four-year plan

First Year: Foundation

  • Take an assessment
  • Explore vocation
  • Identify a part-time job, internship, or volunteer opportunity in a career field
  • Identify skills, interests, and values from work/volunteer history
  • Begin creating a Web portfolio on Optimal Resume

Second Year: Involvement

  • Explore and research career fields
  • Conduct informational interviews
  • Explore internship/externship possibilities for your career field
  • Pursue part-time or volunteer work in your field of interest
  • Create a resume
  • Identify skills, interests, and values (compare skills needed in careers with current skills)

Third Year: Preparation

  • Attend job fairs near your hometown
  • Research graduate school programs
  • Complete an internship in your career field and/or pursue a summer job in your field
  • Update resume
  • Develop a mentor relationship with professionals in your chosen field
  • Identify skills, interests, and values developed through internships, summer jobs, and other employment opportunities.

Fourth Year: Implementation

  • Prepare applications for graduate school
  • Practice interviewing on Optimal Resume
  • Visit graduate schools
  • Finalize credentials (e.g., resume, cover letter, essay, recommendations, goal statement)
  • Develop a list of contacts/potential employers