Four-Year Checklist

First Year & Sophomore Year

Explore
During your first and second years at Cornell, spend time learning about yourself. You can do this by paying attention to the subjects you most enjoy, by participating in activities, and by talking with other students about career ideas and possibilities. In addition, you will want to discover the resources available to you on campus to help you plan your career.

Steps to help you:

  • Begin to develop a relationship with your Faculty Advisor. You can talk about courses, majors, requirements and other academic concerns.
  • Schedule an individual appointment with a Career Engagement staff member to get started on career planning and begin developing your resume. (It's never too soon to start!)
  • Complete the Strong Interest Inventory available in the Career Engagement Center.
  • Identify five to ten careers to explore in depth.
  • Spend some time on the Career Engagement Center's website to identify career options.
  • Attend career Programs and Events to hear alumni talk about their jobs and career paths.
  • Conduct Informational Interviews with alumni and other professionals to gather specific information.
  • Browse the job announcements on the JIVE Network and check job postings to learn about current job markets.
  • Include volunteer opportunities into your schedule.
  • Choose a major by February of your sophomore year.
  • Begin planning an Internship experience.

Junior Year

Focus
At this point, you ideally will want to narrow your career choices and make some tentative career decisions. During your junior year you can begin to explore career alternatives in depth, gain additional and relevant experience and talk with alumni who are experienced in your field of interest. 

 Steps to help you:

  • Schedule an individual Career Advising Appointment to meet with a staff member to discuss your career plans and options.
  • Update your résumé with newly gained experiences and skills
  • Identify two or three careers to research in depth.
  • Schedule a meeting with your advisor and other members of the faculty to review and adjust your plans.
  • Take specific and necessary courses to complete your major and focus on your career.
  • Look for part-time and/or summer employment positions which are in your specific field.
  • Secure an Internship or volunteer position directly related to your career planning.
  • Gather information about potential job opportunities and research potential employers
  • Plan to attend Programs and Events which include alumni/ae panelists to hear about their jobs and career planning process.
  • Begin or continue to conduct more Informational Interviews.
  • Begin researching Graduate School.
  • Look for relevant summer employment and/or volunteer opportunities.
  • Register and prepare for any graduate Admission Tests (e.g. GRE, MCAT, GAT, LSAT).

Senior Year

Just Do It!
Your senior year is full of activities which include researching projects, completing major requirements, attending senior functions and saying good-bye to faculty, staff and friends. It is also important to begin your job search or complete the graduate school application process. It is time to begin to plan for life after Cornell. 

 Steps to help you:

  • Meet with your advisor to finalize academic plans.
  • Set up specific internships and/or volunteer opportunities.
  • Join professional associations and attend meetings and conferences.
  • Develop and practice effective Interviewing skills.
  • Set up an individual appointment with a CEC staff member to have your resume and cover letters finalized.
  • Obtain at least three Letters of Recommendation from faculty, internship supervisors and employers.
  • Utilize the CEC's Career Resources including career books and links, alumni networking information, job postings, etc.
  • Begin your comprehensive Job Search and/or complete Graduate School application materials.