Wayne State University

Aim Higher

University Advising Center

How College Leads to a Career

Freshman (0-29 credits)

Adjust to the College Environment

  • Figure out why you are in college and what you want to get from your experience here.
  • Work with your advisor and ask questions to find out about services that can help you make major/career and personal decisions and use campus services.

Examine Your Skills, Interests and Values

  • What do I do well?
  • What do I like to do?
  • How do I see myself?
  • What have I accomplished in the past that I can build upon?
  • What is important to me?
  • What skills or characteristics would I like to develop?

Investigate Possibilities and Explore Your Options

  • Take "sample" courses in areas of interest.
  • Take foundation courses upon which to build additional skills.
  • Make a list of majors that sound interesting to you based on your skills, values, interests and goals. Don't eliminate anything because you don't want to take one or two difficult courses.
  • Make a firm decision and declare your major officially and make sure your decision on the major and minor is based on your career choice.
  • Keep a personal journal of major and career ideas and fantasies and collect information.
  • Look for a summer job that gives you a diverse experience with different kinds of people and ideas.

Sophomore (30-59 credits)

Investigate How Your Major May Lead to a Career

  • Talk with people in careers which interest you and get a feel for how you would like to be in their positions.
  • Familiarize yourself with such career literature and resources as the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 
  • Experience different job settings for yourself by volunteering, job shadowing or part-time employment.
  • Research information regarding job descriptions, educational requirements, entry-level jobs, status of the job market, and future predictions for your interest areas.
  • Document all your experiences in your personal journal, adding current career and job related information, keeping records of your work, and gathering letters of recommendation from supervisors. This will come in handy when you want to make an impression on prospective employers.

Learn Career Decision-Making Model

  • Evaluate the information you have gathered.
  • Evaluate the "fit" of your preliminary major and career goal.

Increase Your Personal, Communication and Leadership Skills

  • Particpate in campus activities, workshops and classes that give you an opportunity to build these skills.

Junior (60-89 credits)

Commit to Your Decision

  • Continue to build a solid set of credentials for entering the job market by seeking practical work experience.
  • Begin to consider your plan for after college, whether graduate school, professional school or employment.

Senior (90-120 credits)

Prepare for Life After Graduation

  • Prepare for your job search by writing a resume, conducting information interviews, and networking.
  • Attend workshops to assist you in learning effective job search techniques.
  • Attend job fairs and recruiting events.
  • Learn as much as you can about potential employers.
  • Conduct your job search campaign.
  • Make application to graduate school  or professional program, if appropriate.