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Four-Year Timeline for College Students Getting Ready for New Careers

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Here's How You Can Get Ready for a Career as a College Graduate

Freshman and Sophomore Years:

  • Seek out interesting and useful learning and work opportunities.
  • Find out about internships, independent study opportunities, facilities and programs affiliated with your school and other work opportunities.
  • Already on a professional track? Prepare now to keep on top of pre-graduate course requirements.
  • Keep records of your jobs and responsibilities.
  • Draft a resume.

Junior Year:

  • Same as above, plus…
  • Start compiling lists of interests, values and skills.
  • Start thinking about soliciting references from professors and employers.
  • Rework and update your résumé.

Summer after Junior Year:

  • Think you’re interested in applying to graduate school? Find out about graduate admissions test requirements, upcoming test schedules and preparatory courses.
  • Compile information about potential graduate programs and request graduate school applications.
  • Write a list of what you think you want to do.
  • Rework and update your résumé, (i.e. add your summer experience and your expected major)
  • Start compiling a list of networking contacts.

Senior Year:

  • Discuss your options and your interests list with a professor, parent, or trusted advisor.
  • Visit your school’s career center.
  • You may want to take a self-diagnostic test.
  • Learn how to match your personal skills with the world of work.
  • Begin researching occupations, industries, job alternatives and companies.
  • Develop contact list, including how to reach people.
  • Get on-campus recruiting schedule.
  • Network and informational interview,
  • Keep track of business cards, contacts, phone numbers (include how/where you met people).
  • Fine-tune your résumé.
  • Interview for jobs.
  • Take graduate school admissions test(s).
  • Apply to graduate school.
Four-Year Timeline for College Students Getting Ready for New Careers by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes