Junior Year Four-Year Career Action Plan
You have selected a major and are narrowing your career choices. Your Junior Year is a key year for keeping in touch with career services and participating in activities that prepare you for the workplace or grad school. Heighten your research into career options, prepare your resume, complete an internship, and hone your leadership skills.
- Work with Your Career Services Office
The office of career services can assist you in preparing your résumé, setting up internships, providing resources for career exploration and graduate school selection, and equip you with all the information you need to best utilize your last two years of college. Set up appointments with the career services counselor throughout the year to make sure you are on track. Use all of the career services resources available to you.
- Create an Account With Bridgewater's Career Services Center
Get connected to jobs and great career information through Bridgewater's career services center. Interface directly with employers, post your résumé online, and enjoy access to employers who are interested in hiring the Bridgewater graduate. A great way to manage your job search and get connected to employers who want to connect with you.
- Network with On-Campus Recruiters and Participate in Job and Career Fairs
Networking in your Junior year will help you build the contacts you need once you are ready to job search. The more information you gain now, the better it will serve you as a graduate. Check the calendar of events regularly for on-campus recruiting visits, job and career fairs, and other networking opportunities. Be prepared to hand out a great résumé for marketing yourself.
- Prepare an Exceptional Résumé and Cover Letter
There are many resources available to help you develop a resume that will get you noticed by the employer. You are also welcome to work one-on-one with the career services Counselor to personalize your presentation. Check out our online résumés and cover letters section, visit our career resources center library, or take advantage of our resume workshops. Check the calendar of events for dates and times.
- Participate in an Internship and/or Study Abroad Programs
Employers and grad schools want to see more than coursework from serious-minded career seekers. The competition for jobs and for acceptance into a grad school program can be vigorous. By participating in opportunities that allow for firsthand observation and experience, you become a more attractive candidate. Internships allow you to observe your career choice in action, gain hands-on experience, and network with professionals in your chosen field. Internships help ease the transition from school to workplace, look great on a résumé, help develop professional references, and provide the edge to compete for jobs or entrance into graduate school programs. Study abroad programs provide you with experience like no other. International studies programs increase self-confidence, impact world view, influence cultural interaction, ignite interest in a career direction, and develop a global perspective beneficial to the job market of today.
- Read Professional Journals and Browse Websites Related to Your Career Interest
By reading journals and searching websites that are dedicated to your chosen career, you gain industry knowledge. These resources are valuable for reading up on cutting edge practices, identifying employers, and acclimating yourself to the expectations of you as a viable employee.
- Upgrade Your Communication Skills
Strong communication skills are key to success in the interview. Make opportunities to practice and hone your skills by participating in mock interviews, conducting informational interviews, making speeches, participating in class discussions, and taking on leadership roles in clubs and organizations. Your written communication skills are critical as well. Practice writing cover letters, refer to business writing manuals, and seek second opinions from the career service counselor, English professor, or a professional in the field.
- Research Potential Graduate School Programs and Prepare to Take Entrance Exams
If you are thinking about attending graduate school it is important to have an understanding of the rigors of the program, the application process, expectations for entrance, time lines, required admission tests, competition for admittance, and expected outcomes. There is a great deal of information available on graduate school programs available through the graduate school information link as well as the career resource center.
- Update Your Career Portfolio
Your portfolio should include your resume, sample cover letter, list of references, internships, offices and titles, class projects, extracurricular activities, awards, acknowledgements, service-learning experiences, and other related information. Think ahead to the types of activities you would like to see added in your Senior year.
- Know Why Employers Hire the Liberal Arts Graduate
Employers are interested in hiring liberal arts students because they open their minds to new concepts. They explore the world around them. They are conscious of how they fit into their environment. They are critical thinkers. They are flexible in thought and action. They think globally. They are idea generators. They are problem solvers. They are team players. They are future leaders. Make the most of your experience here at Bridgewater College and become an exceptional liberal arts student and graduate.
- Stay active in leadership roles with clubs and organizations
- Develop relationships with professors, upper class students and alumni
- Participate in activities that give you more insight into your career choice
- Concentrate on studies and keep grades high
- Keep a healthy balance between your social life and academic life