Most students need time to transition from high school to college. Because first semester grades will affect overall GPA and the ability to meet requirements set by potential employers, students should take the first semester to focus on academics and campus life. Students should register on connectSC and complete their profile to get familiar with Career Center services, resources, and events. We encourage students to visit us their second semester for a quick orientation about what we do and how we can help.
Goals for the spring of the first year:
- Register on connectSC
- Complete the annual Professional Integrity Contract to be able to view resources on connectSC
- Develop a first draft college resume and see a career counselor for feedback during drop-in hours Monday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Attend Investigate Industries & Internships (i3) to help understand potential industries and career paths
During sophomore year, students should explore their interests and test their perceptions of career fields. By sophomore year, students typically declare a major and should feel comfortable with their choice and potential job opportunities. Students have mastered the skill of research while completing class projects and will be able to use these research skills to manage “project me.”
Goals for the second year:
- Visit the Internship Programs (STU B1)
- Register on connectSC
- Complete the annual Professional Integrity Contract to be able to view resources and apply for summer internships on connectSC
- Research and apply for internships or career-related part-time jobs
- Enroll in a course to receive academic internship credit, if the internship is unpaid
- Identify a professional association in an area of interest and consider joining as a student member
During junior year, students should be exploring options for life after college. There are many decisions, some more difficult than others, that need to be made at this stage. Is graduate or professional school in the future or will it be full-time employment? Many students struggle with finding “what they really want to do.” Career counselors specialize in facilitating these discussions with students and exploring options.
Goals for the third year:
- Attend fall and spring career fairs to find out more about companies and internships
- Complete the annual Professional Integrity Contract to be eligible to apply and interview for full-time summer internships through connectSC
- Apply for an internship
- Develop a list of possible full-time employers
- Identify USC alumni through the connectSC Career Network and LinkedIn alumni page to serve as potential advisers to the job search process and conduct more informational interviews
- Participate in the annual fall semester Graduate School Fair, if graduate school is on the agenda and research schools, fellowships and admission requirements for graduate school
During senior year, students may get asked questions that include “What are you going to do after graduation?” “Do you have a job yet?” “Have you been accepted to medical school?” Some students may be undecided. Perhaps other students will return from the summer with full-time job offers from an internship and other students may feel they are out of the loop and falling behind. However, students need to know that each career field has its own hiring cycle. For example, finance, investment banks, consulting and accounting organizations hire in the fall.
Goals for the fourth year:
- Meet with a career counselor early to discuss options after college
- Complete the annual Professional Integrity Contract to be eligible to apply and interview for full-time employment though connectSC
- Research employers and read industry publications
- Engage with potential employers on social media
- Finalize resume and review it with a career counselor and USC alumni
- Schedule a mock interview
- Stay healthy and focus on completing your degree requirements while maintaining a high-grade point average