Prepare Now For Your Future Career

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Don’t wait until your senior year to start planning for what you’ll do after graduation. There are steps you can take each year of college to further your professional development.

Freshman Year WHO AM I?


August – October

Welcome freshmen!   We recommend that you take the first few months to settle in to your classes and research some out of class activities to help build skills and test your interests.

  • Enroll in core classes, other survey classes and FYS to give you exposure to potential future career fields.
  • Make a tentative selection of a major field.
  • Meet with a Career Counselor to get acquainted with the Center for Professional Development within the Atlanta Laboratory for Learning and how we can work together to maximize your potential at OU!


NovemberDecember

In mid-fall, start to think broadly about all the things you want to accomplish in the next four years.   Make sure you explore international study and volunteer experiences, campus leadership and summer employment plans.

  • Attend workshops and presentations on career-related topics.
  • Attend the fall career fair to develop your networking skills and find potential part time jobs or internship leads.
  • Prepare a freshman resume and have it reviewed by a Career Counselor.
  • Talk with your advisor about what classes are needed for your major.
  • Register for classes for spring semester, and consider taking Career Development and Exploration, a one credit class to help you get on the right track.
  • Still unsure about a major?   Make an appointment with a Career Counselor.
  • Develop skills for success in college:  organizational skills, study skills, and stress management. Need help? Visit the Academic Success Center and Counseling Center for resources.


JanuaryFebruary

Get involved and build your network. Make it your goal to meet and get to know one professor/staff member each semester.   By the end of your senior year, you will have at least 8 people who can serve as a reference!

  • Follow Career Development at OU and OU Internships on Facebook, and Pinterest to stay up to date on our events, opportunities and resources to help you succeed.
  • Visit the Student Leadership and Activities section of the Campus Life website for more information about organizations.
  • Visit the Center for Civic Engagement, and consider giving back by participating in the Alternative Spring Break.
  • Get to know faculty, counselors, and administrators.


MarchMay

Start thinking about summer plans and sophomore year. Use the break to develop interpersonal skills and work ethic, which will help you start the next year off right.

  • Attend the spring career fair to develop your networking skills and find potential part time jobs or internship leads.
  • Look for summer employment on Career Connect, OU’s online listing of part time, temporary, full time and internship opportunities.
  • Attend and get involved in OU’s annual Symposium in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Listen to your peers presentations and look for areas of research and topics that might interest you.
  • Register for Classes for Fall Semester; consider taking Career Development and Exploration, a career planning course and meet with your advisor to discuss concerns or questions.
  • Visit the Center for Professional Development to learn about internships and ideas you might have for getting involved next year.
Sophomore YearWHAT ARE MY GIFTS?
Now that your first year is behind you, reflect on what you’ve learned about yourself. What experiences did you have that may have introduced new interests or energized you? Some sophomores see a drop in their grades and show more interest in fun with friends than academics. Others feel the return to school is anti-climatic and nothing seems ‘new’ anymore, a phenomena known as the ‘sophomore slump’. Be aware of these normal experiences and stay focused as you approach this next year of continued self discovery.


August – October

  • If you have not selected a major, make this a priority now.  Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor and a career counselor to discuss majors and make your decision early in the year.
  • Take a career assessment to help you decide on a major/minor.
  • Meet with Center for Professional Development to discuss internship opportunities: You are eligible to participate once you become a sophomore and you have a minimum GPA of 2.0.
  • Attend major-specific alumni panels to learn more about how to apply your major in the world of work.
  • Edit your resume to include your summer employment, recent jobs and other activities on campus.
  • Attend the fall career fair to practice your networking skills and find potential part time jobs and internship leads.

NovemberDecember

  • Become familiar with Career Connect and begin searching for potential internships that interest you.
  • If you are planning to do an internship in the Spring, begin the application process.   All paperwork is due on Dec.10th for early decision, final deadline on Jan 16th.
  • Register for Spring Semester classes. Consider taking Career Development and Exploration, a career planning class. Meet with a Career Counselor or your advisor if you are still having trouble finalizing your major.


JanuaryFebrurary

  • Continue exploring occupations and grad school options:
    • Talk with faculty
    • Do informational interviews with alumni
    • Spend a day on the job with a professional
    • Explore occupations on Career Connect and onetonline.org
    • Read career articles and books
  • Develop relationships with faculty to ensure that you can get solid job and grad school recommendation letters.
  • Consider taking on a leadership role in student organizations related to your career and major.


MarchMay

  • Attend the spring career fair to practice your networking skills and find potential part time jobs and internship leads.
  • If you plan on doing an internship Junior Year, meet with The Center for Professional Development  to discuss deadlines and the application process. Attend Internship orientation when scheduled.
  • Look for summer employment on Career Connect, OU’s online listing of part time, temporary, full time and internship opportunities.
  • Attend and get involved in OU’s annual Symposium in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Listen to your peers presentations; look for areas of research and topics that might interest you.
  • Register for Classes for Fall Semester; meet with your advisor to discuss concerns or questions.
  • Consider taking Career Development and Exploration a career planning class. Meet with a Career Counselor or your advisor if you are still having trouble finalizing your major.
Junior Year WHAT IS MY PLACE IN THE WORLD?

You’ve reached the midpoint of your college career! Congratulations! Are you happy with where you are? Or, are you still looking for direction? By the beginning of your Junior Year, you should be committed to your major, and have made some preliminary decisions about where you might be headed after graduation. Also, with one summer remaining, this is a great time to start the planning process to prepare for your next step. Junior year can be incredibly busy, so get a head start now. Keep a running list of “to-do”s to keep yourself on track.


August – October

  • Reassess your interests and options. Have they changed? How and why? Are you feeling stuck? Talk with a Career Counselor.
  • Review your resume and transcript to determine what skills, knowledge and experience you still want and need to gain to pursue your field(s) of interest.
  • Research different graduate, health or law programs. Review program descriptions to determine their strengths, read faculty biographies and make note of their entering criteria.
  • Attend the fall career fair to practice your networking skills and find potential part time jobs and internship leads.
  • Attend workshops to learn about resumes, cover letters, networking, and interviewing.


NovemberDecember

  • Use Career Connect and to search for internships, and make note of the full time postings to help you get a better understanding of what positions may be available when you graduate.
  • If you are planning to do an internship in the spring, begin the application process. All paperwork is due on Dec 10th for early decision, and final deadline is Jan 16th.
  • Attend Grad School Open House, hosted by the Center for Professional Development to find out if graduate school is right for you, which program you might be interested in, and to learn the requirements for entrance.
  • Register for spring semester classes. Consider taking Career Development and Exploration, a career planning class.


January – Februrary

  • Aim for a strong academic performance, especially in your major, visit the Academic Success Center for support if needed.
  • Follow The Career Development at OU and Oglethorpe Internships on Facebook, and Pinterest to stay up to date on our events, opportunities and resources to help you succeed.
  • Continue to be involved in Campus Organizations, and consider taking a leadership role.
  • Volunteer with the Center for Civic Engagement- volunteer opportunities are wonderful ways to give back and also look great on your resume!
  • Attend workshops offered by the ALAB for professional development.
  • If you plan to attend Law School, make plans to prepare for the LSAT.
  • If you plan to attend Medical School, begin your MCAT preparation.


MarchMay

  • Attend the spring career fair to practice your networking skills and find potential part time jobs and internship leads.
  • Be strategic about your last summer as a college student. Look for summer employment on Career Connect and start applying.
  • Conduct informational interviews with alumni in the fields that interest you. Contact the Office of Alumni Affairs and The Center for Professional Development for support.
  • Attend and get involved in OU’s annual Symposium in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Listen to your peers presentations; look for areas of research and topics that might interest you.
  • When registering for fall semester classes, consider taking Senior Transitions, a career planning course for seniors as they prepare for life after OU.
  • Create a target list of potential employers, graduate or professional schools, or transitional programs.
Senior Year WHAT IS MY PLACE IN THE WORLD?

The time has finally arrived…It may seem like just yesterday that you arrived on campus as freshman, making the transition from high school to college. Now you stand ready to make an even bigger transition from college to the workforce or graduate school. Think about how much you’ve grown, all you’ve learned and the amazing possibilities that are within your reach! Enjoy your successes and feel proud of your accomplishments!

While it is a time to enjoy your last year of college, it is also extremely important to get a head start of taking action. Targeting opportunities and preparing for the application process early in the year will help you launch your career.

August – October

  • Early in the fall semester, research and create a target list of employers, transitional programs and graduate schools that are of interest to you.
  • Meet with a Career Counselor to discuss your target list, polish your resume, learn search skills, and strengthen your interview techniques.
  • Learn about recruiting trends for your targeted employers/industries and stay aware of any on campus recruiting.
    Attend OU’s annual fall career fair to practice your networking skills and find potential part time jobs and post-graduate internship leads.
  • Attend workshops to learn about resumes, cover letters, networking, and interviewing.
  • Attend major specific alumni panels to learn about the world of work and job search strategies.
  • Create a LinkedIn Profile if you don’t have one.
  • Complete applications for graduate programs


November– December

  • Use Career Connect and to search for full time positions, applying now.
  • Read trade journals and business articles to gain industry knowledge.
  • Meet with a Career Counselor regularly to keep the process moving and for follow up.
  • Practice interviewing skills with a Career Counselor.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in the field. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations or the A_LAB if you need assistance.
  • Reach out to people within your network that you’ve been building over the last few years.
  • Register for Spring Semester classes. If you haven’t already, consider taking Senior Transitions, a career planning class for seniors as they prepare for life after OU.


January – February

  • According to a recent survey of employers, the top skills and qualities desired in recent graduates:
    • Ability to communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
    • Ability to work in a team structure
    • Ability to make decisions and solve problems
    • Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
    • Ability to obtain and process information
    • Ability to analyze quantitative data
    • Technical knowledge related to the job
  • Review the list above. Notice how leadership and organizational skills rank higher than technical knowledge! Consider how you might be able to demonstrate you possess these skills and practice articulating that for the interview process.
  • Follow Career Development at OU and Oglethorpe Internships on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay up to date on our events, opportunities and resources to help you succeed.
  • Attend workshops offered by the A_LAB professional development.


MarchMay

  • Attend and get involved in OU’s annual Symposium in Liberal Arts and Sciences, many of these ideas are wonderful foundations for the work you do after graduation.
  • Consider several options.   It’s good to have a plan “B” if something changes.
  • Be patient!   The average job search takes about six months.
  • Monitor your stress level, taking time out when you need it.   Visit the counseling center, Academic Success Center or the A_LAB for additional support.
  • Schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor if you need assistance after you graduate.