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Explore, Experience, Engage, Emerge

What's your four-year plan?

Click here to download this checklist in printable format.

Freshman Year: EXPLORE

  • Create your profile on the ACE Connect where you will be able to upload a resume and connect with employers for future internships and jobs, and make an appointment with a career advisor to get acquainted with our services and resources. Need help writing or editing a resume? Drop in during walk-in hours for some one-on-one help.
  • Clarify your interests, values, skills and personality as they relate to potential occupations and professional activities (take a career assessment, such as the PathwayU online assessment).
  • Research career fields and occupations to determine what might be the best fit for you. Meet with a career counselor if you need help exploring options.
  • Start or revise your resume to apply for on-campus student employment or a part-time job elsewhere in the community.
  • Experience a variety of academic courses to help determine your areas of interest. Get to know your professors and take advantage of their office hours!
  • Get involved on campus with student groups and organizations, sports, or community activities.
  • Ask your career adviser for connections to professionals to conduct informational interviews and job shadows.
  • Make the grades and maintain a 3.0 GPA or above. Attend the Study Skills workshops and seek the help of peer tutors if needed from ACE. See the current schedule under "Quick Links." 

Sophomore Year: EXPERIENCE

  • Check in with your career advisor and revise and update your resume if needed. Continue your career exploration and research. Add to your professional online presence by creating a LinkedIn profile.
  • Connect with alumni through the BenU Network to complete informational interviews and job shadowing experiences to learn more your projected career path and feel more confident in your decisions.
  • Pursue leadership roles in co-curricular activities such as student organizations and volunteer efforts. 
  • Seek part-time employment in a professional environment. Look at student employment opportunities on campus or other opportunities off campus through the two virtual career centers. Ask for help in revising your resume.
  • Declare your major. If you aren't certain about selecting a major, make an appointment to complete a career assessment through your academic advisor and with ACE.
  • Research and start to apply for externships and internships.
  • Look into additional experiential learning opportunities, such as study abroad.

Junior Year: ENGAGE

  • Make an appointment with your career advisor. Update your job search documents (resume and cover letter) and LinkedIn page.
  • Participate in internships and externships in your field.
  • Attend the BenU and CCCI internship and career fairs.
  • Research the job market in your areas of interest as well as graduate school. Utilize resources in the Career Resource Library to help in your research. Take practice entrance exams.
  • Attend workshops on preparing for graduate school, career and internship fairs.
  • Do your best to continue earning good grades. Remember employers and graduate schools often look for a 3.0 GPA and above.
  • Build your networking and interviewing skills. Attend networking events produced by ACE and the Office of Alumni Relations. Continue to utilize the BenU Network and remember to check in with your professional mentors.
  • Schedule a practice interview with your career advisor.
  • Attend a study abroad program, building your intercultural appreciation, language and communication skills, flexibility and adaptability.

Senior Year: EMERGE

  • Check in with ACE and review your campus-to-career plan. Reflect on all you have accomplished so far and do a skills assessment - what skills have you developed throughout all of your experiences as a college student?
  • Update your job search documents and LinkedIn profile. Set your job search objectives, create a timeline and keep a log of activities.
  • Submit your updated job search documents to the ACE Connect.
  • Determine the parameters of your job search: geographic location, size and type of company you wish to work for, field, etc.
  • Identify target companies and organizations. Talk to your career advisor about how to tailor your cover letters and other documents to your targeted companies.
  • Continue networking: Attend events on campus and through professional associations of particular interest to you.
  • Actively seek, apply and interview for entry-level jobs. Participate in on-campus interviews when available; attend CCCI CareerFest; apply to jobs posted online; rely on your developing network for news about potential jobs that would be a good match for you.
  • Make an appointment to do a practice interview with your career advisor. Research starting salaries in your industry and talk about when and how to negotiate.
  • Begin building your professional wardrobe. Continue to attend networking events and practice professional communication and etiquette.
  • Good luck, and keep in touch! Let your career advisor know when you have accepted an internship or full-time position.
academic and career enrichment center logo

Goodwin Hall, Room 214
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m
For additional information, contact ACE@ben.edu or (630) 829-6041.