A Lifelong Guide for Career Development

The following career development advice should not be used as a substitute for meeting with faculty, academic advisors,or career counselors to prepare a personalized career plan. This plan should be individualized based on differing curricular and co-curricular expectations. Over your lifetime, several internal and external influences (such as your academic major, interests, experiences, life roles, and responsibilities) will impact your career path. This guide provides a general list of activities that you may initiate and be cognizant of during college. Make an appointment with our office, your faculty advisor, and your academic advisor to begin constructing your individualized career plan.

Freshman Year

Develop relationships with faculty members and advisors by:

  • Identifying your interests, abilities, skills, and values, and developing short- and long-term academic and career goals.
  • Explore various majors and minors, occupations, and interests with Center for Career Development, academic advisors, and faculty members.
  • Decide not to decide about an academic major and participate in the Major Discovery Program. It is an opportunity to take a class, Discussion 300, designed for students who have not declared a major.
  • Meet with faculty members especially interested in helping you explore your interests.
  • Take the TruTalent Personality assessment through our office.
  • Research interesting occupations and majors through online resources, Center for Career Development resources, and talking to faculty members and professionals. A list of online resources is on the back cover of this guide and on our Website at careerservices.evansville.edu.
  • Conduct an informational interview with a professional in the career in which you are interested to learn more about his or her career path and position.
  • Consider study abroad options, including spending a semester at Harlaxton College.
    If you are considering studying abroad during your college career, make your academic advisor aware so he or she may better advise you during course registration.
  • Attend Center for Career Development outreach program workshops and forums, including career fairs.
  • Get involved! Explore student organizations, clubs, and departmental groups on campus.
  • If you have already declared a major, look for opportunities to gain more experience in your field of interest (e.g., student organizations, part-time jobs, internships, co-op positions, volunteer activities).
  • Create a résumé of your current and previous experiences; upload it to Handshake.
  • Review information on iBACE, a certificate program designed to give all majors business experience.

Sophomore Year

Continue exploring careers related to your area of interest.

  • Discuss your career and educational plans with Center for Career Development, academic advisors, faculty members, and your own personal network of family and friends.
  • After earning 60 credit hours at UE, you are strongly advised to declare a major field of study in order to make satisfactory academic progress.
  • Update your résumé with current information and be sure to upload it to Handshake.
  • Consider gaining valuable life experiences through studying abroad. Speak with the Office of Study Abroad staff and your academic advisor to implement a plan.
  • Become involved in experiential learning opportunities through internships, co-op positions, and service learning. To learn more, contact the Center for Career Development office and your academic advisor.
  • Join a student organization to gain transferable skills, such as leadership, teamwork, and communication.
  • Become a member of the student professional organization that best matches your career interests.
  • Take advantage of career workshops and forums through the Center for Career Development outreach program.

Junior Year

Construct a timeline and action plan concerning your post-graduation plans.

  • Identify post-graduation options: graduate school, year-of-service programs, professional school, or full-time employment.
  • Revisit your career interests, values, skills, and abilities. How have they changed?
  • Be a leader! Increase your participation in student organizations and clubs by serving in a leadership capacity.
  • Continue to actively participate in the student professional organizations that you have previously chosen.
  • Attend career workshops, seminars, job fairs, and graduate school activities.
  • Establish a network of professionals in the business world or with graduate schools and maintain communication with them.
  • Take graduate or professional school examinations.
  • Gain real-life experience through internships, co-op positions, part-time jobs, volunteer activities, research, conference presentations, and class projects.
  • Make an appointment with Center for Career Development for further career and higher education assistance.
  • Degree candidates must file an application for the degree with the Office of the Registrar one year prior to the intended date of graduation.
  • Participate in the Student-Alumni Mentoring Program. Call 812-488-1083 for more information.
  • Consider applying for postgraduate scholarships and fellowships. Visit careerservices.evansville.edu for more information.

Senior Year

Narrow your career choices by prioritizing your interests, values, skills, and abilities.

  • Make an appointment with your academic advisor early in the academic year to ensure that you are on track for graduation.
  • Gain additional experience that strengthens your qualifications.
  • If planning to attend a graduate or professional school, complete your applications three to four weeks prior to the school deadlines.
  • Visit graduate schools and increase communication with your potential department to ensure that the program fits your needs.
  • Revise and strengthen your résumé with help from the Center for Career Development staff. Upload the revised version to Handshake.
  • Schedule a mock interview appointment with the Center for Career Development office.
  • Make sure your Handshake contact information and profile is up-to-date.
  • See Center for Career Development for individualized assistance (such as developing an action plan for employment or mapping out graduate or professional schools) in planning your career path.

Career Search Tips for Adults in Transition

Build in an exploration phase to your career and job search plan – complete a career assessment, conduct information interviews, gather your network, do your research, brainstorm possibilities.

  • A college degree is not the only ticket to a new career. Practical experience in the new field remains a critical component. It takes longer to transition to a new career than you may realize – 12 to 18 months.
  • Seek out a support network that includes faculty and Center for Career Development professionals to help you focus on strengths, keep a positive attitude, be realistic, and maintain a healthy perspective when the going gets tough.
  • Spend as much time as you can focusing on the intersection between your gifts and the task you wish to fulfill. Consider preparing a functional résumé.
  • Develop a checklist of environmental “must haves,” “nice to haves,” and “cannot haves.”
  • Prepare a lengthy list of questions that you can ask a prospective employer during an interview.
  • Focus on skills, new experiences, and accomplishments that highlight your education. Make sure your résumé lights the path to where you are going and not to where you have been.
  • Practice your 30 second oral résumé; consider practicing more than one. Preparing for an interview is critical and situational; behavioral- or competency-based interviewing is the norm. Come to the Center for Career Development office for a mock interview. Review interviewing information at careerservices.evansville.edu.

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