)! If you cancel your interview within 24 hours of your appointed time, you are required to notify the CCD immediately and write an apology email to the employer. Please note that the CCD has a late cancellation and no show policy that is heavily enforced by our office. You can learn more at https://ccd.rice.edu/students/jobs-internships/preparation.

If you scheduled your interview through Handshake: go to your applications and select “withdraw” under the application in question. You can learn more about withdrawing your application at https://support.joinhandshake.com/hc/en-us/articles/228725227.

If your interview was scheduled elsewhere: Write to the employer and withdraw your application.

Everytime you withdraw your application, please write a quick note to the employer explaining that you wish to withdraw your name from consideration and thank them for the opportunity. If you do not have the employer’s contact information, please write to the CCD (ccd@rice.edu) and we will forward it to the appropriate contact.


On-Campus Recruiting Events

What should I wear to an info session?

It depends on the company! Some industries require different business attire than others. What is considered appropriate attire for Facebook you may want to keep in your closet for a McKinsey information Session. A good rule of thumb is to dress how you would during an interview and always remember: it is better to overdress than underdress. If you are unsure about what to wear or if you are having trouble obtaining a professional wardrobe, make an appointment to speak with one of our career counselors or stop by during drop-in hours.


Resumes/Correspondence

I need resume help.

There are several ways to get help with your resume:

  • Start with our Resume Guide and Freshmen Resume Guide. These are both great resources for developing or tweaking your resume draft.
  • Check out some of our online resources such as Vault or Optimal Resume, which provides templates you can choose for a professional look and feel.
  • RSVP for and attend a Resume Lab (work on your resume with other students in a group setting with CCD facilitators). Dates and times available through Handshake.
  • Visit during drop-in hours (Monday through Friday when class is in session).
  • Schedule a career counseling appointment through Handshake.
  • Attend Resumayhem event at the beginning of Fall & Spring semesters.
  • Contact a Peer Career Advisor (PCA) who is trained to advise students on resumes.
  • RSVP for and attend a CCD Resume Workshop. Dates and times available through Handshake.

Do you have any correspondence samples?

Yes--the CCD recommends the following cover letter resources:

  • Start with the Guide to Correspondence and Cover Letters -- available on the CCD website. Learn here about the purpose of the cover letter and what’s important to include in your format.
  • Next, check out Optimal Resume--this Handshake resource has many sample cover letters (job application) and networking letters from which to search and choose. Use these samples and the guide above to help you create a cover letter draft.
  • Finally, meet with a career counselor during drop-in hours or scheduled Handshake appointment to have your cover letter draft reviewed for content, format and grammar.


Questions About Employers

Will you provide contact information for recruiters?

Outside of on campus interviews, the CCD does not provide the contact information of the recruiters we work with, including recruiters that attend information sessions or Expo. If you are interested in contacting a recruiter for general questions about their company, industry, or opportunities, we advise that you connect with Rice alumni that work for the organization in question. Check LinkedIn or SallyPortal and schedule an appointment with a counselor to help build your network. If you have a specific question about your application and you do not have the contact information of the recruiter, please email ccd@rice.edu and we will help you communicate your question.

Employer X doesn’t come to campus; what should I do?/Why doesn’t Employer X recruit on-campus?

Just because an employer doesn’t attend campus events, does not mean that they are inaccessible or not interested in Rice students. Many employers do not recruit at Expos or on-campus at all! In lieu of traditional recruiting methods, many industries find alternative ways to recruit interns and full time positions. If you are interested in reaching out to an employer that does not attend our Expo, we suggest that you make an appointment with one of our career counselors to identify the best way to connect.

How can I learn about the X industry?

The CCD has many online resources and events that can help you explore and learn about career paths and industries. We strongly suggest starting with Vault---it’s a comprehensive website (available through Handshake>Career Center>Resources) that provides career intelligence (downloadable books, company profiles, videos, interviews, and internships) for thousands of careers and industries. Going to company info sessions, joining student chapters of professional associations and networking through Sallyportal.org with Rice alumni in industries of interest can also be extremely helpful, not to mention participating in externships and internships. We encourage you to schedule a career counseling appointment or visit during CCD drop-in hours to learn more.

What’s the salary for X jobs?

Salaries are always a tricky subject and depend on many different factors: position title, organization, industry, location, level of education/experience, etc. Check out some online resources like Vault, ONet, Glassdoor, Salary.com and more to find the typical salary range of a certain position, as well as the NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Salary Calculator. If you are in the midst of salary negotiation we advise you to attend one of our Salary Negotiation workshops or make an appointment with a counselor to make sure that you are fully prepared.

Is X job a good opportunity?

Whether an opportunity is ‘good’ or not is completely subjective! Accepting an internship or job opportunity often depends on your career goals (what you hope to do/gain professionally), your preferences, interests, skills and values (what’s most important to you post-graduation). A career counselor can help you explore these personal factors and guide you through an analysis of your options.

In addition, the CCD strongly recommends you thoroughly review every opportunity for which you apply. Please read the CCD’s employer policies for full-time and internship opportunities to make sure that your rights are respected: https://ccd.rice.edu/employers/employer-university-recruiting-policies/policies. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of any opportunity, please contact the CCD at ccd@rice.edu or 713-348-4055. If you have questions regarding any other job aspects, we recommend discussing your concerns with a career counselor during drop-ins or scheduled appointment.


Interview Prep

What do I wear to an interview?

What you wear to an interview is paramount! Something as minute as the shade of your tie or the shoes that you wear can have a major impact on the interviewers first impressions of you. We all know that you have to dress ‘professionally’ for an interview...but what does that mean?

Traditionally, interview attire is assumed to be business formal. Men should wear a dark suit with a plain, light colored shirt, tie, nice shoes, and dark socks. Women should wear a dark colored suit as well with pants or knee-length skirt with closed toed shoes (flats or heels). If you decide to wear a dress, please also wear a blazer. Your outfit is not complete without a portfolio or folder with multiple copies of your resume. If you have any questions about what to wear to for an interview or about obtaining professional attire, please make an appointment with a career counselor or attend our drop-in hours.

Your interview attire will also depend on the company and the industry! Some industries require different business attire than others. What is considered appropriate attire for Facebook you may want to keep in your closet for an interview with McKinsey. Be sure to thoroughly research the industry and company to find the proper dress code before your interview. When in doubt, remember it is always better to dress up than it is to dress down.

Make sure that you have the proper garments (including socks and shoes) in your possession before the interview. If you are unsure on what to wear, please contact the CCD for advice. If you are having trouble finding the best interview attire or accessing professional clothing, make a Dress for Success/Career Gear appointment with one of our career counselors.

How do I prep for my interview?

There are many ways that the CCD can help you prep for your upcoming interview:

  1. Check out our online resources: the resources listed on Handshake and on our website can help you get an overview on what you should be thinking about during your preparation and will provide you with tried and true tips. We encourage you to explore the video-interview function on Optimal Resume! This feature allows you to film and review yourself answering common interview questions.
  2. Make a mock interview appointment: whether this is your first or fifth interview, mock interview appointments always give you insight on the interview process and help you feel more prepared and confident.
  3. Interview kits: stop by the front desk and ask for one of our interview kits! These kits provide great advice about how to act, how to dress, and other interview tips. They also provide you with a list of sample interview questions for additional practice.
  4. Do your research! Even the perfect interviewer will not get the job if they do not do research on the company. Educate yourself on the role that you are interviewing for and the organization. Remember: you are interviewing them while they are interviewing you.


Job/Internship Search

I need help finding an internship/job.

The CCD is here to help you take the necessary steps to successfully navigate your internship or job search by helping you in:

  • Identifying and exploring ways to begin your search
  • Preparing your application materials
  • Strengthening your interview skills
  • Making the most of your internship/job.

Please check out the CCD website for a step-by-step guide to navigating the internship/job search. We also strongly recommend working with a career counselor (through scheduled Handshake appointments) to help you develop a customized internship/job search plan and to guide & encourage you during your search.

What should I do if Company X doesn’t recruit at Rice?

Just because an employer doesn’t attend campus events, does not mean that they are inaccessible or not interested in Rice students. Many employers do not recruit at Expos or on-campus at all! In lieu of traditional recruiting methods, many companies find alternative ways to recruit interns and full time positions. If you are interested in reaching out to an employer that does not recruit at Rice:

  • Check our career clusters page to learn more about industries and how/when each recruits.
  • Review Vault--a career intelligence website (available through Handshake>Career Center>Resources) that provides information on many industries and companies.
  • Make an appointment with a career counselor to identify more ways to connect.

I have an unpaid summer internship—can you help me with funding?

The Owl Edge Summer Experience Fund is a CCD initiative that was created specifically to assist students with non-paid or underpaid summer internship, experiential and research opportunities. The application for this competitive program (which includes a resume, essay and budget worksheet) is typically made available through Handshake in February. For more information, please visit the CCD Summer Fund webpage. which also includes additional funding sources.

What are career clusters & how can they help me?

To free students from the constraints of viewing careers based on majors, the CCD uses a system focused on 7 career interests called Career Clusters. Career Clusters facilitate broad exploration within a targeted area. Students can choose a cluster in their Profile, and sort internship/job opportunities by cluster in Handshake. Career Cluster info is available here. Below are the career clusters:

  • Arts, Communication and Entertainment
  • Compter, Information Technology and Math
  • Education, Nonprofit and Social Enterprise
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Finance, Consulting and Enterprise
  • Public Policy, Government and Law
  • Sciences and Health

What’s the salary for X jobs?

Salaries are always a tricky subject and depend on many different factors: position title, organization, industry, location, level of education/experience, etc. Check out some online resources like Vault, ONet, Glassdoor, Salary.com and more to find the typical salary range of a certain position, as well as the NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Salary Calculator. If you are in the midst of salary negotiation we advise you to attend one of our Salary Negotiation workshops or make an appointment with a counselor to make sure that you are fully prepared.

I’m an international student, what will the job search look like for me?

Navigating the US job market and landing a position may be challenging, but it certainly can be done! The CCD is here to educate, connect and empower international students during the internship/job search. To begin, we recommend thoroughly reviewing the CCD Resources page for International Students for a step-by-step guide to conducting a US-based job search. Next, schedule a career counseling appointment through Handshake for assistance at any point in your search. Be sure to also work with OISS (Office of International Students and Scholars) to learn and understand work visa policies and regulations.


Graduate School

I need help preparing for grad school.

Preparing for grad school requires significant legwork throughout your undergrad experience--maintaining excellent grades, connecting with professors, obtaining relevant experience through research, extracurriculars, volunteer work, externships/internships, studying for exams and practicing for grad interviews--not to mention preparing application materials and adhering to grad school deadlines! The CCD strongly recommends starting the preparation early, the Guide to Graduate School for overview, as well as a career counseling appointment for help with grad school resumes/CVs, personal statements and interviews. We also recommend working with OAA (Office of Academic Advising), as they have many resources for students seeking grad school assistance, including this general resource.

How do I know if grad school is right for me?

Grad school may be a good option for you if some of the following statements are true:

  • My intended career goal definitely requires a graduate degree for entry
  • The grad degree benefits outweigh the costs (time, money, energy, motivation, perseverance) of pursuing the grad degree
  • I am an excellent grad school candidate (strong GPA, experiences, professor relationships/recommendations, exam scores, etc.)
  • I have a financial source or plan for managing my grad school/personal costs and will be prepared to manage any undergrad/grad debt afterwards

These are just a few factors to consider when going to grad school; we recommend checking out the CCD Guide to Graduate School to learn more about the grad school exploration process. Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to discuss your grad school aspirations. You will also want to consult with professors, current grad students and professionals in your intended field, as well as OAA (Office of Academic Advising). Check out their Exploring Graduate School guide for more info.


General Questions about CCD

What are the office hours?

The Center for Career Development is open from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Hours may vary depending on appointment time.

Are you open during the summer/winter break?

Our office is open during the summer and during the majority of winter break (we are closed from December 24 to January 1). If you would like to meet with a counselor during these breaks but are not in Houston, feel free to schedule a Skype or phone appointment through Handshake.

Where is the CCD located?

The CCD is located on the first floor of the Peter and Nancy Huff House (building #13 on the Rice Campus Map). You can find directions at https://ccd.rice.edu/employers/directions-and-accommodations. We hope to see you soon!

Do you help alumni?

Yes---we assist alumni from all majors and all graduation years. Career counselors are experienced in helping alums manage professional careers, including career transitions, changing jobs or industries, establishing professional connections due to relocation and going back to school. All CCD services are completely free for alumni who graduated less than three years ago---and you have all the access as when you were enrolled, including career counseling, Handshake access, on-campus recruiting, info sessions, Expo and CCD workshops. For alumni who graduated more than three years ago, you have all the same services; however career counseling (after one free session) is $85.00 per session. Check out this alumni link here for more information.


Networking

What is networking?

Networking is meeting & building relationships with professionals in your desired career field. There are many different ways to network and sources for networking; start by checking out some recommended networking resources then schedule a career counseling appointment through Handshake to learn specific ways to network in your desired career field/industry. Just a few opportunities on-campus include CCD networking and LinkedIn workshops, company information sessions, company coffee chats, CCD panel events, career cluster events and the Career/Internship Expos---all of which can be found through Handshake Events.

Can I avoid networking, if I don’t want to do it/don’t like it?

Research states 70% of jobs are acquired through networking in the US---it’s an extremely recommended job search method. So you could avoid networking, but the consequence is having access to only 30% of available jobs! With the limited number of jobs and huge competition, not networking will lengthen your search, limit your options and keep you searching alone in a vacuum. Why not talk with others who could provide advice, recommendations and opportunities? The benefits outweigh the risks/consequences.

Students (and job seekers) often think about large events, such as the Expo, as the only way to network. There are many other ways to meet professionals and engage them in career discussions, including information interviewing. To start, we recommend engaging with your immediate network (family, friends, classmates, professionals in your community) to increase your comfort level for discussing your career aspirations with a safe audience of people you already know. Next, expand your reach to Rice faculty, staff and alumni--Sallyportal and LinkedIn are great resources for doing so, learn more here. By the time you’re ready to engage with recruiters and hiring managers, you will have taken steps to conquer your networking fears and gain confidence in talking about your experience/career goals and asking meaningful questions! Schedule an appointment with a career counselor through Handshake or consult with a PCA (Peer Career Advisor) for networking assistance at any stage in your networking journey.


Owl Edge Summer Fund

I have an unpaid summer internship—can you help me with funding?

The Owl Edge Summer Experience Fund is a CCD initiative that was created specifically to assist students with non-paid or underpaid summer internship, experiential and research opportunities. The application for this competitive program (which includes a resume, essay and budget worksheet) is typically made available through Handshake in February. For more information, please visit the CCD Summer Fund webpage. which includes additional funding resources.


Peer Career Advisors (PCAs)

Who are the PCAs and what do they do?

Peer Career Advisors are CCD student ambassadors and leaders who 1) have an interest in career development and who 2) educate, connect and empower Rice peers in residential colleges and beyond to reach career development goals. Please check here for a list of current PCAs.

PCAs are trained throughout the academic year to advise Rice students individually on resumes & cover letters, elevator pitches (aka 30-second introductions), networking basics, navigating Handshake, CCD resources/events and other career development topics. PCAs also conduct career development workshops after-hours in all 11 residential colleges each semester to engage with students in familiar settings. Please feel free to connect with PCAs in your college (or beyond) for career development assistance!

How can I become a PCA?

If you’re interested in becoming a PCA, the application will be available on Handshake in Spring (typically February). Contact Marilyn Wade, PCA Staff Advisor at maw5@rice.edu should you have questions.