Four-Year Career Planning
How you'll know you're on the right track.
You have several steps to take and some careful planning to do. Whether you're a first-year or a senior, we'll help get you on the right path. See the articles below for helpful information, and schedule an appointment with the Career and Internship Center.
Freshman Year: Self-Assessment & Career Planning
It is important to begin career planning early in your college career. Knowing how your interests relate to a potential career will assist you as you choose to decide on your academic focus while at Albion College.
- Meet with a Career and Internship Center staff member to learn how to develop and implement a personalized 4-year career plan.
- Assess personal interests, characteristics, strengths and values through career assessments.
- Visit the Career Resource Center in the Career and Internship Center to research various career fields and experiential opportunities such as internships.
- Actively participate in the First-Year Experience seminar.
- Check out the resources on choosing a major to learn about a variety of career opportunities.
- Get involved! Join a student organization, volunteer, and/or get an on-campus job.
- Register for core requirements and elective classes to investigate academic majors of interest. Visit with your faculty advisor for assistance in choosing classes.
- Get a summer job that will provide you with an opportunity to learn about a career field that interests you.
Get to know the staff in the Career and Internship Center and use all our resources to your advantage!
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 and Internship Center 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 LinkedIn.
- Attend a Career and Internship Center 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 complement your academic learning, continue to utilize the resources and expertise of the staff in the Career and Internship Center Office!
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 and Internship Center 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 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 and Internship Center, 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!
Senior Year: Implementation & Transition
At long last - you have achieved your last year at Albion College. It is more critical than ever that you use your resources well, stay organized, and keep your eye on the ball.
- Meet with a Career and Internship Center staff member to design a job search strategy or finalize your graduate/professional school search timeline and plans.
- Ask faculty and employers to provide references for you.
- Revise and update your resume and draft a cover letter. For graduate school, complete your personal statement.
- Mail your applications to graduate schools.
- Prepare for graduate school or job interviews with a mock interview in the Career and Internship Center.
- Complete an internship or career-related work experience if you haven’t already.
- Formulate an alternate “Plan B” in case you need to make last minute career adjustments.
- Assist your student organization transition from your leadership to the upcoming leaders in the group.
- Begin to research companies/organizations and the career opportunities they offer.
- Participate in career fairs and build your network of contacts in your field of interest.
Most importantly - use all the expertise and resources Albion College has to offer as you transition to career or graduate school following graduation!
Even though you graduate, it isn't too late to utilize the resources of the Career and Internship Center. As alumni, you are welcome to contact us at any time for assistance!