West Texas A&M University

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Career Services College Success Timeline

College Success Timeline 

INTRODUCTION

The following information contains suggested activities and timelines to follow for each year of your college experience. In doing the activities you will be more informed and prepared for success and happiness with your major and the careers you will find in the world of work.


FRESHMAN YEAR

  • If you know what you want to major in and have passed theTSI, meet with an academic advisor to discuss tentative academic & career goals. On the other hand, if you are undecided about your major or career plans, make an appointment with a counselor in Career and Counseling Services to explore your options for an academic major. Undecided majors and students who have not passed the TSI receive academic advising through Advising Services.
  • Identify personal interests, skills, and values to begin conceptualizing your career goals. Career Services offers the MyPlan assessment to assist with self assessment.
  • Participate in the Career EXPOs which are held early in the fall and spring semesters. Also, you can visit Educator's EXPO if you are interested in being a teacher, coach, or any related occupation in the education field or check out the Health Career Fair if you are interested in any health related field.
  • Research careers that are of interest to you at Career Services library and the University library.
  • Explore Financial Aid options.
  • Visit Student Employment Services (SES) for part time jobs, volunteer, summer camp job opportunities.
  • Inquire about Experiential Education in Career Services. Join organizations on campus to start building your résumé.
  • Conduct informational interviews.

SOPHOMORE YEAR

There are several things you can do during your sophomore year to prepare for your career:

  • Review,revise and reaffirm your career goals
  • Select an academic major that is consistent with your self-appraisal conducted in career counseling
  • Continue career exploration
  • Join major related organizations
  • Job shadowing & informational interviews
  • Get set up in the Experiential Education Program
  • Obtain experience through SES by volunteering, finding a part-time job or through the Experiential Education Program
  • Draw up a tentative degree plan
  • Begin developing your résumé and other skills by going to workshops
  • Attend Career EXPOs, Educators' EXPOs, Health Care Careers Job Fai, and Meet the Accounting Firms
  • Develop your short-term and long term career goals
  • Take career assessments by making an appointment with a counselor
  • Establish relationships with faculty, career services staff, and community members that can help in your future job search (also known as NETWORKING).

JUNIOR YEAR

  • Get yourexperiential education now before it is too late
  • File a degree plan with your College's Dean's office
  • Explore what opportunities might be available to you after graduation by exploring BuffJobs and reviewing the employers conducting on-campus interviewing
  • Look ahead to what a Senior needs to be doing
  • Take a leadership role in organizations that you are involved in
  • Become familiar with job descriptions, work setting, job titles, salary ranges
  • Increase your networking
  • Add to your resume, remember assistance is available in Career Services
  • Learn what skills employers are looking for in employees by attending interviewing workshops
  • Attend job fairs such as the Career EXPOs,the  Educator's EXPO's, the Health Care Careers Fair, and Meet the Accounting Firms.
  • Research your major and occupational interest more in depth to learn what skills will make you marketable. Check out what you can do with your major.
  • Research graduate schools and find out requirements, costs and opportunities. Attend the Graduate School Fair in the fall
  • Check with an advisor to make sure you are on the right track for graduation
  • Informational Interviewing & Job Shadowing
  • Decide firmly on a major
  • Practice interviewing by participating in a mock interview

SENIOR YEAR

  • Last chance to do an Internship, hands on experience is one of the things that employers are looking for
  • Apply for and take the necessary examinations for graduate studies, professional school, etc.
  • Attend all workshops offered by Career Services
  • Register with Career Services and activate your Buff Jobs account
  • Refine and finalize your resume to fit your background and goals
  • Research company information through Career Services and the Internet
  • Network, network, network
  • Attend job fairs such as the Career EXPOs,the  Educator's EXPO's, the Health Care Careers Fair, and Meet the Accounting Firms.
  • Have your resume critiqued
  • On campus interviewing
  • Write letters of inquiry, visit with employers, send follow up letters
  • Make sure you have fulfilled all requirements for graduation

FACTOID: National Statistics indicate that it typically takes 18 months to secure a position in your field if you do not have experience. It will take 9 months to find a job in your field if you have experience


12 MONTHS PRIOR TO GRADUATION

  • Attend all Career Services workshops
  • Register with Career Services and activate your BuffJobs Account
  • Define career goals clearly by determining specifics about your desired job geographical location preference etc. Remember the clearer the goal the clearer the path
  • Continue your Internship assignment
  • Practice interviewing by participating in a mock interview
  • Stay involved in organizations and the community. Network!

11 MONTHS PRIOR TO GRADUATION

  • Begin to identify references and ask their permission
  • Continue your Internship assignment

10 MONTHS PRIOR TO GRADUATION

  • Check to see if you're on active status at Career Services
    • Revise your rsume and cover letter
    • Begin networking heavily by contacting friends, faculty members, and professionals in the field with whom you have developed relationships, to inform them of your career plans and to get assistance from them
    • Assemble appropriate job search kit
    • Continue your Internship assignment

 

8-9 MONTHS PRIOR TO GRADUATION

 

  • Use resources available in Career & Counseling Services, in Cornette Library and on the internet to research companies
  • Inquire about on campus recruiting and the proper procedure for interviewing on campus
  • Make sure all your information on your career portfolio resume are current
  • Research salary information in your field of study
  • Begin monitoring the job postings in BuffJobs and additional resources on the web
  • Maintain communication with your network of contacts
  • Continue your Internship assignment

7 MONTH PRIOR TO GRADUATION


5-6 MONTHS PRIOR TO GRADUATION

  • Research companies that you are interviewing with
  • Interview on & off campus and follow up with thank you letters
  • Network
  • Continue your Internship assignment

1-4 MONTHS PRIOR TO GRADUATION

  • Continue the above
  • Revise resume and cover letters if necessary
  • Start considering job offers
  • Accept a job, let Career Services know so we can make your file inactive

AFTER GRADUATION (If you have not found a job yet)

  • Keep trying. Don't give up or get discouraged. Remember the national average to find a job in your field of study is 18 months
  • You may want to look at areas not directly related to your field
  • Take a good look at how you are marketing yourself
  • Fine tune your interviewing, set up a mock interview with Career Services
  • Revise resume;
  • Get some type of work experience; some is better than none
  • Seek out a career counselor if you are having a hard time identifying the problem
  • Network, network, network
  • Join professional or civic clubs
  • Sign up with a temporary agency
  • Keep in close contact with Career Services
  • Keep your file active and updated
  • Participate in all activities available to you through Career Services
Buff-Jobs Students