Clarify your career options, and gain relevant experience and skills in your chosen field. Begin to establish a professional network and make more concrete future career plans.
Look at the questions below followed by resources that will help you answer them.
Clarify your Career Options
What other information could help you evaluate a career interest?
- Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to discuss your career interests.
- Read professional journals and other publications related to your career options.
- Talk to people (also called an informational interview) who work in a field that you like to find out more about the job, day-to-day tasks, required skills, abilities and personality traits. These conversations will give you some insight into additional relevant experiences that you might want to pursue. Be sure to send a “thank you” letter to the person afterwards, and consider connecting with them on LinkedIn.
- If considering graduate school, see our timeline for researching schools and preparing to apply
Gain Relevant Experience and Skills
Are there skills and knowledge that you have gained through your classes? What career-related skills are you still looking to gain?
- Begin to catalog descriptions of ALL academic projects (for future use in resumes and interviews); save this document and add to it each semester.
- Log into Handshake to find internships related to your field of interest. Make note of the skills that employers are looking for to help you decide what other types of experiences you should get. Discuss these ideas with a Career Counselor.
- Continue to seek out experiences listed in the “Explore” section and also consider these options:
- Emerging Scholars - Provides students with a unique year-long opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to a faculty member's on-going research
- BEST- Provides Business students a semester-long opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to a faculty member's on-going research
- Practicum and Internship - For credit experiences through your academic department
- LSAMP - STEM-related internship opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds
- Continue to talk to faculty members and your advisor about getting relevant experience.
- Talk with friends, family and acquaintances about the type of experience you are looking for, as they may be connected to the industry that you are interested in.
- Create and upload a resume to Handshake after getting a critique from a career counselor during drop-ins or an appointment.
Begin to Establish a Professional Network
What professional associations, conferences or networks could you join? How are you reaching out to people you know? Who can serve as a reference for a job or a graduate program?
- Attend a LinkedIn Career Corner workshop and create and update your LinkedIn profile
- Join a professional organization to build your network.
- Attend a career fair, hosted by the Career & Co-op Center.
- Send a follow-up letter (or email) to at least one employer you met at the career fair, using our sample thank-you letters packet as a guide.
Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to discuss your unique situation, and to begin mapping out a career development plan that makes sense for you.
- Attend events such as Career Corner Workshops (Topics include Resumes, Job Search, Interviews and LinkedIn), Co-op Info session, Dine and Dress, Career Fairs, Employer Information Sessions, Employer-in-Residence and Employer Panels.