Career Services

SIS students have access to both the AU Career Center and the SIS Office of Career Development. The following sections provide more information about the services, events, and programs available to SIS juniors, seniors, and graduate students.

First- and second-year undergraduate students can participate in events and meet with an advisor to explore different majors and career options through the university’s central career center. Then, when they become juniors, SIS majors receive additional tailored support from the SIS Office of Career Development.

Are you the parent of an undergraduate student? Please read our Parents Guide to SIS Career Support.

Events & Programs

The Alumni Panel Events are a series of in-person events that engage with questions of professional development, workplace culture, and career paths outside of the industry specific events. These events will feature panelists who can discuss a common theme or personal identity as it relates to their careers. There will be time at the end of the event for networking and Q&A. Register on Handshake.

We host our virtual Industry Spotlight Series every October to connect small groups of students with several different employers for career exploration. Industry Spotlights are highlight events that showcase the breadth of opportunities in a particular industry. These events feature a virtual panel of alumni who work in a shared industry space, at a diverse set of employers. These panelists will discuss opportunities and experiences in their industry. There will be time at the end of the event for networking and Q&A. Paired with the virtual panel are Site Visit days that allow students an in-person, in-depth look at an employer in the industry. Space is limited at the in-person Site Visits and attendance at both events is not required, but highly encouraged. Register on Handshake.

Industry Site Visits are in-person visits at the office of an industry employer. These educational trips offer students the opportunity to meet with professionals at an organization, including AU alums, learn more about that organizations work and opportunities, and prepare to engage in professional workspaces before entering their careers. 

Students will practice asking questions, dressing professionally, giving handshakes, taking notes, and meeting new professional colleagues all while learning about a industry top employer and gaining access to opportunities that employer has to offer. 

Space is limited at the in-person Site Visits and attendance at both the site visit and panel events is not required, but highly encouraged. If you are unable to attend the in-person Site Visit, we encourage you to still attend the virtual panel. 

Logistics about the schedule of the event is available on Handshake. More specific information about how to prepare and what to expect will be provided closer to the event date. All students who register will recieve a packet of information to get them ready to attend. Please register on Handshake.

International Development Site Visit: D3 Systems Friday, October 14th 10:30am-12:00pm ET

Think Tanks Site Visit: Brookings Institution Monday, November 7th 10am-12pm

The Networking Events are designed to provide opportunities to meet face-to-face with employers, alumni, and leaders in a variety of industries and build professional relationships. Participants will meet virtually or in-person to talk about career paths, professional development, and other life aspects. These events are a great place to meet other professionals, grow your network, and maybe even find a new mentor. More information will be available as the date gets closer.

The SIS Mentoring Program connects students with alumni mentors for one academic year. Our volunteer mentors help students explore post-graduation pathways, learn how to create networks that support their goals, and move towards their next professionals steps. The program is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Students and alumni do not need to be based in the DC area to participate.

The SIS Speaker Panel Events are a series of informal conversations with SIS alumni who work in a shared career space, representing different employers in the industry. Each SIS speaker will discuss their experience and background in the field, with time at the end of the event for open Q&A. Register on Handshake.

Each spring, our Job Search Group gives graduate students and recent MA/MS alumni access to a support network and the skills and tools needed for a sustainable, effective job search.

Jump Start January is a half-day reverse hiring simulation and networking event for SIS graduate students. Participants work in teams to “hire” the strongest candidate for a fictional job and learn about best practices as they review applications, interviews, and offer negotiations with guidance and support from alumni mentors.

During spring break, we give students the opportunity to spend a full or half day on the job with an alum. Visits may include observing daily work, an office tour, sitting in on meetings and/or helping with events, and informational interviews with other employees at the organization.

We partner with international relations recruiters to host a day of mock interviews in March called Mock Interview Madness. These practice interviews help students develop effective interviewing skills, learn how to answer difficult questions, and reduce stress before an actual interview.

Faculty who find themselves unavailable to hold class are invited to request a career advisor and/or alumni guest speaker to present to their students. Topics covered can include career exploration, résumé and cover letter writing, networking, internships, job search strategy, interviewing, and offer negotiation. Our team is also happy to moderate discussions with one or more alumni to showcase career pathways and offer information and advice relevant to course material. Faculty may submit requests to Claudia Coscia at coscia@american.edu

The AU Career Center hosts employer-in-residence, on-campus interviews, and employer meet-ups and pop-ups to help students and alumni connect with recruiters and hiring managers.

The AU Career Center plans the AU Job & Internship Fair every fall and spring to give employers the opportunity to meet talented students and alumni seeking internships and jobs.

Services

We offer one-on-one career coaching tailored to your personal career development needs and goals. Topics covered include career exploration, career planning, résumé and cover letter writing, networking, internship and job search strategy, interviewing, offer negotiation, applying to graduate school, and more. Appointments are made via email or through Handshake. Learn more here.

We organize a full calendar of innovative programs and events to help you explore career possibilities, develop professional interests and competencies, integrate academic learning with work, and connect with alumni and other industry contacts. To see a list of our upcoming events, search Handshake Events for keyword SIS. Learn more about our signature events and programs below.

Handshake is the university's online career platform where students and alumni can schedule career advising appointments, search and apply for thousands of internships and jobs, and sign up to participate in career events. To log in, enter your AU credentials. If you cannot remember your login information, click on the "Forgot Password" link to reset your password or contact the AU Career Center at careercenter@american.edu for help.

We regularly engage with alumni, recruiters, and other industry contacts to maximize opportunities for our students. From these relationships, we learn about hiring trends and gather employment data that we incorporate throughout all facets of our career support and regularly share with faculty and staff colleagues across the school.

When you become an SIS student, you join a diverse and remarkable community of over 25,000 alumni around the world. Our alumni serve as a source of inspiration, guidance, and support to current students, and we offer formal and informal networking opportunities in our events and programs throughout the year.

The SIS career team manages the SIS Career Resource Library, an expansive online library of self-service career resources available exclusively to SIS students and alumni. Current students and alumni may email siscareer@american.edu with their full name and AU ID for the password.

We send the SIS Career Digest email to juniors and seniors three times each semester with a list of opportunities and upcoming events, as well as profiles of successful student interns and alumni. Likewise, every Tuesday, we send graduate students the Career Compass to promote networking opportunities and to share internships and jobs sent to us directly by alumni and employers.

Well-written résumés, CVs, and cover letters open the door for students to meet and interview with employers. We strongly encourage you to work with our advisors to create polished application materials that will catch the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. To help you get started, we offer templates and advice online.