Career Exploration/ Graduate School

Whether you are headed to Graduate School, or straight into the workforce, take the time to map a plan!  Use the step by step plan below to help keep you on track.  Have questions about what your personal plan should look like?  Set up a meeting with one of our Career Specialists!

Four Year Career Plan

First Year

  • Adjust to transition from high school to college
  • Focus on maintaining a high GPA
  • Get involved in campus activities & clubs
  • Connect with a Career Specialist to talk about self assessment tools & career options
  • Evaluate and make a list of interests, skills & values
  • Identify academic programs that relate to your interests, abilities & values, if undecided
  • Create a foundational resume that you will build on each year
  • Get involved in a service experience
  • Begin to collect material for a personal Portfolio
  • Attend Career Center events
  • Plan early for summer employment

Sophomore Year

  • Meet with your Career Specialist each semester
  • Update your resume
  • Attend career related events sponsored by the Career Center or individual departments
  • Continue to add material to portfolio
  • Test career options through volunteer work, job shadowing experiences & part time work
  • Declare a major, if you haven’t done so already
  • Seek leadership positions both on AND off campus
  • Gain related experience
  • Participate in study abroad.  See potential benefits HERE
  • Explore internship opportunities in relevant career field
  • Seek career related summer work

Junior Year

  • Meet with your Career Specialist each semester
  • Explore the Career Center website & career resources in the Career Center
  • Do an internship! It is essential in today’s job market
  • Begin to put together your portfolio
  • Update your resume & cover letter
  • Continue involvement in volunteer/community service activities
  • Do a mock interview
  • Attend career events & job fairs
  • Network! Network! Network!

Graduate School Bound?

  • Prior to Senior Year
    • Explore graduate schools and programs
    • Take required exams, i.e., GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT
    • Talk to faculty and career counselor
    • Choose top 3-5 schools and request info/applications
  • During Senior Year
    • Write graduate school essays and have Career Planning and the Writing Center proofread!
    • Complete graduate school applications 
    • Assemble all materials and submit at least two weeks BEFORE deadline

Senior Year

  • Set up an appointment with your Career Specialist for assistance with resumes, job search strategies, interviewing skills, and graduate/professional schools
  • Update and fine tune resumes and cover letters
  • Do an internship - many result in job offers
  • Compile portfolio; copy relevant sections for use in interviews
  • Attend career events and all applicable job fairs
  • Network! Network! Network! Network!
  • Set up your credentials on
  • Request letters of recommendation from professionals in your field (professors, employers, internship supervisors, advisors)

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