See how attending an immersion, a day long field trip hosted by the Career Center, can help you tailor your career path by checking out what your fellow students had to say below:
THE 4 MOST COMPELLING REASONS TO GO ON AN IMMERSION
1. Getting To Meet People And Ask Them Questions
An Immersion is experiencing an actual day in the working world from inside the office and through the stories of real employees. Its not reading about what it is, it’s going and learning about the industry and the company from UM Alumni, CEO’s, VP’s, and others who work there.
You learn by asking questions, seeing how the company functions, experiencing what the culture is like, and by sitting down with real people with real experience to tell you the reality of what it's like to work there.
When it comes to meeting people and asking questions this is what your fellow classmates had to say:
“Seeing the workplace and meeting people who were in the same position as I was just a few years ago made me feel a little more secure about what I had to do to succeed and get the job of my dreams.”
“Speaking with people in an informal manner, as opposed to at a career fair or some similar situation was awesome because it allowed us to learn in a stress free environment. Also, it was really nice to speak to people that welcomed indecision if we didn't know exactly what we wanted to do, as opposed to recruiting season where you need to know exactly what you want to do.“
“Making friends, learning about the companies. The Immersion was a great way for me to really get a feel for the industry and feel for the city.“
“Meeting the staff and seeing the culture was amazing! This is the coolest company I have visited. Everyone was personable and engaged. They were interesting in answering questions and introducing you to your contact person.“
“Networking with current employees, especially U-M alumni, was very valuable in moving forward with the application process. This experience got me even more excited for my internship search.“
“The Q&A discussion with the CEO was meaningful because we received firsthand insight towards the industry. Very informative and fun too!“
“Today was very informative. The VP of Communications presentation was spot on.”
“Being able to talk to the past interns from U of M; learning about their application process; amazing experience.”
“Connecting with other students that are dealing with the same struggle of trying to define and begin a career path. Meeting professionals and the CEO [was the most meaningful part of today's experience].”
“Connecting with the staff and being able to ask a lot of questions with honest answers [was the most meaningful part of today's experience].“
“Hearing directly from the head of HR [was the most meaningful part of today's experience].”
“I appreciated the interactivity of the experience. I was able to build relationships on a personal level to increase my network and ask burning questions freely. Specifically, the panel and Q&A were the most meaningful.”
2. Seeing What A Typical Day Is Like
Once you have a greater understanding of the industry, you can use the Immersion to assess whether this field could be a potential career path for you.
Think you would like working in a cubicle every day? Are you more of an “open office” type with no walls? Maybe you realize you’d hate the idea of an office altogether. Could you work in a place that has constant noise, tons of collaboration and the potential of getting blind-sided by a nerf gun or would you rather have quiet spaces, independent projects, and a lot of travel?
There are tons of questions to consider when thinking about the work culture, environment, and company values that are often hard to know without seeing it for yourself.
Again, check out what a few of your fellow Wolverines had to say when thinking about what it meant to see and experience it all in person:
“Previously, what I did was all coursework and online searches (to research the industry). Today, I am able to walk inside some companies and see the working environment, listen to the job tasks and descriptions and talk with employees/employers face to face.“
“Seeing the passion behind the company was super attractive and makes me want to work for the company. This kind of passion wouldn't be seen without the Immersion.”
“Visiting the company space was most meaningful and it was cool to experience the culture each company was founded on.“
“For me the most meaningful and impacting part of today’s experience was the tours … More and more I have been leaning towards [this industry] and seeing the environment just motivated me more as well as reassured me of my future aspirations.”
“Getting an inside look at those two companies is awesome. You get to see where you would potentially be working at in the future [which] is exciting and it made me more determined.“
“I enjoyed seeing what the office looked like in a live setting. I think the tour was great, to see exactly what these people do so I can think about whether I would fit in and enjoy the environment. I also enjoyed talking to Michigan alumni because they seem to want to help us with our careers and were very nice.“
3. Learning About Opportunities, The Industry And Skills Needed
You'd be surprised by how many people think they know what positions and opportunities are available at a company but who are pleasantly surprised to find out there are many other opportunities as well.
There's a great quote by Donald Rumsfield on knowing what we don't know. It goes, "We know what we know, we know that there are things we do not know, and we know that there are things we don't know we don't know".
We're almost assuradly guilty of being biased but we believe that our immersions are one of the best ways for you to discover the unexpected gaps in your knowledge of organizations (i.e., the things you don't know you don't know).
As always, don't just take our word for it:
“The most significant part of today was first being able to see opportunities that I had no idea existed before today”
“Seeing two different companies was a great experience because they were very distinctive. Thus, I understood that even in the same area of work, the company that you work in is very important.”
“Finding out specifically about what different jobs entailed. I loved learning about the pace, variety, and passion here. The small group talk was well detailed and informative.”
“Meeting individuals who hold roles similar to what I aspire to, and gaining a better understanding of the steps they took to get there.“
“Really understanding how the industry works. Talking to the CEO and gaining insight on what separates [them] from other companies.”
“The most meaningful part of the experience was having the opportunity to accompany and find out what they're about and the opportunities they have for you.”
“The most meaningful part of today's experience was getting to see two completely different sized industries and being able to compare the cultures.”
“Finding out about internships and networking with the internship selection committee.”
“Getting a chance to ask questions about how [the organization] fits into career paths and getting honest answers.“
“Great exposure to [the industry] - real stories.”
“Hands on experience, job shadowing and networking were all very helpful in understanding what [they] do. Being able to ask questions and see what the companies do on a day to day basis was also significant!“
“Hearing peoples experiences and learning how people got to where they are and what skills were needed.”
“I did not know what [the industry] was but now I know. The examples and speakers were very helpful.”
“I felt the panel at the end was very useful. The new employees, who were right out of UofM, told [us] about their impressions and experiences.”
“I gained a new level of understanding regarding the scope and functionality of the two companies we visited and their positions within the industries they serve.“
“I had a closer view and experience in a real company that gives me a deeper understanding.”
“Understanding the breadth of the industry was something this Immersion aided greatly in.”
“Understanding the various opportunities in different fields that are available for college interns.”
“Understanding you can find a job even if you aren’t sure exactly what you want to do.”
“Very good exposure to [the industry] and all it entails.”
“I found having a chance to speak with people working there really helped me understand what possibilities are available for me.”
4. Gaining Confidence And Getting A Leg Up
What more can an Immersion do? It can help you take the next step and get ahead of your competition.
You can ask the UM Alumni, current employees, and/or the recruiters who often lead Immersions for tips on how to prepare when you’re ready to apply. You can ask what they look for in applicants. You can ask what did they do before working there, what their major was, how they got to where they are as well as what advice they have!
Learning from those who have been there before you and building your professional network will set you a part in the long run so make the most of your experience. You never know who the people you meet may know or how they can open up opportunities for you in the future.
Want to hear more about getting ahead, check out what students who have gone on immersons had to say about the subject:
“I feel the most significant part of this experience was meeting with the actual employers and college recruiters who helped me with knowing what steps to take next in order to move forward in finding a good internship.”
“Learning tips to get an internship/job as well as learning about the culture“
“Seeing how fun finding a career can be!”
“Loved how important people of the company came to speak about the company and how passionate they are about working [there]. Also loved the career advice they offered to the students!“
“Talking to the various Michigan Alumni … seeing the incredibly diverse and vast sectors and groups within the company. There are so many departments and positions that cater to different interests and strengths, which is incredibly meaningful to me in regards to my future career search. Beyond this, it was very enjoyable talking to Michigan alumni, especially those that graduated quite recently. Doing this heightened my interest in the field and company, showed me that the employees are people not very different or far off from myself, and that Michigan alumni are found at every corner of the country.”
“The most meaningful part of today's experience was being able to talk to current interns. Also, very significant that I was informed about how to succeed during the interview process.”
“Being able to network with recruiters [who] gave us tips on how to stand out.“
“Exposure to a new field and [now I have the] confidence to apply [after] gaining [an] understanding of next steps.”
“For me, learning about the internship and hiring process was the most valuable. I feel I better understand the steps I need to take to land an internship or job!”
“Found out what roles I could have and how to tailor my story/resume to meet them.”
“Getting a first hand experience of the day to day activities … It was also helpful and comforting to learn about all of the support in place.”
“Getting to meet people who are sincerely passionate about their careers and where they work was nice to hear. This immersion also helped me begin to formulate plans for a gap year and seriously consider what i would want to do.”
“Having personal conversations with people in different areas of the field helped to spark and channel my own interests and made me motivated and hopeful about the future.”
“Hearing tips from recruiters was definitely very beneficial. It was also eye opening to see a company from the inside.”
“I had a really valuable conversation with someone who has a similar education background and interests as me. He encouraged me to find a job that deals with things I love (writing). He was optimistic, helpful, and made me excited! “
“I always have a great time attending Immersions. It bridges the gap between what I "think" the industry is about to what is "reality" about the industry. Continue funding Immersion.”
Be notified when new Immersions are announced - subscribe to the UMImmersion email group!
Watch this to see what other UM students have to say about Immersions.
See below for a taste of the companies students have visited on an Immersion!