By Ali Rodriguez, Director of Employer Relations
My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip. But I also really love Cherry Garcia. No…wait, chocolate chip cookie dough is delicious and makes a wonderful milkshake. What I’ve learned over the years is that you don’t have to just have one favorite.

Think about how you can apply this notion to finding a career you will find satisfying. Have you ever worried about finding a career you will love? I know I did. Having family members who enjoyed the work they did, I remember being in college and trying to find that one thing that would resonate with me. We all have different interests at various points in our life, depending on experiences and life circumstances.
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to figure it all out in too short of a time frame. Instead, open your mind to the variety of possibilities that exist. Look carefully at the companies who recruit at the Toppel Career Center for full-time jobs and internships. Consider things that are also a good fit: is part-time work, freelancing, or starting your own business a better choice? Don’t judge an opportunity by the organization and/or job title alone. Often times, at smaller organizations, you have the chance to get exposure and experience in a variety of capacities.
Let me share an example to illustrate my point. For the past several years, UM students have consistently rated Google as the #1 company to work for.* It used to be that Google did not recruit on campus (now they do), but the brand recognition was so strong and company culture transparent that students ranked the company highly. Now I will challenge you to think about the fact that for every Google, there’s a Jazwares. You may never have heard of Jazwares, (they invent toys and related products that are new to the marketplace, featuring the licenses that kids want) but we have UM alumni working there and the workspace fosters creativity.  And what about the Miami Dolphins?  The organization has provided internships for numerous UM students over the years, and they have rated the experience positively. 
So, the next question is, how do I get engaged? Of course, I am biased, but attending Toppel events (such as career fairs, industry nights, and career programs hosted by employers) is a great way to build connections.  I challenge you again to think of other ways to do that. Attend a Launch Pad event. Talk to faculty and discover if any of them work in your industry. Talk to family members. Try to get as much info as you can that will help you make an informed decision and find your “fit.”
One important aspect of my job is to bring companies and organizations to campus to recruit at the U for jobs and internships. This keeps me busy! In my role, I help expose students to the variety of options that exist. Google is like my mint chocolate chip, Jazwares resonates with me like Cherry Garcia does, and I can liken the Miami Dolphins to chocolate chip cookie dough. I don’t/can’t have a favorite, there are just too many options!
Do you have a company that you’ve always wanted to work for who doesn’t recruit at UM? Please don’t hesitate to let me know by emailing me at alrodriguez@miami.edu.
*Source: Universum survey