The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Career Corner: The Four Year Plan

In the last few Career Corner columns we’ve discussed topics ranging from interview tips to beginning the internship search. But let’s be honest: the process of discerning the rest of your life is completely daunting at times, and it would be much more convenient if you had a road map to guide you.

Fortunately, Career Services has a four-year plan that students can follow to ensure that they make the most out of these four years at St. John’s.

For Freshmen

The keywords for first-year students are connect and evaluate. These new students should go through the year with the goal of understanding their “skills, values and interest, and how these relate” to career decisions, according to Career Services.

Freshmen should begin networking on and off campus. Join a club or professional organization that relates to a passion or possible profession. Create a LinkedIn profile and draft a resume. Speak to advisors in the Freshman Center, in your potential major and in Career Services to get advice on possible career paths.

Freshman year is a time to explore. Check out St. John’s Central and the university’s various Twitter and Facebook pages to get an idea of the opportunities available to St. John’s students. Speak to upperclassmen in your classes and clubs to see what opportunities they’ve taken advantage of. Consider getting some work experience with a part-time job or volunteering.

For Sophomores

Sophomore year is a time to work on identifying potential careers and exploring the available opportunities.

Some second-year students may find that their interests are very different now than they were a year ago. This is normal, but students should be aware of the changes and adjust their career path if needed.

Sophomore year, students should be close to declaring a major, and may want to meet with career or academic advisors again to confirm their decision.

Many St. John’s students study abroad in the sophomore year, and this is an ideal time to explore various interests. On the academic side of things, be aware of the credit requirements, including electives, for the programs you’re interested in.

By your second year of college, students should have enough experience that they can take high-school activities off of their resume. To fill up that space before interning for credit junior year, students might want to get part-time work, an uncredited internship or volunteer experience in their area of interest. This is also the time to consider running for a leadership position in a student organization.

At this point, many students have identified companies or fields that they’re interested in working for in an internship setting. Follow those companies or leaders in the industry on Twitter or LinkedIn, and get to know their culture and application process before you dive in.

Another great way to get to know companies is through career fairs, which are held each semester. Here, students will have the opportunity to speak with dozens or hundreds of different companies about their particular niches and the type of person that they are interested in recruiting. Even if students aren’t planning to have an internship until junior year, sophomore year is the time to start thinking about the options.

Sophomore year is also when students must declare a major, if they haven’t already.

For Juniors

The third year in college is a time to refine your interests and goals and begin experiencing the business world.

Remember that resume you created freshman year and updated sophomore year? Junior year is the time to perfect it. Once your resume is up-to-date, share it with companies, recruiters, professors or anyone who might be interested. Don’t forget to update your social media profiles as well!

A number of St. John’s students choose to pursue an internship for credit during junior year. It’s important to begin the search early and to know the requirements of your particular major.

Career Services recommends developing a mentorship relationship with a professional or professor in your field. They can help you on your internship search and often will give advice and insight into how to succeed in your chosen major.

During junior year, students should attend all applicable career fairs and networking events, in order to set themselves up for success in obtaining an internship and after college.

Leadership on-campus plays a big role in the lives of many St. John’s students beginning in junior year, and students may want to consider joining a professional organization off-campus now as well.

It may feel like you just chose a college, but it’s time to start thinking about what to do afterwards. Those students interested in graduate school should begin thinking about which programs they are interested in and which tests they may need to take. St. John’s offers free practice tests for the GRE and most other graduate school admissions exams.

For those students interested in entering directly into the workforce after St. John’s, networking and professional development becomes even more important.

For Seniors

Senior year is a time of execution and transition. The goal as a senior is to successfully complete your job search and begin the transition to professional life.

Before graduating, students should finalize their resume and online profiles in order to present themselves as professionally as possible.

Networking at this stage is crucial. Students should take the connections that they have made over the last three years and use them as the starting point for the job search.

If you haven’t had an internship or work experience already, senior year is the time. It’s not too late! Speak to your advisor for help finding opportunities to apply to.

For students applying to graduate school, the applications are usually due during the first semester of senior year or early in the second semester. Start writing essays, taking exams and obtaining recommendations early. Research scholarship opportunities and graduate assistant positions to help defray expenses, if necessary.

Attend career fairs, employer events and presentations and network as much as possible at these events. Now is the time to find a job!

Finally, meet with your dean to
complete your graduation plans. Your time as an undergraduate is over!

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About the Contributor
Olivia Cunningham, Managing Editor
Olivia is a senior journalism major who intends to help execute the team’s vision and take the Torch to new heights.

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