Create a Career Plan
Creating a career plan can help you get the most out of your time at MSU and better prepare you for life after graduation. Regardless of your career interests, it’s important to take the right classes and get good grades, pursue work and internship opportunities, and be involved in campus activities. Most professional jobs require a wide range of demonstrated skills, accomplishments, and work-related experiences.
Use your time at MSU to explore your options, prepare professionally, and make connections. Engage in activities (like the ones listed below) throughout your time on campus to become more well-rounded and to find a career path that is meaningful to you. Plan to meet with a career advisor often to work through the steps.
In the Explore stage, learn about your skills and interests, and explore potential career options.
- Take a career assessment to identify your interests, skills, and personality
- Find a part-time job to gain experience
- Explore industries using tools like Candid Career or Vault and by attending Career Exposure events to learn from professionals in the field
- Look at the Career Outcomes page to see what alumni from different majors have gone on to do
- Attend a Career Trek or Coffee Chat to meet with professionals
- Join campus clubs or find a volunteer/service learning opportunity. These can be related to your intended major (or not) and are a great opportunity to explore your interests and make connections
- Research graduate/professional school paths
- Consider Education Abroad opportunities to immerse yourself in another culture
Move onto the Prepare stage once you have some ideas of your interests. Prepare your documents and develop professional skills to get ready for applications.
- Create or update a professional resume and cover letter
- Create a LinkedIn profile
- Conduct informational interviews to learn more and build relationships in your field
- Attend workshops or review CSN’s online resources to learn more about preparing for your future career or graduate school process
- Use InterviewStream to practice your interviewing skills
- Attend career fairs to begin networking with organizations and learn about job and internship opportunities
- Prepare for and take any required tests for graduate or professional school (e.g. GRE, MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, etc.)
- Seek leadership opportunities in campus clubs, part-time jobs, etc.
Move onto the Connect stage when you are ready to apply for roles or programs. Use the networking connections and professional skills you have developed as you apply for opportunities.
- Use LinkedIn and MSU Connect to connect with professionals or find a mentor
- Develop a search strategy and timeline
- Attend career fairs to network and find jobs and internships
- Apply for jobs, internships, or graduate school
- Complete the Destination Survey to help future Spartans see what students from your major go on to do after graduation
Research shows that your professional purpose is important. Basically, when people have a strong sense of purpose in life, they tend to be happier and more successful. Students who feel a sense of purpose are more likely to achieve higher grades, engage in deep and meaningful learning, graduate from college, and be healthy (psychologically and physically). Young adults who have a sense of purpose after college are more likely to be satisfied in their life and work.
Purpose is defined as:
- The feeling of being determined to do or achieve something
- The aim or goal of a person
- What a person is trying to do or become
You can begin to explore purpose by examining your:
- Skills and Abilities (what you’re good at)
- Passions and interests (what you like to do)
- Work/Life Values (what is important to you)
- Societal Needs (ways you want to help others)