Career Planning can be a daunting process. We may be too focused on settling into the university life in our first year; then we have to juggle our part-time jobs and personal commitments with assignments, presentations and exams. In no time we would have finished our degree but haven’t given much thought to our career.
The following checklist will help you stay focused throughout your degree and maximise your career options when you graduate.
Note: Students completing a 3-year degree program may choose to combine their second year and third year plan together. Students completing a 5-year combine degree may choose to split the third year plan. Your aim is to complete the first three lists by the beginning of your final year and be ready to market yourself to potential employers.
The Career Development Process - Your Plan to Success
Focus: Exploring interests and expanding options.
- Establish good time management and study skills.
- Join an extra-curricular activity or student club/society.
- Visit UNSW Careers and Employment to begin researching various majors and careers.
- Take courses that interest you while fulfilling your academic goals.
- Seek a part-time / casual, summer or volunteer job to gain valuable experience.
- Identify your definition of success.
Focus: Narrowing educational and occupational options.
- Decide on a major (if applicable).
- Concentrate on maintaining a competitive WAM.
- Become a leader in student organisations.
- Gather information about internships, scholarships, and study abroad opportunities.
- Attend a careers workshop on resume writing skills and take advantage of individual career advice appointments so you can begin building a professional-looking resume.
- Speak to professionals in your field of interest and set up job shadowing opportunities.
Focus: Gaining career-related work experience.
- Update your resume and get feedback from a Careers Consultant at Careers and Employment.
- Establish relationships with those professors and supervisors from whom you want recommendations.
- Continue to build practical experience through internships, part-time jobs, and student activities.
- Create a network of contacts.
- Attend careers workshops and career expos.
- Check with your course coordinators to make sure you are on track with your graduation requirements.
- Gather information on postgraduate courses if you plan to further your education.
Focus: Developing job search strategies.
- Research on graduate programs and be aware of their closing dates (around March or April).
- Attend career expos.
- Organise your job search and send out resumes (first session).
- Attend workshops on interview preparation.
- Evaluate job offers and make decisions.
- Apply for postgraduate courses if you plan to further your education.
- Talk with a career consultant to assist you in making the transition from uni to work.
For further tips and advice, please consult the UNSW Careers and Employment Office http://www.careers.unsw.edu.au/