Junior Year: Career Goal Setting, Gaining Experience & Graduate School Planning
By your third year, you should have laid the groundwork for your future. You have chosen a major and are active in adding experiences to complement your studies. At this time all the experience and information you have gathered should be crystallizing into solid career goals and plans.
- Meet with a Career Development staff member to formulate your job or graduate school search timeline and plans.
- Focus and set career goals based on what you have learned about you, your interests, and possible professions.
- Discuss your career plans with your faculty advisor.
- Explore and make arrangements for off-campus study and internship options.
- Consider applying for scholarships and fellowships found in the Career and Internship Center and in Career Resources, Graduate School Financing.
- Join student chapters of professional organizations to gain career information and to start networking.
- Research graduate/professional school possibilities, their application procedures and deadlines. Many resources are available through the Career Development Office, including Peterson’s Graduate and Professional School Guides.
- Pick up a GRE, LSAT or MCAT packet in the Career Development Office.
- Register and prepare for admission tests such as the GRE, LSAT and MCAT.
- Participate in career fairs and career related events to explore your options and network with potential employers.
- Get to know faculty members in your major.
- Take on leadership roles on and off-campus.
- Get professional experience through on-campus research, an internship, on-campus employment, volunteer work or a summer job.
Use all of your resources, including the Career and Internship Center. You are not alone in this process!
NEXT: Senior Year: Implementation & Transition
The importance of practice
Success in anything comes with practice. To develop a confident interview style, you are advised to practice in a "risk-free" atmosphere. You can practice in front of a mirror or in front of a friend, but serious practice will reap benefits before an interview.
The Career and Internship Center offers several resources to help you gain interviewing experience and to help you develop strategies for relating your past experiences to employers. The Career Resource Library has several books and resources on interviewing. Access to potential questions, in conjunction with your background research, will allow you to have meaningful practice sessions.
Consider scheduling an appointment in the Career and Internship Center for a mock interview. Students who have done this tell us it is very beneficial to their comfort level and confidence. Don't forget the faculty at Albion. Mock interviews with experts in the field is also extremely beneficial.
As you consider how to respond to potential interview questions, your objective should be to have responses which are thoughtful, persuasive, and illustrated by example, as well as to successfully articulate how you will contribute to the organization and what you seek from the job.
Don't feel you have to do this on your own… contact us!
NEXT: How to Ace an Interview - How can I set myself apart from other interviewing?
Sophomore Year: Career Exploration & Leadership Development
In your second year, it is even more important that you are looking toward the future. You will declare your major and need to be actively searching for experiential learning opportunities.
- Meet with a Career Development staff member to discuss your career plans and re-evaluate your personalized 4-year career plan.
- Continue to research career fields that interest you.
- Register with professional networks to begin connecting with experts in areas of interest. Try
- Attend a Career Development workshop to learn about the process of choosing a major or career path and attend programs featuring guest speakers from career fields that interest you.
- Conduct informational interviews with professionals to learn about a particular career field.
- Complete your core academic requirements.
- Meet with your faculty advisor to choose a major.
- Take an active role in a student organization to develop your communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills.
- Explore experiential learning options.
- Develop the materials needed to apply for experiential learning opportunities such as internships.
- Secure an internship, on-campus job or summer employment related to your career goals.
As you become more active in seeking experiences to compliment your academic learning, continue to utilize the resources and expertise of the staff in the Career Development Office!
NEXT: Junior Year: Career Goal Setting, Gaining Experience & Graduate School Planning
Experiential learning for job seeking
Experiences beyond the classroom are often essential in securing a job in your field after graduation. Research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) identifies employers place a high value on experiential learning as those seeking their first job. Recent Albion College graduates say the number one resource they used to find a job was networking through an internship or prior job.
To read more from NACE -
Employers Seek Experienced Workers: Internship Experience Counts