Career Development Process

As a 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 should be an exciting journey for each student. We view students’ career development journey as 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 and professional goals.

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 students’ needs, career advisors in the school-based career centers and the USC Career Center are prepared to share student-friendly resources to support them every step.

Step 1: Self-Assessment

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

Step 2: Exploration

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.

Step 3: Reality Testing

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 critical stage, students should start understanding how their preferences and skills relate to specific career paths, work environments, etc., and make realistic decisions on the next steps in their career journeys.

Step 4: Implementation

Implementation is the last step in the process. This 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 not uncommon 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 virtual and in-person advising Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. 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 located under the “Advising Appointment” tab.

In addition to pre-scheduled appointments, drop-in advising services are available both virtually and in-person between 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. NOTE: Drop-in hours will be 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Virtual drop-in advising services are provided through our Brazen platform. Our in-person drop-in advising is conducted in the Student Union, Suite 110 (University Park Campus).

Note: All virtual drop-ins will be conducted privately online, and in-person drop-ins will be facilitated in the Career Center Lobby.