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Career development is a long-term process that requires most people to refocus and change several times throughout life. Parents often expect that their student will make career decisions resulting from the university experience. Many undergraduates, however, see career decisions as something to postpone until after they graduate. That can be a mistake.
At University Career Services, we know that students can develop a better understanding of employment options and how to achieve their goals by using the resources available at ETSU. A good place to start is the Career Exploration Center, where students complete the SIGI 3 Survey, designed to help focus on academic majors and careers that fit their preferences. If needed, additional career counseling is available through the Counseling Center.
You can help your student by encouraging and supporting career exploration throughout their college experience. In general, career planning is a step-by step process that includes: (1) learning about one’s self; (2) exploring career alternatives; (3) discovering plausible career paths and (4) implementing a job search based on research, learning and practicing the required communication skills, and networking with others. University Career Services is here to assist students at all stages of this process.
A Career Planning Checklist
The following Career Planning Checklist may be helpful in understanding recommended activities that contribute to student preparation for careers. Each year of undergraduate study should lead to new discoveries about personal abilities, interests and values.
Freshman Year – Self Awareness
Learn about yourself by getting involved with fellow students, clubs and organizations
Focus on making the best grades you can in all of your courses
Explore majors and careers through the Career Exploration Center in the ARC, Second Level of the D. P. Culp University Center
Begin to identify the clusters of courses that best fit your abilities, interests and values
Sophomore Year - Career Exploration
Register on College Central Network (CCN/ETSU)
Attend University Career Services programs and workshops
Go to Career Fairs and gather information on jobs that interest you
Test career options through part-time jobs, volunteer work or work shadowing
Learn about internship options
Stay involved in extracurricular activities and seek leadership roles
Join an on-campus pre-professional organization
Junior Year - Self and Career Awareness Integration
Schedule an appointment in the University Career Services Office by calling 423-439-4450
Learn the resources available to you on the University Career Services website
Write a cover letter and resume, and have them edited
Research careers, potential employers and graduate schools
If you have decided to pursue a graduate degree, apply to graduate schools
Complete a career-related internship or summer job
Senior Year - Career Decision Making and Implementation
Actively plan your transition to work or graduate school
Schedule a personal meeting with a staff member in University Career Services for assistance
Participate in practice interviews and learn effective networking practices
Apply early for jobs in your selected career area
Attend career fairs to develop contacts and employment opportunities
Attend Career Discovery programs
Myths about Majors
As a parent or guardian, it is also helpful to know some of the common myths about majors and careers:
1. Some majors are practical and others are not. If you want to be successful, you had better pick a good major.
While it is true that some majors are more career oriented than others, not every student is destined for a highly specific career track. And employers value the critical thinking, communication and writing skills that students develop in all majors. Most people are most successful in majors and careers that fit their interests, abilities and values.
2. Your major will determine your career path.
The majority of graduates major in fields that are not career-specific, and pursue a variety of careers. While there is a strong positive correlation between education level and average income, individuals choose many paths to attain their goals.
3. We have very little control over our career lives.
People who have a realistic vision for career success can achieve it by learning the requirements of their chosen career, pursuing the experiences that help them meet those requirements, and continuing to learn and adapt. It is important to remember that there is no common definition of success, or what constitutes a good career. People who make choices based on the things they truly value are generally more satisfied with their work life.
University Career Services at ETSU
At University Career Services, it is our mission to provide ETSU students and alumni with information, resources and support in setting personally meaningful career goals, developing effective search skills and materials, and generating contacts with employers or graduate schools. We encourage student involvement in internships and campus organizations to enhance their educational experience and preparation for employment.
Our office is located in the ARC on the second level of the D. P. Culp University Center. Appointments are available are available from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm during every weekday that ETSU is open. All staff members in University Career Services are committed to assisting students with career decisions, preparing for a job search and locating employment opportunities.
Some of our most popular services are:
• CCN/ETSU , a web-based listing of current jobs for ETSU students and alumni, where you can easily upload your resume and make it available to employers.
• Internships are available for several majors where internships are not college-sponsored or structured as part of the academic program. Internships provide academic credit for carefully planned and supervised work experiences. There are many benefits of an internship, including opportunities to test one or more employment experiences, form valuable employment contacts, and in many cases, earn some income. An internship also makes an impressive addition to a resume. Students may complete an internship during the academic year or in the summer.
• Editing suggestions for resumes, cover letters and other employment or graduate school application documents written by students.
• Information on selected employers and employer groups, supported by research and active outreach to employers in the region.
• Practice Interviews to develop the personal skills and strategies required for job search success.
• Coaching in ways to network for business contacts, handle interviews, and strengthen communication skills.
• An active program of On-campus Recruiting that schedules students for interviews with participating employers.
Career Fairs and Events
to connect students with employers and learn career development skills.
Meeting with students gives us the opportunity to focus on their individual needs, and appointments are easy to schedule by calling our main number, (423) 439-4450. We hope you will encourage your student to explore the services and resources of the University Career Center at ETSU.