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Starting freshman year, students are encouraged to visit Career Services often.
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Career Plan Helps Students Impress Employers, Grad Schools

Regardless as to whether your student's focus includes employment or graduate school, the steps for success begin freshman year and build thereafter. 

Being purposefully engaged in activities and leadership opportunities aimed at building a resume and/or curriculum vitae can help your student stand out among competitors.

Today's employers and graduate school personnel are looking for candidates who have held executive positions in campus organizations, designed and coordinated research and other projects, participated in service learning activities, and completed two to four internships. 

In addition, they are impressed by seeing students who have had papers published and been involved in study abroad programs, independent studies and senior thesis/capstone projects.

Sound overwhelming?  It can be if students aren't building their resumes and curricula vitae on an ongoing basis.  The key is to start early and utilize BW resources.

Career planning is an essential component of this process.  It involves defining and setting career goals and mapping out pathways by which to accomplish them. 

Developing a career plan doesn't have to be formal, time consuming or rigid.  It doesn't have to be long and detailed.  It may be as simple as making a series of mental notes.  The important part is to think ahead, set goals and take steps so that the time leading to graduation doesn't slip away.

The following tips can help your student get started in developing a career plan:

  • Assess personal and professional competencies by noting strengths and weaknesses.  Decide which career areas may be best suited to your personality type and skill level.

  • Begin to formulate goals for post graduation and six years from now. 

  • Write a personal mission statement that articulates your professional and career goals based on considerations from the first two bullet points.  Store this document for ongoing use.

  • Note which of your current academic, co-curricular and experiential activities correspond to your personal mission statement and define areas of deficiency where attention is needed.

  • Brainstorm options for enhancing your academic and campus leadership opportunities by perusing the BW web site and talking with a faculty advisor, mentor and/or career services advisor.
  • Look ahead and begin mapping out where you can add these opportunities.  Assume primary roles in campus organizations and learn more about Study Abroad, research opportunities, service learning and other experiences offering scholarly, creative and/or hands-on learning.

  • Commit and take action but remain open to reassessing and revising your career plan as needed.  Consider it a work in progress and a tool for helping you stay on track

  • Evaluate your progress every semester and build on your accomplishments.  If needed, revise your career plan along the way.
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