Map Out a Career Plan

Two puzzle pieces graphicIf you know (or think you know) what you want to pursue as a career when you graduate from Pitzer, you should work with the Career Services office to begin developing specific steps for executing your career plan. If you unsure of what you want to do when you leave Pitzer and would like to explore that question with us, you should DEFINITELY work with Career Services. We can help you through the process of self-discovery, identifying your skills and interests, exploring different career paths, and helping you to develop a plan for moving into the future.

No matter what, the key to having a plan when you graduate is to begin preparing yourself as early as possible. You don’t need to decide on your specific career path during first year, or even by senior year. However, you should work with Career Services to identify your interests, build the skills, make the connections, explore the opportunities, and develop the professionalism you will need to succeed in any career path.

Below is an online video link followed by a general outline of the steps that every Pitzer student should take during college to begin mapping out a successful career plan that can be executed before, during, or after graduation. If you have missed a few steps, don’t worry, come to Career Services and we will work with you to move forward from wherever you are starting.

A 4-Year Action Plan: Career Exploration and Planning at Pitzer College
This video, initially aimed toward Pitzer parents and family members, offers an overview of Pitzer’s career development resources and describes a general 4-year process of career exploration and planning for Pitzer students.

 

First Year

  • Log-in to Handshake, complete your personal profile, familiarize yourself with the system (you will use it to search for jobs and internships, view and RSVP for career events around the 5C campuses, make appointments with Pitzer career counselors, etc.).
  • Visit the Career Services office (Scott Hall Room 126) to say hi, get oriented, pick up a career handout, grab some candy or coffee, take our dog out for a walk or whatever
  • Meet with a career counselor or a career ambassador at least one time during your first year (you schedule appointments through Handshake or can stop in during walk-in hours every day).
  • Create a professional resume before the end of the academic year (you can grab a Resume Guide from Career Services and we would love to meet with you to help).
  • Get involved on campus outside the classroom in something that interests you.
  • Have a productive summer (pursue an internship, summer job, volunteer opportunity, independent research project, community service, summer coursework).

Action Plan for Sophomores GraphicSecond Year

  • Update your resume after the summer and your first year on campus.
  • Meet with a career counselor during Fall semester to begin preparing yourself to apply for summer internships (yes, you need to start preparing for summer internships during the Fall)
  • Begin developing your professional network, especially within the Pitzer community (practice your elevator speech, create a LinkedIn profile, log-in to the Pitzer Professional Directory, begin setting up conversations and informational interviews with Pitzer alumni, parents, and faculty).
  • Attend at least one Career Services workshop at Pitzer or at one of the other Claremont Colleges.
  • Attend a Career Fair at one of the Claremont Colleges during the year and attend at least one employer information session.
  • Begin researching specific employers and professions with the goal of identifying places to intern for the summer.
  • If you think graduate school might be an option, begin researching degree programs and having conversations with your faculty and/or with a career counselor.
  • Schedule a practice interview with a career counselor during or before Spring semester to hone your interviewing skills.
  • Get involved on campus outside the classroom in something that interests you.
  • Have a productive summer (you should seek to have a substantive summer experience that allows you develop your skills and achieve a set of results; however, don’t worry if your summer experience is directly related to what you might want to do when you graduate).

Action Plan for Juniors graphicThird Year

  • Update your resume after the summer and your second year on campus.
  • Meet with a career counselor during Fall semester to begin preparing yourself to apply for summer internships (if you are studying abroad during Fall, Career Services can conduct Skype sessions with you).
  • If you are planning to study abroad during Spring semester, work with a career counselor to develop a plan for applying to internships from abroad and possibly for preparing for the grad school application process.
  • Continue to develop your professional network.
  • Work to better define your post-graduation career plan and target internships and experiences that will help you toward executing that plan.
  • If you think graduate school is your goal, continue talking with your faculty, plan to take the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, or GMAT during the summer or during Fourth Year, begin lining up possible faculty members and other who can write recommendations.
  • Attend at least one Career Services workshop at Pitzer or at one of the other Claremont Colleges.
  • Attend a Career Fair at one of the Claremont Colleges during the year and attend at least one employer information session.
  • Get involved on campus outside the classroom in something that interests you.

Have a productive summer (you should seek to have a substantive summer experience that allows you develop your skills and achieve a set of results; your experience should be related as much as possible to your post-graduation career plan).

Action Plan for Seniors graphicFourth Year

  • Update your resume after the summer and your third year on campus.
  • Meet with a career counselor as needed to support your job search or grad school applications.
  • Relentlessly network, making new contacts and benefiting from the relationships you have built during the previous 2-3 years.
  • Apply to job opportunities as early as possible and in some cases, reach out to your target employers before jobs are even posted.
  • Attend career workshops, employer information sessions, and Career Fairs at Pitzer and at the other Claremont Colleges.
  • Be organized to meet grad school and fellowship application deadlines.
  • Don’t stress if you don’t have immediate success, if you receive some rejections, or if you decide to change your career plan – Career Services is here to support you.
  • Career Services doesn’t go away once you graduate – our office works with alumni and you will have still have access to Handshake, career counseling, networking, and other career resources.