Engage with Your Career and Major

Students in classHaving a four-year Career Development Action Plan allows you to have a clear vision and structured approach to career planning.

Your plan will enable you to get started on your career and professional development, identify the career competencies you are developing in the classroom and will use in professional and experiential learning internships, and lay a course for you to connect to job and career opportunities. Developing your four-year Career Development Action Plan in the first few weeks of your college experience at Whittier is instrumental to your career success.

First-Year: Engage fully with your liberal arts education by understanding what critical career competencies you are developing in each of your classes. Start exploring how to develop those competencies in on-campus roles and experiences. Ask yourself, “Is a summer career-enhancing internship right for me?”

Sophomores: Put the finishing touches on your first Career Development Action Plan. Understand how the career learning you did in your first year and over the summer complements your liberal arts education. Now is the time to start meeting regularly with your career counselor for coaching and guidance. Consider research or virtual internships as ways to continue to build your career competencies. Start applying for paid internships in the fall of your sophomore year.

Juniors: Start refining your personal brand on your resume and on online platforms such as LinkedIn. As an emerging professional, it is time for you to build a network of Whittier alumni and professionals that can help you connect with workplaces and organizations that match your career goals. Participate in a career enhancing internship on-campus or over the summer. Remember to look for paid summer internships in the fall semester. 

Seniors: Meet regularly with your career counselor as it takes a full academic year to conduct a professional job search or identify and apply for a graduate program. Over the last four years, you have implemented your Career Development Action Plan and are perfectly positioned to master the job search process. 

Download a four-year Poets Connect Career Development Action Plan

SMART Goals and Career Action Plans 

Students can incorporate the SMART goal process into their career and academic development to ensure that goals are achieved in a reasonable amount of time. The simple five-step process can be applied in a variety of settings including internships, jobs, shadowing roles, and the POET Intern Program. 

Specific: What goal do you want to achieve?
Measureable: How do you want to track goal progress? 
Achievable: Do you have the resources (time, information, opportunity) necessary to attain your goal?
Realistic: Is your goal within your reach? Are you willing to commit to your goal?
Timely: Does your goal have a deadline? 

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