Start your professional success here.

As a student the demands and pressures of deciding what to do after college can be overwhelming. It is often hard to know when or where you should begin preparing for your future professional career. It is never too early to start and our Career Services team will assist you every step of the way.

The Student Career Roadmap below offers advice about which career "mile markers" you should reach during each year of college. Find where you are on the Student Roadmap and begin preparing for your future today.

Select your Place on the roadmap:

Freshman year is about exploration. This year take time to explore your interests, skills, campus activities, university programs, and opportunities.

Roadmap Mile Markers:

  1. Take a self assessment quiz

    Our Career Services team has programs, such as FOCUS 2, which assess your skills and interests. These programs will help you to determine which of your interests and passions to develop into a career.

  2. Research majors and minors

    Speaking with your advisor, shadowing professionals, and meeting with our career counselor are great ways to research which areas of study best match your skills and interests.

  3. Join campus organizations

    Campus organizations will enable you to form friendships with a wide range of people and to put into action what you are learning in the classroom. Semester involvement expos provide information about which organizations we have on campus and how to join them.

During your sophomore year you should build on the foundation set during your freshman year. Selecting a major and developing tentative career goals are important objectives for your sophomore year.

Roadmap Mile Markers:

  1. Begin creating your resume

    Your resume should reflect your college involvement and achievements. During your sophomore year you will have enough information to create a first draft or "skeleton" resume to build during the rest of your years at college.

  2. Job shadow and volunteer

    Job shadowing will give you the opportunity to see firsthand what a specific career or job will be like while also creating a professional network. Volunteering is a good way to gain experience within a certain profession and creates shadowing opportunities within that organization.

  3. Choose a major and apply to the program

    In order to graduate in four years it is important to choose your program of study while there is plenty of time to complete it. This is where your research and shadowing will be put to use.

  4. Register on Marauder Jobs

    Marauder Jobs (www.umary.edu/marauderjobs) will give you access to exclusive University of Mary job and internship offers as well as an employer directory. You can upload your resume and store the results from your self-assessment tests.

In your junior year it is important to prepare yourself for entry into a specific career field or application to a graduate school by putting into practice the training and preparation from freshman and sophomore years.

Roadmap Mile Markers:

  1. Research potential graduate schools or future employers

    By this time you should have some idea of whether you want to enter graduate school or begin working immediately after graduation. Researching potential graduate programs or employers will enable you to make more informed decisions about your future.

  2. Apply for and accept an internship

    Taking an internship during your junior year (instead of waiting until your senior year) will give you time to potentially complete more than one internship. The experience gained from multiple internships will give you a competitive advantage when applying for jobs after graduation.

  3. Take on leadership roles

    Campus organizations will be looking for upper classmen to step up and take on more responsibility. Leadership roles in organizations are a great resume booster and opportunity for phenomenal experiential learning which will set you apart from other candidates.

  4. Begin building a professional network

    It is important to build a personal professional network. Attending employer information sessions and participating in job fairs and career nights are a great way to meet potential employers and practice your interviewing skills. Organizations like TEDx and 1 Million Cups are also good opportunities for networking and learning.

Seniors applying to graduate school should be actively pursuing acceptance into multiple programs and seeking funding opportunities.

Roadmap Mile Markers:

  1. Track application deadlines

    Creating a timeline to keep track of your application deadlines will help you to complete applications on time, with as little stress as possible. Using a calendar or planner is the easiest way to create and utilize this timeline.

  2. Decide which graduate program to attend

    When the applications are complete and you have received acceptance, it is important to carefully determine which program gives you the best offer. Weigh the positives and negatives of each program and accept whichever offer most clearly fits your needs and goals.

  3. Seek out funding resources

    Research and apply for alternative funding sources during your senior year. For example, some companies may pay for the higher education costs of their employees. Research assistant positions and private scholarships are other alternative funding sources that will make the cost of graduate school less burdensome.

Begin actively implementing your skills and experiences by seeking employment opportunities.

Roadmap Mile Markers:

  1. Identify employers and geographic areas of interest

    You've learned a lot from self-assessments, internships, volunteering, job shadowing, and other career building opportunities. Now, use the knowledge you've gained to identify which employers and geographic areas are the best fit. Do not simply grab the first offer you receive. Carefully consider which positions will yield the greatest opportunities in the future.

  2. Solidify resume and cover letter

    It is essential that your resume and cover letter accurately and professionally reflect who you are and what you have achieved. Send your resume and cover letter to multiple advisors and mentors for critiques and polishing. Our Career Services team is ready to review both your resume and cover letter to provide helpful feedback.

  3. Continue building a professional network

    Build and take advantage of the network you have developed throughout your college carer. Career networking programs, like Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Group, provide an established base on which to build a professional network. Take advantage of opportunities it provides!