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Planning Your Career
Planning for your career is an ongoing process that includes assessing yourself and exploring career and educational options. Although it appears career planning should be an orderly straightforward process, it often is not.
UMD Career and Internship Services is here to assist you. Our best advice is to start early! Learn more about how we can help by visiting our office and connecting with us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, "Peer into Your Career" blog and Pinterest.
Career Planning Process
Analyze and articulate your interests, skills, values, personality, and strengths and relate them to educational and career plans.
- Take career assessments such as Strong Interest Inventory®, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and/or CliftonStrengths for Students™ available in Career and Internship Services, and the Personal Style Inventory and/or Transferable Skills Inventory, available on the Career and Internship Services website. A similar exercise may be found on our website.
- Get involved in activities, clubs and/or organizations to test out your interests.
- Consider tentative major(s) after talking with advisors, counselors, instructors, friends, and family, and taking a variety of liberal education classes.
Once you have completed your self-assessment, your next step is to explore majors and occupations. You can then make decisions about which majors and careers best fit your interests, values, skills, strengths, abilities, and personality. The following suggestions may assist you in your exploration:
- Consult with a career counselor.
- Explore majors using the UMD website.
- Explore majors using a variety of resources available on the Career and Internship Services website including "What Can I Do With This Major?" under "Choosing a Major."
- Consider tentative major(s) and careers after talking with advisors, counselors, instructors, friends, and family, and taking a variety of liberal education classes.
- Learn the academic system: UMD Catalog, class schedule, liberal education requirements, major requirements, and course prerequisites.
- Use Grad Planner, which incorporates your coursework, to explore course requirements for various UMD majors.
- Research careers related to your interests using resources available on the Career and Internship Services website including the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the UMD Graduate Follow-up Report with information about what recent UMD graduates did the first year after graduating.
- Conduct informational interviews and career shadow professionals working in your field(s) of interest.
- Get involved: participate in student activities, clubs, organizations, volunteer opportunities and/or get a part-time job to explore your career interests, build your resume and add to your network of contacts.
- Attend internship and job fairs to collect information on possible internship and job openings and network with potential employers.
- Join professional associations and organizations and LinkedIn groups related to your interests.
- Explore graduate or professional school programs related to your interests.
Build skills and knowledge.
- Participate in internships, co-ops, research projects, clinical or field-work, part-time or summer jobs and/or volunteering to gain relevant experience and skills.
- Find an internship on GoldPASS powered by Handshake or develop your own with the help of a career counselor or the employer relations coordinator in Career and Internship Services, a faculty member or the internship coordinator in your major.
- Discuss possible research opportunities with faculty in your field(s) of interest.
- Determine your transferable skills.
- Attend job and internship fairs to explore opportunities with employers.
- Develop and maintain a portfolio of your accomplishments and work.
Obtain the skills and knowledge to seek and change jobs or gain admission to graduate or professional school.
- Discuss your strategies and options with a career counselor in Career and Internship Services.
- Write your resume and cover letter or personal statement and have them reviewed in Career and Internship Services.
- Update your portfolio containing examples of your accomplishments and work.
- Practice interviewing by participating in practice interviews with Career and Internship Services staff and/or by using InterviewStream.
- Research employers and industries and/or educational options.
- Attend job and internship fairs to network with employers and find opportunities.
- Sign-up for on-campus interviews through GoldPASS powered by Handshake.
- Identify and contact people to serve as your references.
- Continue to build and use your network of professionals.
Develop the skills to be effective in your chosen career and to make on-going career-related decisions and transitions.
- Review and update your career goals on a regular basis. As a UMD alum, you have access to all the resources and services provided by Career and Internship Services.
- Update your resume, LinkedIn profile and GoldPASS powered by Handshake account.
- Join and be active in professional associations.
- Find a mentor and/or be a mentor.
- Continue to build on and expand your accomplishments and work.