Students need time to transition from high school to college. Because first semester grades will affect their overall GPA, students should take the first semester to focus on academics and campus life. Students should register on connectSC and connects with their school-based career center to get familiar with services, resources, and events. We encourage students to explore career resources during their second semester to investigate what we do and how we can help.
Goals for the spring of the first year:
- Register on connectSC and with their school-based career center
- Complete the annual Professional Integrity Contract to be able to view resources on connectSC
- Find one or more student organizations or activities that help students get more involved in potential career paths of interest
- Consider looking for a summer job or internship that might help students explore a specific area of interest. Start exploring options through the job listings through school-based career centers and connectSC and organizations close to where the student will live in the summer
- View the Career Center’s Guide to Effective Resumes, Cover Letters, and LinkedIn Profiles on connectSC in the Resources section
- Develop a first draft college resume that highlight skills that the student wants to use for their summer job or internships and get it critiqued 24/7 through the USC Smart Resume platform
- Connect with a career advisor in your school-based career center or the USC Career Center 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 explore potential industries and career paths
- Review the Career Center’s events page for a comprehensive list
During their second year, students should explore their interests and test their perceptions of career fields. By sophomore year, students should start to should feel more comfortable with their program of study. Students should begin mastering the skill of research while completing class projects and will use these research skills to manage “project me.”
Goals for the second year:
- Learn more about internships
- 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 your area of interest and consider joining as a student member
During their third year, students should start exploring options for life after college. Understandably, many students struggle with finding “what they want to do.” We understand that making such a big decision can be overwhelming. Career advisors in the school-based career centers and the Career Center specialize in facilitating these discussions with students and providing resources to help students explore potential career 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
- Research and apply for an internship or career-related part-time job
- Develop a list of possible full-time employers
- Identify USC alumni through the connectSC Trojan Network and LinkedIn alumni page to serve as potential advisors to the job search process and conduct more informational interviews
- Considering graduate school? Visit the USC Pre-Graduate School Advising department’s website, research schools, fellowships, and admission requirements for graduate schools
- Participate in the annual fall semester Graduate Schools Fair
Senior year is a time for students to start making tangible connections between their academics, extra-curricular and work experiences. Some students may be undecided. Other students will return from the summer with full-time job offers from an internship. Some students may feel they are out of the loop and falling behind. We are here to help!
Goals for the fourth year:
- Meet with a career advisor in their school-based career center or the Career Center early to discuss options after college
- Complete the annual Professional Integrity Contract to be eligible to apply and interview for full-time employment through connectSC
- Research employers and read industry publications
- Engage with potential employers on social media
- Develop a resume and LinkedIn profile they are comfortable using to promote themselves
- Practice interviewing through recording themselves with our interviewing platform Big Interview or schedule a mock interview with an advisor
- Apply for jobs
- Stay healthy and focus on completing their degree requirements while maintaining grades.
- Utilize iGrad or the USC Credit Union’s resource Everfi to help prepare for life after college, including finances
Note: Some career fields have their hiring cycles. For example, finance, investment banks, consulting, and accounting organizations hire most candidates in the fall, while other industries hire throughout the year.
After graduation, students may utilize the Career Center as recent graduates and alumni. The Career Center offers USC Alumni a lifelong and worldwide USC Alumni Career Program.