What do you want to be when you grow up?
The answer to that question is supposed to get easier as you get older. It doesn’t. For many college students, thinking about a future career is complicated and confusing.
Many freshmen have not decided on a major, and of those who have, 80 percent will change their major at least once, according to ABC News. Students have many options when choosing a major and a potential career path: Millersville offers over 80 programs of study for undergrads.
To assist students in their goals, Millersville has the Office of Experiential Learning and Career Management (ELCM). It’s not complicated: Millersville wants students to reach their professional goals, and the ELCM was created to help.
“We’re a one stop shop for students needs,” says Melissa Wardwell, Interim Director of ECLM. The ELCM office offers students resume critiquing, career counseling, and holds programs throughout the year to help engage students in finding and pursuing their career path.
One of the ways that ELCM helps students with the career search is their 4 Year Career Plan. The plan is laid out with each year of college bringing the student closer to their chosen career path and a fulfilling job.
Though the plan is arranged in class order that does not mean students can’t use the programs or ideas from another class year.
“There is a lot of crossover in the plan,” says Wardwell, “All students might find things of use in a different class year.”
The ECLM 4 Year Career Plan can be found on their website and features interactive links to resources for students. The 4 Year Career Plan looks like this:
Freshman Year (Focus on Your Future): ELCM offers FOCUS, a web assessment to “explore how you fit into different career fields” which they advise students take, as well as checking out MU’s “Get Involved” page to find clubs and activities that interest you. Students can also log onto MU Career Connection to find jobs, register for career events and connect with potential employers.
Sophomore Year (Explore Career Options): Start looking into career paths for your chosen major/field. Check out the “What Can I Do With This Major” website for ideas and access The Campus Career Coach for plenty of professional resources. Students should create/update a resume and start developing a personal brand. Now is also a great time to start looking into internships, study abroad, and volunteer opportunities through Volunteer Central.
Junior Year (Discover Job Opportunities): Use social media, like LinkedIn (which is becoming a huge trend professionally) to further develop your personal brand. If you are interested in an internship, now is a great time to start looking into one and planning for it. Attend the Job and Internship Fair. These are great opportunities to connect with potential employers and get your resume out there.
Senior Year (Succeed in the Workplace or Graduate School): Research potential employers and update your resume and cover letter. Check out job fairs both on and off campus. Go to graduate school fairs and take admissions tests early.
The ECLM office gives students many great resources and tools to aid in their job search and to start them on the right career path. In addition to checking out their website (Millersville.edu/ELCM) you can follow them on twitter @MUCAREER.
The 4 Year Career Plan helps students reach their goals and help keep them motivated throughout their college years. It encourages students to follow the most important step in the plan: seize the opportunity