USC Career Services has officially transitioned to Handshake as of July 1, 2024. connectSC is no longer accessible for all audiences. Learn more

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Discover majors-related to careers, create your resume or curriculum vitae, and cover letter, find internships, full-time employment opportunities, and more!

Career Development Process

As an entire university community, we support students engaging in diverse career development-related activities to help them discover potential career paths that capitalize on their unique passions, talents, and interests. Career development is an exciting journey for each student. A student’s career development journey is a progression composed of experiences inside and outside the classroom, enabling them to decide who they are, who they want to be, and what careers might best suit their personal needs.

While each student is unique, here is a general process we encourage students to engage in to help them discover potential career paths that might be viable once they graduate. Depending on the needs of the students present, career advisors in both the school-based career centers and the USC Career Center are prepared to share student-friendly resources to support them every step of the way. The following steps are aimed at clarifying educational major and career goals.

Self-assessment is the first step in the process. It involves students identifying their values, interests, skills, and personality.

Exploration is the second step and involves conducting research, such as using career library resources, to discover potential careers of interest. Informational interviews are a great way to start building a network of people in jobs and industries they are considering.

Reality testing is the third step and provides an opportunity for students to job shadow, find an internship, or volunteer to “test the waters.” It is also an opportunity to conduct more informational interviews with professionals at work. During this crucial stage, students should start understanding how their preferences and skills relate to specific career paths and work environments and begin making realistic decisions on the next potential steps in their career journeys.

  • Implementation is the last step in the process. It can include preparation for a job interview or completing applications to graduate school. This process involves practicing interviewing, networking, revising resumes, and writing cover letters.
  • It is common to feel uncertain about any or all of the steps described above. Please be assured we are here to support students every step of the way.
  • The Career Center is open for in-person advising Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm PT. Students may schedule a one-on-one appointment with their school-based career centers or connect with an advisor from the USC Career Center by using the scheduling tool in connectSC by clicking “Counseling” on the upper-right corner of the toolbar.
  • In addition to scheduled appointments, drop-in advising services are available in-person between 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm PT Monday through Friday in the Career Center main lobby located in STU 110.

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