Four Year Plan
FRESHMAN - YEAR: EXPLORING THE FRONTIER
The first year of your college experience must involve exploring the various resources that are available on campus. This wealth of information will help you make the transition from high school to college smoother.
- Learn about the campus resources. Most importantly, the Academic Success Center (tutorial services), and the library and computer labs.
- Get to know faculty, counselors, administrators, and other students.
- Begin to explore career options by talking to your academic advisor, career counselors and employers at career fairs and other career events.
- Become aware of your interests, values, and skills through self-assessment, career counseling, or using a career exploration instrument (Focus-2, Strong Interest Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). Focus-2 can be accessed through the Office of Career Advancement webpage .
- Learn and develop new skills through classes, workshops, or on-campus activities.
- Take a variety of classes to learn your strengths and interests.
- Find out information on who are the best teachers by talking with upper class students, teammates or on Rate My Professors.com.
- Develop a portfolio. The creation of a portfolio allows you to collect and record information related to your skills, experience, activities and accomplishments throughout your college experience. It should include the following information:
- Letters of references
- Thank you letters
- Research projects or reports
- Conferences and workshops attended
- Flash drives or Computer & DVD discs
- Job descriptions from internships, field experiences or past work experiences that are related to your field of interests
- Other supporting documents.
SOPHOMORE YEAR: EYES WIDE OPEN
The second phase of the career planning process must include arming yourself with information related to careers by studying the academic programs in the college catalogue. Ask yourself, do I know exactly, the requirements to my academic goals? If the answer is no, your work is not done. Visit your academic advisor and view the college catalog to understand various degree requirements and obtain copies of the program guides of the majors that may spark an interest to you from the Office of Career Advancement. Also, it is important to acquire a better understanding of yourself by assessing your interests, values, strengths and weaknesses. This can be obtained by using Focus-2.
- Develop a file of information regarding specific career options and narrow your potential career choices.
- Examine your own interests and career preferences.
- Talk with career counselors or faculty in the specific field of your choice.
- Collect and analyze information on the world of work, professionalism in the workplace and the job outlook for the future.
- If possible, take classes in the summer to stay ahead or current with your target graduation date.
- If feasible, get a job during the summer months to earn money while you learn new skills, and build a good work reputation and work references.
JUNIOR YEAR: PREPARING YOUR GAME PLAN
Now that you have selected a career choice, you should consult with your advisor for proper guidance in selecting the appropriate courses in your major.
- Conduct an inventory of interests and qualifications that relate to your career goals.
- Attend workshops on resume writing and successful interviewing techniques.
- Develop a resume and have it professionally critiqued.
- Join organizations in your chosen field and attend conferences.
- Participate in an internship. The internship program allows you to acquire new skills and learn about the world of work. It will help increase your chances of employment after graduation.
- Expand your network of contacts by talking with career services professionals, employers, faculty members, and by attending career fairs. Research potential employers through various career resource guides and on the Internet in the Office of Career Advancement.
- Contact employers that hire people in your field of concentration and schedule information interviews.
SENIOR YEAR: PUTTING YOUR GAME PLAN INTO ACTION
At the beginning of your senior year, you must kick start your job search campaign into high gear. Commit yourself to a thorough job search. The job search process is very similar to sports. If you expect to be successful, you must know the rules, develop a sound game plan and put in the time to execute it.
- Assess your experience, abilities, accomplishments, and skills and evaluate where your talents can be best used (Review your portfolio).
- Attend on-campus workshops that address such topics as interviewing techniques, resume writing and job search strategies. If possible, you should participate in a mock interview.
- Have you resume critiqued by the Office of Career Advancement and post it on PROFS JOBS.
- Discuss career opportunities with career counselors, faculty, friends, associates and network contacts. Seventy-percent (70%) of the jobs in the U.S. are obtained through the network system.
- Schedule interviews on-campus and on-site with as many employers as possible.
- Attend job fairs and research potential employers through the use of the Career Resource Library. Utilize the various career development publications in the career center to identify companies and organizations that are actively recruiting job candidates.
- Develop a system for keeping track of the number of employers whom you sent your resume to (Use index cards, or a notebook, Smartphone, iPad or create a database on the computer).
- When sending out a resume through tradition mail (snail mail), submit a well-written cover letter and resume in a 9” x 12” envelope. Before you send out your cover letter and resume, make sure that you have a professional critique it.
- Conduct follow-up calls to employers a week after you have sent out your cover letter and resume.
- Do not get discouraged if you receive rejection letters. It is all part of the process of finding a job.