4 Year Career Planning Timeline

There’s certainly no single route to success when career planning, but there are some basic steps to keep in mind as you think ahead to what comes after graduation.

There’s certainly no single route to success when career planning, but there are some basic steps to keep in mind as you think ahead to what comes after graduation.

Freshman year:

  • Enroll in core classes and try out classes that interest you
  • Explore majors to find out what they are really about
  • Look carefully at all the options for involvement outside of class, where you can develop transferable skills
  • Think about what you most want to get out of your college experience
  • Develop tentative short and long-range personal goals
  • Get to know faculty, staff, and administrators on campus
  • Take our recommended personality quiz (Enneagram or Clifton Strengths)
  • Build out a basic (non specific) resume/cover letter
  • Join a club or other extracurricular activity

Summer vacation: Get a job to earn money, get work or volunteer experience in an area that interests you.

Sophomore year:

  • Further explore academic disciplines by talking to faculty and students in various majors
  • Decide on a major (sprinkle concentrated classes into schedule)
  • Develop intentional relationships that will help you grow personally and inter-personally
  • Continue exploration of career options (informational interviews, resources in Career Library, etc.)
  • Learn about your own unique interests, values, and abilities through assessment and career exploration tools
  • Consider career-related internship, practicum, volunteer and independent study options
  • Know how talents/possible area of interest fits into the job market
  • Get connected to a career mentor
  • Attend mock interview events
  • Encourage missions trips, study abroad, job shadow, interview professional in potential field of interest
  • Consider networking possibilities

Summer vacation: Get a job to earn money, further develop skills, build a good work reputation, grow personally and professionally, and continue exploring fields of interest.

Junior year:

  • Participate in an internship or practicum (or Senior year)
  • Focus in on and explore in-depth several career/occupation possibilities; select three that are most interesting
  • Determine requirements academically and experientially for your top three career/occupation choices
  • Continue learning about your own unique interests, values and abilities
  • Look at graduate school options and requirements
  • Work to establish professional contacts in areas that interest you
  • Retake personality assessment
  • Start interviewing and an internship program
  • Update resume/cover letter
  • Utilize handshake program and create a LinkedIn account
  • Start building connections/networking
  • Reconnect with mentor

Summer vacation: Strive to be working, volunteering, or getting an internship in your chosen area of interest.

Senior year:

  • Begin a well-organized job search, including informational interviews,
  • Networking, resume preparation, and interviewing skills
  • Attend workshops on resume writing, interviewing and the job search process, and/or grad school
  • Attend Mock Interview as well as Career Fair events
  • Set up reference file as needed
  • Apply for and take necessary examinations for graduate school
  • Continue building/utilizing network
  • Hunt for job opportunities
  • Consider jobs with the organization you interned for
  • Utilize handshake app and Linked in
  • Start sending resume to organizations
  • Set up interviews on a regular basis
  • Constantly reach out and consult mentors/professors
  • Keep on track academically to graduate