Sophomore Year: A Year of Exploration

Ground yourself in a major and investigate your interests.

  1. Thoughtfully explore your choice of a major:
    1. Steps to Choosing a Major
    2. “What Can I Do With This Major?” (external resource)
  2. Investigate potential career fields of interest:
    1. Occupational Outlook Handbook
    2. O*NET OnLine
  3. Conduct an Informational Interview with at least three individuals who are in your identified career fields of interest.
  4. Consider participating in the fall Alumni Externship Program and the spring Job Shadowing Program OR contact family and friends to set up a job shadow experience or an informational interview during your breaks.
  5. Create a LinkedIn profile (if you haven't already done so).
    1. Watch Why Be LinkedIn video.
    2. Attend a LinkedIn workshop (see calendar).
  6. Update your profile on Luther CareerConnection (your connection to internship and job opportunity information).
  7. Update your resume. If you need help getting started, consider attending the Resume & Cover Letter Workshop. (See calendar for upcoming workshops.)
  8. Pursue Internships & Summer Options.
    1. Attend the Fall Career Fair.
    2. Attend the Volunteer/Non-Profit Fair in the fall.
    3. Attend Summer Camp Fairs in the spring.
    4. Attend the Spring Career Fair.
    5. Explore local volunteer opportunities.
    6. Scan CareerConnection and the Career News & Notes weekly email for summer jobs/internship opportunities.
  9. Research your study and internship away options at the Global Learning Center.
  10. Prepare for interviews:
    1. Review Career Guide – The Art of Interviewing (PDF).
    2. Schedule a Mock Interview.
    3. View CareerSpot videos on interviews: Before, After, and Dress.

Choosing a Major

Step One: Gather Information

This can be the most time-consuming and important of the steps to help you make the best decision for yourself. Luther College has several valuable resources to help you make this important decision. Take advantage of the following:

Academic Resources

  • Read the Luther catalog for detailed course descriptions.
  • Take a fun/interesting class to gain exposure to a variety of disciplines.

People Resources

  • Students – Attend a departmental or student organization meeting. Ask upper-class students how they selected their major, what they like/dislike about their choice.
  • Professors – Discuss the types of courses, assignments, and possible research topics for each discipline.
  • Alumni – Contact the Career Center to link with alumni.

Step Two: Evaluate the Possibilities

Once you have gathered what you believe to be enough information to help you choose a major, review the options and compare them. Be sure to take into consideration the following:

  • Do you have the ability to attain good grades in the subject?
  • Do you enjoy the material and coursework?
  • Will you be motivated to engage in an Independent Study in the discipline?
  • What have others done with this particular major once completing their degree?
  • Is a double major feasible?
  • Would you be able to complete the coursework within four years?

Step Three: Declaring Your Major

Early in the second semester of your sophomore year you will be able to declare your major. Pay attention to the deadline!

  • Read through the materials sent to you by the Registrar’s Office as soon as you receive it in the mail.
  • Ask any last minute questions you may have well before the given deadline.
  • Obtain the necessary faculty signatures.
  • Relax, enjoy, and get busy!

Beyond Your Major

What else should you do during your college years? Taking the initiative to acquire skills and experiences beyond the classroom will give you the competitive edge needed in today’s world. Here are a few ideas:

  • Gain hands-on experience using the knowledge you have from the classroom by completing a summer research project and at least one internship, preferably two.
  • Become computer literate by learning about spreadsheets, databases and web design.
  • Educate yourself globally. Learn another language and consider studying in another country.
  • Volunteer to take a leadership role in a student organization.
  • Donate your time in a community service organization.

Source: The "Choosing a Major" section was adapted with permission from The College of Wooster Career Center website.