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Develop Your Career

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The process of developing your career starts with your first classes freshman year. Most employers do their recruiting in the fall, so don’t wait until September of your last year to think about co-op positions or a job search. Career development is an ongoing process as you gain new skills and experiences and as your life changes.

For now, though, let’s explore career development throughout your college career.

FIRST YEAR: Self-Exploration

  • Join a Learning Community that is relevant to your major.
  • Schedule an appointment with a career counselor in the Career and Leadership Development Center in Baker University Center to discuss your major and career plans if you’re still unsure about your major.
  • Learn more about yourself by taking career assessments available through the Center on the Career and Leadership Development. You’ll gain insight into how your interests, skills, personality, and values connect to a major and career.
  • Register for ET 1910 in the fall or spring semesters to participate in the co-op or internship program.
  • Complete Career Development, ET 1500, before graduation for all first-year students who entered the Russ College fall semester 2012 or afterward.
  • Write a résumé, cover letter, and reference sheet.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals to learn about different career paths.
  • Attend career fairs, employer information sessions, and guest speakers to learn more about career options.
  • Get involved with Russ College student organizations.
  • Explore the possibility of assisting faculty with research.
  • Check into PACE (Program to Aid Career Exploration) positions for next year. Applications are due in March or April - check with the Office of Financial Aid for details.

SECOND YEAR: Connections

This year is critical for locating a co-op, getting involved with faculty research, and applying for PACE positions.

  • Continue to complete activities listed for first-year students.
  • Register for ET 1500, Career Development, if you haven’t completed the class yet and plan to co-op.
  • If you’re already active with the co-op and internship program, update your résumé, personal, and academic information in your Bobcat Career Link account.
  • Get involved with student organizations and student projects (project team, honorary, service leadership).
  • Maintain and update your career-related documents: résumé, cover letter, reference sheet, social networking accounts, and portfolio.
  • Attend a Dining Etiquette dinner through the Career and Leadership Development Center. The Russ College Office of Professional Experiences will facilitate an etiquette dinner for a group of at least 25 students.
  • Increase your networking by attending career fairs, information sessions, guest lectures, informational interviews, and networking with personal connections .
  • Establish a networking list of people you know through professional connections, your friends, your family, etc., for co-op connections.
  • If you’re still unsure about your major, schedule an appointment with a career counselor.

THIRD YEAR: Experience

  • Continue to complete activities listed for second year.
  • Participate in a mock interview with a career counselor in the Career and Leadership Development Center, if you haven’t taken the ET 1500 Career Development course yet.
  • Maintain and update your career-related documents: résumé, cover letter, reference sheet, social networking accounts, and portfolio.
  • Obtain a meaningful co-op or internship before senior design. It’s your last chance to do so unless you’re willing to delay graduation for an extended co-op.
  • Set-up a Bobcat Career Link account with the Career and Leadership Development Center to apply for full-time positions. 
  • Research and visit graduate schools and take admission prep courses and tests.
  • Use the services offered through the Ohio University Alumni Association: Bobcat Mentor Network and various local chapters of OUAA.

FOURTH YEAR: Launching

  • Continue to complete activities listed for third year.
  • Set up a Bobcat Career Link account early in fall semester, as described above.
  • Complete graduate school exams, visit programs, and have all application materials submitted earlier than the programs’ deadlines.
  • Maintain and update your career-related documents: résumé, cover letter, reference sheet, social networking accounts, and portfolio.
  • Update your networking list and begin to use it to connect with possible job openings.
  • Attend career fairs and other events to set up your networking efforts.
  • Participate in a mock interview with a career counselor in the Career and Leadership Development Center, if you haven’t taken the ET 1500 Career Development course yet.
  • Learn market trends and salary expectations for your industry and career interests. A good place to start is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.
  • Explore the Ohio University Alumni Association for networking opportunities.
  • Graduate school offers are usually extended mid-March through mid-April. If you have not visited the school(s) after being accepted, do it soon. You want to make sure the program and location are a good fit.
  • Find a place to live.