Oregon State University

Career Planning Tips

Career PlanningIt's never too early to start planning for career development and exploration. Below are helpful tips that give you an overview of what your student should be thinking about each year they attend Oregon State University as well as ways you can support them as they pursue a meaningful career.

Year One: Student's Role

  • Get to know yourself and focus on what you are most interested in
  • Develop an ongoing relationship with your academic advisor
  • Take a wide variety of classes to broaden your exposure to potential careers
  • Consider the importance of achieving good grades from the start. It can be difficult to recover once you fall behind
  • Explore Career Services and what we have to offer

Year One: Family's Role

  • Ask questions about what your student has learned about themselves in their first year
  • Learn more about your student's relationship with their academic advisor
  • Inquire about the courses your student is enrolled in and what they enjoy about class
  • Raise questions about your student's academic successes as well as their challenges. Note if they might need extra support and assist them in seeking out extra help with academics
  • Learn about what Career Services has to offer your student

Year Two: Student's Role

  • Set goals and identify what you specifically want to gain from your education
  • Focus on your coursework within your major
  • Begin to build your personal network and keep track of names and contact information of individuals you meet
  • Join a campus club or organization in an area of professional interest and attend meetings regularly
  • Pursue working in an entry-level co-op, internship, or research position within the field you are interested in.

Year Two: Family's Role

  • Support your student in the goals they have set for themselves
  • As your student about their academic plan and steps they are going to take to achieve their goals
  • Help your student identify who is already in their personal and professional network and consider who is in your own network who might be a good connection for your student
  • Consider helping your student find information about a club or organization  in their career field they are interested in
  • Learn about Career Services so you can pass along information to your student about what opportunities we offer

Year Three: Student's Role

  • Keep your grades up
  • Develop relationships with professors and/or department heads in your major
  • Consider running for office in your extracurricular activities
  • Contact professionals in the field that you are interested in to conduct informational interviews to learn more about their profession
  • Attend both on-campus and off-campus career fairs

Year Three: Family's Role

  • Support your student as they encounter academic challenges as their class rigor increases
  • Help your student balance the demands of their academic life with the opportunities they are pursuing in their extracurricular interests
  • Help connect your students with individuals willing to do informational interviews
  • Ask your student about career fairs they attended or plan to attend
  • Help prepare your student for graduation and things they need to prepare for

Year Four and Beyond: Student's Role

  • Complete as many courses within your major as possible
  • Pursue professional-level work experience part-time during the school year in the field you are interested in
  • Meet with your academic advisor to do a final audit of your academic requirements
  • Prepare for the job search year with all materials like resume and transcripts on file at Career Services
  • Attend both on-campus and off-campus career fairs

Year Four and Beyond: Family's Role

  • Ask your student how you can best support them in their final year at OSU
  • Keep your eyes and ears open for any possible jobs your student might be interested in
  • Suggest that your student set up a meeting with Career Services to make sure all of their documents are prepared for the job search
  • Celebrate the many achievements of your student as they near graduation and enter into the next stage of their life!

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