Book by: Lindsey Pollak
Review by: Jill Flees
Florida State University
The techniques presented in Getting from College to Career can benefit anyone who is going through the job search process regardless of age, interest, or resume. For the current college student, this book offers tips on how to appropriately navigate the college experience in preparation for becoming a marketable asset to a future employer. For the recent graduate, it provides opportunities for self-reflection and encouragement in the daunting job search process.
Academic advisors routinely tell students to treat college as a job. The same can be said for the job search process. The central theme of the book is to take ownership of the process and be intentional about the decisions made throughout college. A successful candidate needs to prioritize their values and understand the current realities of the industry they wish to pursue, which can be done through informational interviews, involvement in professional associations, or simply staying abreast of current trends.
One of the strengths of this book is its structure and interactive format. For the cover-to-cover reader, the book suggests action items within each chapter to become more knowledgeable and confident about each step of the job search process. Advisors can review these action steps and tailor them to the individual student seeking advice about career preparedness. Additionally, it provides anecdotes and ‘reality checks’ from professionals spanning a vast number of industries who share the successes and failures of their own career exploration journey. For instance, in the section “Giving Yourself an Edge”, guest contributor Loren Woo, product manager from a large software company, suggests selecting a diverse set of classes and not focusing solely on major coursework and adjacent subjects (p. 183). The conversation of strategic use of elective hours is one many advisors have, and the book provides credence to the suggestion that students should be intentional with the courses they are completing. It also provides merit to a degree program’s minor requirement if the student can identify how the completion of a specific minor may look attractive to the industry in which they plan to enter. If the book were to only be used as a supplemental resource, the descriptive table of contents easily allows the reader to navigate toward a specific area of interest.
Advisors wishing to enhance the career development conversations they are having with students will definitely find value in this book. From conversations about being strategic with elective credits to the benefits of studying abroad, this book provides insights into how employers may view certain academic experiences and thus provides credence to the recommendations an advisor provides. Passing this tips on to students will not only enhance the advising conversation but it will also assist in easing the anxieties a person faces when going through the job search process. While this book may not be utilized as a consistent resource, reading it just one once will improve the conversations advisors are having with students about career readiness. Career readiness/preparedness has taken college campuses by storm and academic advisors need to feel confident having those conversations, which can be facilitated after reading this book.
Getting from College to Career. (2015). Book by Lindsey Pollak. Review by Jill Flees. New York, NY. Harper Collins. 326 pp., $16.99, (Paperback), ISBN 978-0-06-206927-6