Four Year Development Guide

MYTH: “The Career Center is just for seniors.” I’d like to take a moment and dispel this myth that surrounds the Career Center, and help you to see that there are steps every student at Luther can take that will assist them in “life after Luther.” As we come towards the end of first semester, it’s time to reflect on what you’ve done, and plan ahead to see what you still need to do before you end the year. To help you, here is a Four Year Development Guide that can help give you a general idea of what steps to take throughout your time here at Luther College to help you obtain your desired career after college.

First Year:

As a first year student, your life is full of exploration and discovering who you are. There are a lot of changes in your life and each day is full of new surprises. You find new activities and you start realizing new interests. The Career Center is here to help you shape these interests into academic majors and careers. Here is a list of suggestions to help assist you in your career exploration as a first year student:

  • Work part-time or volunteer to explore your interests and develop good work habits
  • Become actively involved with co-curricular activities for personal and professional growth
  • Select elective courses that interest you and relate to your strengths and abilities
  • Meet with a Career Counselor to explore your interests and take an interest inventory
  • Utilize the “What Can I Do With A Major In…” resources available in the Career Center

Sophomore Year:

By your second year, you know the ropes of Luther and have an idea of activities you like on campus. However, you may not have your career choice figured out yet. If this is the case, you are not alone! Many sophomores have still not chosen a major. At the Career Center we have many resources available to help you make this decision and begin investigating what career possibilities exist with respect to your interests. For your sophomore year, we recommend:

  • Take an interest inventory with Carol in the Career Center
  • Research majors of interest and visit with professors
  • Utilize the Career Center Resource Library
  • Participate in the Sophomore Shadow Program to learn more about an occupation first hand
  • Attend Resume and Cover Letter Workshops to begin crafting your resume
  • Gain career-related work experience through internships, summer jobs, or work-study
  • Meet with a Career Counselor to assess your progress and confirm your choice of major

Junior Year:

Your junior year is an excellent time to really begin narrowing your focus and concentrating on your career goals. If you plan to enter the job market right after college, you should being searching for an internship or part-time position that is related to your career interests. If graduate school is your next step, than you will begin researching graduate programs and begin narrowing your choices of where to apply. The Career Center is here to assist you with these difficult decisions and begin preparing to finalize your plans. Next steps:

Pursuing Graduate School?

  • Meet with a Career Counselor and a faculty member/adviser to discuss your interest in graduate school.
  • Attend the Considering Graduate School Workshop
  • Attend the Fall Graduate/Professional School Day
  • Develop a list of potential schools and make plans to visit them during Fall, Winter, or Spring Breaks
  • Begin writing your personal statement and completing graduate school applications and have them reviewed by a Career Counselor and/or faculty adviser
  • Register for graduate school admissions tests required by the programs you are considering (DAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc.)

Planning to enter the job market?

  • Meet with a Career Counselor to learn about internships and gaining career-related experience
  • Revise your resume and have it critiqued by a Career Assistant
  • Attend internship/job search workshops
  • Begin creating a network of alums, family, and friends to assist you in your internship/job search
  • Job Shadow with professionals in you field of interest
  • Attend the Fall and Spring Career Fairs
  • Utilize the On-Campus Recruiting program and events hosted by the Iowa College Recruiting Network

Senior Year:

During you senior year you will finalize your decision to work full-time or attend graduate school. Here is a helpful list to keep in mind as you move into your senior year:

Entering the Job Market

  • Attend Senior Seminar in the Fall
  • Finalize your resume and discuss your personal job search strategy
  • Participate in a mock interview with Joni in the Career Center
  • Attend job search workshops
  • Attend the Fall & Spring Career Fairs
  • Utilize the On-Campus Recruiting program and events by the Iowa College Recruiting Network

Entering Graduate School

  • Create a final list of graduate programs
  • Register and complete graduate admissions exams
  • Participate in a mock interview with Joni in the Career Center
  • Complete graduate school applications forms
    • Request faculty recommendations
    • Complete personal statements/essays
    • Apply for graduate assistantships and financial aid
  • Once accepted, send in your deposit and notify other schools of your decision