Four-Year Career Plan

The Four-Year Career Plan is a four-step decision-making process designed to assist you with your career and graduate/professional school plans.

First Year-Self Assessment/Research

While much of your first year is occupied with making adjustments and getting accustomed to college life, it's also a time for self-assessment in terms of career preparation.

  • Begin to identify your career goals through research, informational meetings with professionals, and by completing the Focus 2 career assessment to help you determine your interests, skills, and values.

  • Become familiar with various career options through utilizing the resources available in the Career Development Center library and on the Web site.

  • Become involved in campus clubs/activities and volunteering to explore new interests and abilities.

  • Consider development an electronic portfolio (ePortfolio) to highlight your skills.

Sophomore Year-Exploration/Experimentation

Your sophomore year is an ideal time to gather more information and continue your self-assessment. You will base many decisions on what you discover during this year.

  • Review, revise, and/or reaffirm your interests, skills, and values. Continue to utilize the Focus 2 Online Career Assessment that you completed in your first year.

  • Include your career advisors, faculty, alumnae and alumni, professionals in various careers, and family in the process to gain different perspectives.

  • Brainstorm and research occupations using the Internet and print resources that you can sign -out from the Career Development Center.

  • Work closely with the Career Development Center staff to learn how to write an internship or job shadowing approved resume.

  • Participate in job shadowing, an internship, or a research project that relates to your field of interest.

  • Consider additional volunteer work to gain further exposure to occupations while developing and enhancing your skills.

Junior Year-Experimentation/Specialization

In your junior year, you'll want to focus on the career fields that interest you most. If graduate school is a direction you are considering, this is the time to begin your research.

  • Participate in additional job shadowing and internships during the school year or during summer and winter breaks. Possibly take a summer job to gain experience and learn more about a field of interest.

  • Determine the background and skills necessary for your field of interest and take courses and acquire experiences to enhance your qualifications to enter the field.

  • Accept leadership opportunities. By challenging yourself to learn new skills, you may discover additional talents that could be marketable to future employers or graduate schools.

  • Attend internship and career preparation workshops on job search strategies; resume writing, networking, and interviewing, to name a few skills.

  • Research graduate programs via the Career Development web site and by discussing options with your faculty advisor.

Senior Year-Decision-Making/Taking Action

During your senior year, you'll need to begin taking steps toward the career or graduate school goals you've established for yourself.

  • Research job opportunities on the Career Development website and in the library.

  • Attend one the required senior "Getting from College to Career" sessions offered by the Director of Career Development.

  • Regularly visit the CDC Event Calendar and participate in as many events as you can that relate to the job search, graduate school, and the transition from college to your professional self.

  • Write a targeted resume (for the job search) or curriculum vitae (for graduate/professional school admission).

  • Practice your interviewing skills by participating in mock interviews

  • Attend career workshops, career and graduate/professional school fairs, and Key Employer Panels offered by the CDC and/or the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges (VFIC).

  • Use the Career Network to talk with alumnae who have agreed to help students and other alumnae with career choices, job search, and graduate/professional school advice