Sophomore Year Four-Year Action Plan
Now is the time to start thinking seriously about your major/career choice. From this point forward, you will want to spend time mapping your course selection with purpose. It is a time to build leadership skills, start developing professional relationships, and set the groundwork for the things you would like to pursue in the future, such as internships, graduate school and employment.
- Continue to Do Everything You Did in "Freshman Year"
As a sophomore, you will delve deeper into the things you did as a Freshman in preparing for a major or a career choice. Continue to explore your interests. Collect more information on career choices and determining which major would best suit your professional desires. Join clubs and organizations. Talk to professors, students, and alumni. Pay attention to your studies. And take full advantage of the activities and workshops offered through career services. Only this year, do it with the intent to reach a decision about your major and your career goal.
- Make an Appointment with Your Career Services Counselor
Talk with the career services counselor about your career goals. Your counselor will help you plan a strategy for preparing for the job search or for grad school. Your counselor will be able to direct you to a wide array of resources as well as work with you one-on-one every step of the way.
- Make a Decision About Your Major/Career Choice
Even if you are not 100% sure about your choice of majors, select one that interests you. Streamlining your major selection will help you get the focus you need to make a decision about your career. You can begin mapping out your course load and determining the subject matter you need to know in order to establish a career path. If you continue to conduct career research while you study, you will soon know if you would like to switch majors.
- Collect Samples of Academic and Extracurricular Accomplishments in Your Career Portfolio
Your portfolio begins to take shape. Include descriptions of projects you completed in class and in your extracurricular activities. Think ahead to the types of activities you would like to see added in the coming years. Create the pages and then fill them in as you achieve your goals.
- Use Volunteerism to Explore Career Options Firsthand
Service-Learning experiences specifically related to educational and professional goals can enhance employment résumés and graduate school applications by demonstrating practical experience in the field and ethical concern for the community. You may also want to look into volunteer opportunities outside of the service-learning boundaries. Many organizations welcome and need volunteers on a continuous basis.
Good experience + good citizenship = a strategic advantage in the highly competitive job and graduate school markets.
- Think About Internship and Study Abroad Options for the Next Two Years
Serious-minded career developers perform one or more internships in preparation for grad school or the job market. 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 may provide the edge you need 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.
- Look into Summer Jobs Related to Your Career Interest
Taking part-time or summer employment with organizations and businesses that are related to your field is a great way to get a firsthand look at the daily operations and tasks involved in doing the job. Take advantage of job shadowing opportunities, talking to the experts about career pathways, and performing your job well - there may be opportunities for employment down the line.
- Take on Leadership Roles in Clubs and Organizations
Run for office, take on projects, and exercise your leadership skills. Positions of responsibility look great on résumés and demonstrate to employers that you are a leader. Employers read a great deal into leadership roles including your abilities to manage, speak in public, build a team, motivate, organize, and handle multiple priorities.
- Develop Relationships with Professors, Upper Class Students, and Alumni
There is no better place to find great advice than from those with experience. Take advantage of the wonderful resources available to you right here on campus. Professors and upperclassmen are happy to share their advice and experiences with you in order to assist you with your career pathway. Bridgewater's alumni mentoring program offers students the opportunity to talk to graduates working in the field. They are eager to assist a fellow eagle make the right career choice.
- 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.