Career and Leadership Development
The Office of Career and Leadership Development guides you in locating suitable career opportunities that will allow you to make full use of your training, skills and knowledge, experience personal fulfillment, and earn a living.
CAREER CONNECT, Online Jobs Database:
To introduce you to our services, we have compiled a list of questions we frequently hear from both students and graduates.
Can you help me find a job?
We serve two main constituents: students and alumni. We help individuals in both groups identify the skills, experiences and resources to plan their careers and find meaningful work upon, and beyond, graduation. Our services include individual career counseling, workshops on résumé writing and related topics, and networking events such as career fairs.
For more details, and to get started with your career planning, please download the CSSW Career Guide (PDF: 85 pages). And, once you have done some basic preparation, consider signing up for a career counseling session. Current students should use our online form; alumni should e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where are you located and what are your hours?
We are on the 5th floor, Rooms 525 and 526. Our office is open on Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.” Individual career advising appointments can be made online through Career Connect. Students without an appointment are welcome to drop in on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays from 1-2 p.m.
How can I get an appointment for a career counseling session, and what will it cover?
Signing up is easy: go to Career Connect and click on “Advising” on the left panel. (Note: First-time visitors will need to register.) Sessions last 30 minutes, and it is up to you to decide what will be covered during that time. Popular topics include résumé and cover letter critiques, interview preparation, mock interviews, networking strategies, salary negotiations, and techniques for mapping out a career plan.
What kinds of jobs do people with social work degrees usually get?
Graduates of CSSW have pursued careers in all aspects of social work: clinical social work, public policy, community organizing, corporate consulting, economic development, international social work, macro social work and private practice. One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the range of possible job opportunities is to talk to CSSW alumni. Alumni can also be a rich source for job leads and other information.Watch out for brownbag lunches and panels featuring alumni talking about their career choices, which are scheduled throughout the school year. You can also find alumni on the CSSW Linkedin page or the Columbia Alumni Association Alumni Community.
I’m a first-year student. Can you help me with finding a summer internship? What about an internship overseas?
As a first step, we urge you to search Career Connect for summer internship opportunities (click “Job Search” on the left panel). Before applying, you may also wish to sign up for a counseling session (click “Advising” on the left panel) to go over your current résumé. If you are interested in experiences abroad, use GoinGlobal (found on Career Connect) to get started..
I’m an international student. Can I be hired by an American employer?
As long as you hold an F-1 (student) visa, you are permitted to undertake internships during your studies. After graduation, you are permitted to hold full-time employment for practical training for a specific period of time. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) defines “practical training” as paid employment related to a student’s field of study.
For more information, please go to the International Students and Scholars Office (a Columbia University site). You may also find it useful to peruse the FAQ on our International Students Program page. You are also encouraged to use GoinGlobal, which is accessible by logging into Career Connect, to learn about applying for positions in the U.S. and other international regions.
I’m a second-year student looking to start my job search. Can you help me get started?
Our office provides the full range of job-seeking and support services, from critiquing your résumé to helping you to understand how your values, skills and passions influence your career decisions. One of our most popular resources is our list of online social work job boards. We also have our own jobs database, Career Connect, which is maintained in partnership with more than 1,300 employers and open only to CSSW students and alums.
I’m an alum. What can you help me with?
CSSW alumni have access to the exclusive jobs database Career Connect, which is maintained by our office in partnership with more than 2,500 employers. We also offer assistance to alumni who are seeking to upgrade or change direction in their careers and/or hone their leadership skills. Career counseling sessions for alumni take place on Fridays during the academic year. To make an appointment, please click here or send an e-mail to email@example.com. For further career guidance suggestions, also visit the CSSW Alumni page.
Does the School provide opportunities to meet with potential employers?
Throughout the academic year, we arrange for potential employers to host information sessions on their organizational culture or offer tabling sessions to answer questions on job opportunities and typical career paths.
“In addition, our office co-sponsors The Master’s Level Social Work Job Fair in partnership with social work schools in the Metro New York City area every year. The next Social Work Job Fair will be held from 11AM to 3PM on Friday, March 23, 2018 at Columbia University’s Lerner Hall.
I have an interview with an agency. How should I prepare?
First, take the time to learn as much as possible about the agency. Go to its Web site and review its values and mission. Also review the different departments and programs and how they work together to accomplish the organization’s goal. Once you have the bigger picture, it is time to hone in on the specific department or division you would be working for. Look at their programs and/or services and review the staff makeup and profiles. If you know who will be interviewing you, take the time to research that person as well. Next you should research the position—scrutinize the job description to determine what they are really looking for. Finally, you should research yourself. Review your skills and strengths and connect these to what the agency wants. Also prepare some questions for the interviewer, and practice answers to the most common interview questions.
Still have questions?
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-851-2321. Additional Resources can be found in the Career and Leadership Development section of the Forms and Documents Library.
We also welcome any suggestions for improving the FAQs on this page. Please enter them into the “Contact Us” form