Overview: Four-Year Career Planning Timeline

Whether you are a first-year student, sophomore, junior, or senior -- focused or unfocused – it is never too early, or too late, to begin planning for your first job and eventual career direction after college.  Individual career advisement appointments, workshops, and programs offered by the Career Center are a great way to help you make informed decisions regarding internships, graduate or professional school, and your transition after college into the work world.  Keep in mind that there is not necessarily one "right" or "perfect" career choice for you.  Many people could be successful and satisfied in more than one field, industry, or profession.

This timeline suggests a general structure you can use to guide your career planning over four years at Wesleyan.  Your own individual timeline may vary.

First Year
Explore a variety of classes and campus activities and start to define your interests – Visit the Career Center and meet with a counselor to get acclimated to the career planning process

  • Take a variety of classes of interest to you.
  • Consider possible majors; check the course requirements and educational opportunities related to majors.
  • Participate in student organizations to explore your interests, develop new skills, and to begin building a network of friends and colleagues.
  • Meet with a Career Center career counselor during drop-ins or by scheduled appointment to get acquainted with our office, and to discuss your individual career development plan.
  • Work with a career counselor if you would like to assess your career-related interests, skills, and values via vocational assessment tools.
  • Become familiar with the Career Center’s Career Library and online career exploration resources.
  • Attend Career Networking Sessions related to your career interests.
  • Attend a Resume Workshop and prepare a draft of your resume.
  • Acquire work experience, preferably related to your career interests, through internships, part-time or summer jobs, and volunteer opportunities.

Sophomore Year
Choose a major – Explore career options and their connection with your major by meeting with a career counselor

  • Continue to take a variety of classes that interest you.
  • Narrow down your options for a major; confirm course requirements and review the educational opportunities related to majors.  Explore how academic majors connect to careers.
  • Explore new or different student organizations to further define or broaden your interests, develop additional skills, and to expand your network of friends and colleagues.
  • Meet with a Career Center career counselor to assess your career-related interests, skills, and values, and to develop a career action plan.
  • Learn how to network and actively explore careers by attending Employer Information Sessions.
  • Attend a Resume Workshop and prepare a draft of your resume.
  • Test your emerging career interests through internships, part-time or summer jobs, and volunteer opportunities.

Junior Year
Broaden your experience and skills – Deepen your knowledge of different careers and how they fit your personality - Review your career planning progress with your career counselor

  • Meet with a career counselor to discuss your plans for after Wesleyan.
  • Conduct informational interviews for career exploration and networking.
  • Gain experience and sharpen skills related to your career interests through internships, volunteer opportunities, or part-time/summer jobs.
  • Expand your leadership and interpersonal skills through continued involvement in on- and off-campus activities.
  • Get additional experience at another college, in the United States or abroad, through the International Studies Office, Dean's Office, or appropriate academic department.
  • Update your resume.
  • Attend the Career Center’s Interviewing and Networking workshops.
  • Begin preparation for graduate or professional school by collecting letters of recommendation and preparing for the appropriate standardized test(s).
  • Attend the pre-med info session if you plan to attend medical school immediately after graduation (if not, attend the session during senior year).
  • Attend the pre-law info session or meet with the pre-law advisor if you are considering law school.  Consider LSAT exam date options.
  • Research potential graduate programs and request graduate school applications.

Senior Year
Begin your job search early via on-campus and off-campus recruiting - If intending to attend graduate or professional school, confirm application time line - Strategize with your career couselor!

  • Meet with your career counselor to create a job search or other transition plan.
  • Polish your resume and cover letters
  • Attend Career Center workshops and employer information sessions
  • Research careers of interest, fields and industries, and specific organizations
  • Continue developing and expanding your skills and experience.
  • Compile a list of networking contacts.
  • Schedule mock interviews during the fall and spring semesters.
  • Take exams for graduate and professional school admissions; prepare the applications.
  • Continue to conduct informational interviews and to network.