Student Academic/Career Timeline

Graduation may seem a long ways off, but it is never too early to start planning a career path. This represents a possible time-line of college major and career related activities for a typical University of St. Thomas student. Situations may differ from student to student. This time-line is designed as a tool to guide you through the process wherever you are on the career/life planning continuum.

The Career Development Center encourages students to begin this process early so that they may experience more, and less harried, options early on.

Phase I (Typically First or Sophomore Year)

Exploring your surroundings and self

  • Focus on the university's required curriculum by registering for diverse courses (Humanities and fine arts, science and math, social sciences, etc.).
  • Locate valuable resources such as Academic Counseling, the Center for Writing, Campus Life, and the Career Development Center. You may wish to check out UST's A to Z Index for more links.
  • Make an appointment with a career specialist in the Career Development Center to assess your interests, values, personality, and explore majors and careers.
  • Take inventories to examine and clarify your strengths and how those are related to various majors and career fields.
  • Explore majors through the Academic Counseling website.
  • Visit the campus bookstore to take a look at the required texts for various majors.
  • Visit with your freshman adviser about course offerings.
  • Interview people you know about their careers. (Questions and handouts are available in Career Development Resource Center.)
  • Become involved in student activities.
  • Look for a summer job that interests you and may be related to a career field you are exploring.
  • Make a list of student and work activities for your resume.

Phase II (Sophomore/Junior Year)

Selecting a college major and career direction

Phase III (Junior/Senior Year)

Build your resume portfolio though academic and life experiences

  • Take intermediate and advanced courses that would make you marketable. Get a feel for your major.
  • Check with your academic adviser early to make sure you are on track for graduation.
  • Use On-Campus Interviewing or the Job/Internship listings to find an internship for next year.
  • Network and attend career events.
  • Check with the Alumni Association for information on Take a Tommy to Lunch, First Fridays, and the Alumni Mentorship Program.
  • Attend seminars offered by the Career Development Center.
  • Conduct research on employers hiring in your career field.
  • Get to know professors in your major's department.
  • Continue involvement with student clubs and organizations and move into leadership roles.
  • Schedule an informational interview with someone in your career field.

Phase IV (Senior+ Year)

Execute your plan to attain your desired goals

  • Take courses in your major that are of particular interest to you.
  • Revise and update your resume. Also, make an appointment early to go over your resume and arrange a mock interview.
  • Learn to write cover letters.
  • Attend seminars offered by the Career Development Center.
  • Continue to network and attend career events. Join the Alumni Sharing Knowledge group on LinkedIn.
  • Visit the Resource Center or Career LibGuides online to research market trends, job search strategies, salary negotiations, interviewing skills, and resume writing.
  • Collect names of people willing to be references or write letters of recommendation for graduate school.
  • Participate in Fall or Spring On-Campus Interviewing and the Minnesota's Private Colleges Job Fair in February to secure a job after you graduate.