Students - Career Services
There will never be a better time than now to prepare for life after Western. Keep yourself on track by following some simple steps throughout your college years.
Career Exploration Timeline
First Year: Awareness
Set Yourself Up for Success
- Attend class and study hard! It's easier to maintain a strong GPA than to raise a low GPA. Strong grades will provide more financial and academic opportunities down the road.
- Get to know each of your professors individually. Seriously, introduce yourself on the first day of class and ask your professor, "What do I need to do to pass this course?"
- Talk to faculty, staff, Career Services and others who are familiar with your field of study (or your potential field of study).
Explore Majors and Careers
- Take general education courses that interest you.
- Read the university course catalog to understand major and/or minor requirements and academic options.
- Activate your Handshake account and begin to explore jobs and internships that interest you. If you have trouble accessing Handshake, contact Career Services.
- Join a club or organization. The LEAD Office, Multicultural Center, and Wilderness Pursuits are great places to start.
- Volunteer in the Gunnison community.
- Attend campus and community events.
Learn About Yourself
- Reflect on your experiences to understand your likes, dislikes, aptitudes and interests.
- Try out My Next Move to see how your preferences might inform your choice of major and career.
Second Year: Exploration
Deepen your Involvement
- Continue involvement in on-campus and community organizations.
- Consider taking on more active leadership roles within organizations or through campus employment.
Declare a Major
- Identify a major that fits both your personal and career interests.
- Consult with your academic advisor, family or others to discuss major requirements and career prospects.
Prepare for Internship and Job Applications
- Write your first resume and cover letter based on a position description to which you could see yourself applying in the future.
- Participate in Career Services events, like workshops and career fairs (even if you're not ready to apply quite yet!)
Third Year: Experience
Start Building Your Reference List
- Keep in touch with former employers, teachers and supervisors from past jobs and volunteer experiences.
- Begin networking with professionals in your career field via conferences, presentations and LinkedIn.
Get Serious About Work Experience
- Explore internships, jobs and volunteer opportunities that demonstrate your commitment to your field.
- Talk to faculty about opportunities to assist with research.
Develop Your Employment Portfolio
- Ask your advisor, supervisor, parents and Career Services to provide feedback on your resume and cover letter.
- Give your social media profiles a tune up. Employers will search for you online via platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and others!
Fourth Year: Implementation
Put It All Together
- Using your resume, cover letter, and social media presence, package your education, experience, community engagement and skills in a way that accelerates your personal brand.
- Participate in Career Services events to polish your materials and get interviewing experience.
Initiate Your Career Search
- Plan your search strategy, including networking, leveraging of online resources and databases, graduate school planning and personal preferences (e.g., location, desired salary, non-career considerations).
- Develop a personal branding strategy: How will you market yourself? What do you want potential employers to know about you?