Career Development Center

From classroom to career: The steps to building your future.

Step 1. Know the facts. Know thyself.

  • What majors, minors, and concentrations are available?
  • What career can you get with your major?

In order to figure out what to major in and what career to pursue, start out by understanding your own personality traits, skills, and desires. Then, find out the facts about majors, concentrations, and degrees (academic advising can also help) that match your unique profile. Finally, explore career options that fit. Self-assessment and career exploration tools and tips are available on-line.

Step 2. Prepare now for the day after graduation day.

Campus advisors will get set you in the right direction and help you develop a plan.

  • Get work experience for pay or volunteer.
  • Work in your field or broaden your horizons. Create, direct, teach, lead, or follow. Just do it.
  • Build a people-network, keep track of them, stay in touch with them.
  • Excel in the academics. Get good grades, write creative and worthwhile papers, participate in science fairs and poster sessions.

Your career development starts today. Work with career counselors and advisors on your campus to learn how to find a career that matches your abilities. Attend workshops, networking events, and career fairs. Get experience by working part time on- or off-campus. Local large and small businesses seek students like you to fill internship positions for credit and pay. Do volunteer or work for religious, political, youth, or nonprofit groups just to get experience. Tutor. Become an entrepreneur! The idea is to build your network and skill-set now so you become a most desirable candidate for a position when the time comes.

Preparing for your career is more than events on the Career Development Center calendar. Enter academic contests, join academic, professional, greek societies. Go to sporting, theater, and gallery events. Broaden your horizons. Travel and study abroad. Make the most of your college years; and use them to prepare for your future.

Step 3. Graduation day approaches. It’s time for the all-out job search.

  • Perfect your resume and cover letter. Prepare thank you letters.
  • Research job postings, continue to build a network of contacts, and learn how to sell yourself.
  • Go on interviews, negotiate salary and benefits, accept and decline offers.
  • Start working. Be productive and learn the company culture.

You’ll need a great resume and LinkedIn profile. Network face-to-face and in social media, find employment opportunities, interview, negotiate, and start work. A lot of tools and tutorials are available online and at your Career Development Center.

Step 4. Start all over again. Really? Alumni services are always available.

There is a chance that you’ll stay with your first company until you retire. But in reality, you’ll probably make a few changes.

  • Get an advanced degree to move up in your career with the same company or a new one.
  • Get help updating your resume and revisiting your employment prospects in the same line of work.
  • Change careers.
  • Start your own business.