Researching good companies
There's more to a company than a recognized name and impressive looking corporate headquarters. In fact, some of the best companies to work for may not be household names and have modest facilities. Huge does not necessarily mean better; and small does not necessarily mean less opportunity. Some ideas to find out more about a company you're interested in include:
- Tap into friends: If you have friends who've already graduated and are working in the field you're interested in, find out where they work and what they think of the company. What are their opportunities for advancement? What's the corporate culture (the feeling of the work environment, the way co-workers are treated, the values everyone lives by) at the company?
- Tap into family: Ask if anyone in your family, from parents and siblings to grandparents and cousins, works in a company that might hire a person with your education and talents. See if you can meet this family member at their office for a short informational meeting so you can get a feel for the energy and day-to-day approach of the company.
- Research online: Use search engines to find information on a company that interests you. Search keywords for the company's name, the CEO or president, any major business dealings or partnerships the company has been involved with, and any additional facts you can find about the company.
- Visit the Web site: Remember that every company will present a glowing picture to the outside world, so the Web site might not present a fully accurate picture of what it's like to work there. However, it's a good place to start.
- Talk with alumni: Contact your college's alumni association and ask if you can be introduced to any alumni who currently work or used to work at a certain company, or in a certain field. These people can be invaluable to you in your search for a job, and they can often become mentors and friends.