Creating a Four Year Plan

First Year: Self-Assessment & Career Planning

  • Meet with aCareer Services staff member to learn how to develop and implement a personalized 4-year career plan.
  • Assess your personal values, interests, skills and abilities through career self-assessment tools such as the Strong Interest Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
  • Visit Career Services to research various career fileds and experiential learning opportunities such as summer jobs and internships.
  • Visit the Career Services website.
  • Get involved on and off campus. Join a student organization, volunteer, and/or get an on-campus job.
  • Get a summer job that will provide you with an opportunity to learn about a career field that interests you.
  • Do your best work academically.

Sophomore Year: Career Exploration & Leadership Development

  • Meet with a Career Services staff member to discuss your career plans and evaluate your 4-year career plan.
  • Actively research career fields that interest you.
  • Attend career related workshops to learn about the process of choosing a major or career path and attend programs featuring guest speakers from career fields that interest you.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals to learn about a particular career field.
  • Take an active role in a student organization to develop your communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills.
  • Develop a resume and have it critiqued by Career Services. Also complete a mock interview to prepare for your summer job or internship search.
  • Secure an internship or summer employment related to your career goals.

Junior Year: Career Goal Setting, Gaining Experience & Graduate School Planning

  • Meet with a Career Services staff member to formulate your job or graduate school search timeline and plans.
  • Focus and set career goals. At this time, all the experience and information you have gathered should be crystallizing into solid career goals and plans.
  • Join student chapters of professional organizations to gain career information and to start networking.
  • Research graduate/professional school possibilities, the application procedures and deadlines. Register and prepare for admission tests such as the GRE, LSAT and MCAT or GMAT.
  • Pick up a GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT packet in Career Services.
  • Participate in career fairs and career related events to explore your options and network with potential employers.
  • Get to know alumni and actively network with professionals in your area of interest.
  • Take on leadership roles on and off-campus.
  • Get professional experience through on-campus research, an internship, on-campus employment, volunteer work or a summer job.

Senior Year: Implementation & Transition

  • Meet with a Career Services staff member to design a job search strategy or finalize your graduate/professional school search timeline and plans.
  • Attend career related workshops targeted for seniors: Job and Internship Search, Resume Writing, Successful Interviewing, and more.
  • Ask faculty and employers to be references for you.
  • Research companies/organizations and the career opportunities they offer.
  • Prepare for job interviews or graduate school with a mock interview in Career Services.
  • Engage in an active job search starting in the Fall semester.
  • Participate in career fairs and other related events to build your network of contacts in your field of interest.
  • Revise and update your resume and draft a cover letter.
  • For graduate school, complete your personal statement. Mail your applications to graduate schools.
  • Complete an internship or career-related work experience if you haven’t already.
  • Actively apply for positions. Attend networking events and make the connections for your job search.
  • Formulate an alternate "Plan B" in case you need to make last minute career adjustments.

See the Ithaca College Career Guide for more information on these and other career development topics.