Career prep is a process. Follow these tips each year of your undergraduate experience to put your best foot forward when it’s time to start submitting applications:

Freshman Year

  • Get involved on/off campus by joining groups and/or taking advantage of volunteer opportunities.
  • Consider a summer job, on-campus job, or working part-time to begin acquiring work experience in your area of interest.
  • Explore majors and potential career paths using the Career Services website.
  • Talk to people in your desired career field to see how your interests, values and skills match up.
  • Meet with your academic advisor and view your DegreeWorks to make sure you’re on track to graduate on time.
  • Do some social media cleanup to make sure your social profiles portray you as a responsible, employable person regardless of your privacy settings.

Sophomore Year

  • Consider preparing for a leadership role within the groups you actively participate in.
  • Look for a summer job, on-campus job or part-time position that relates to your future career field.
  • If you haven’t yet declared a major, make an appointment with Career Services for individualized assistance with exploring majors and career paths.
  • Make an informal appointment with someone in your desired career field to learn what a day-to-day routine looks like in their position.
  • Share your career goals with your academic advisor. They may have elective course suggestions that aren’t required for your major, but will help you build skills relevant to your future career path.
  • If you’re considering graduate school, start researching program admission requirements now so you can build your schedule accordingly.
  • Google yourself to make sure a future employer or graduate school won’t find anything unsavory.
  • Attend campus programs such as the College Success and Financial Responsibility Seminars lineup presented by SEMO’s Academic Support Centers

Junior Year

  • Develop your leadership skills by taking on an executive role in a campus or community group you’re involved with.
  • Begin gaining valuable experience in your chosen career field through a summer job, on-campus job, part-time position, internship or practicum in an industry you’re interested in.
  • Make an appointment with Career Services for assistance in developing your job search documents or begin your job search.
  • Job shadow a professional in your career field of interest. For help getting connected, visit the Office of Career Services.
  • View the tip sheets provided by the Office of Career Services for guidance on topics including professional correspondence, providing references, and building a better bullet point when writing your resume.
  • Don’t just ask your advisor for your PIN for class registration. Schedule a time you can have a thorough discussion of the classes you’re taking and your career goals to make sure you’re setting yourself up for on-time graduation and success in your future field.
  • If your next step after your degree is graduate school, be mindful of admission requirements and deadlines for your program(s) of choice. Schedule an appointment with the Office of Career Services to review your application documents before submitting them.
  • Take an active role in building your social media presence as a professional in your future career. Delete posts that no longer reflect your values and goals. Follow and engage with accounts and profiles related to your career interest.  
  • Attend events like SEMO’s Career Expo each semester. Even if you’re not ready to take on a full-time position quite yet, you can begin to network with companies seeking employees and interns. Dress professionally and come prepared with several copies of your polished resume in hand.
  • Start building your professional wardrobe. Sweats may cut it for class, but you’ll want to own at least one business professional outfit for interviews and events.
  • Set up neutral/professional e-mail address to give employers.

Senior Year

  • Continue to develop leadership skills and make connection through campus and community group involvement.
  • Build practical experience through an internship, practicum or part-time employment that relates to your desired career even if your degree program does not require you to do so.
  • Ask a professional in your field to serve as your business mentor. Ideally this person will help to guide you as you seek to make professional connections and establish career goals for yourself.
  • Make a 1:1 appointment with the Office of Career Services for resume and cover letter assistance, graduate school application review, mock interviews, and career coaching. You can also attend Career Ambassador Walk-In Hours Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Academic Hall 057.
  • Be mindful of upcoming deadlines if you’re applying for a graduate program. Apply before the application due date.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to verify that you’re meeting all requirements of your degree program. Don’t forget to apply for graduation!
  • Attend employment events such as SEMO’s Career Expo. Come prepared by dressing professionally and bringing several copies of your resume ready. View the attending business list provided by the Office of Career Services ahead of time so you can make a strategic plan for visiting businesses you have an interest in working for. Follow up with potential leads after the Expo.  
  • Start applying for full-time positions before graduation. The Office of Career Services is happy to help you with job search tips and assistance.