Develop Your Four Year Plan
The four year plan is an introduction to Career Education, as well as a guide to help you through your four years at Hampden-Sydney, and beyond. It serves to help you gain the most of your time here, as well as provide you with a general timeline that will further your readiness and qualifications to obtain your career and other goals.
Download the full Career Planning Guide for this information and much more!
Freshmen: know yourself
Get to know yourself and what H-SC and Career Education has to offer.
- Begin figuring out what your values, interests, skills, and motivations are in relationship to your major and career choice.
- Become aware of the Career Education and Vocational Reflection and the resources it offers.
- Research potential career fields in relation to tentative majors.
- Develop good study skills and establish a strong GPA (some internships, scholarships, and graduate schools will require a minimum GPA for applicants).
- Visit the office of Career Education and Vocational Reflection, Bagby Hall 209, take a tour, and meet the Career Coaches!
- Consider taking one of the many self- assessments available in Career Education to learn about your skills and interests as they relate to career options.
- Schedule an appointment with a Career Coach in Career Education to start talking about what you can do now to prepare for your future.
- Work with Career Education to search for summer jobs or internships.
- Take a variety of classes you're interested in to start testing possible majors and career fields.
- Explore possible majors by discussing tentative plans with your academic advisor or professors.
- Begin developing your resume, or fine tune one you may already have.
- Register with TigerConnections (online job and internship board) and familiarize yourself with the network.
- Connect on social media to stay current with us on Facebook and Twitter (@hsccareers)
Sophomores: begin exploring your career choices
Select a major and explore your career choices
- Explore career possibilities by utilizing resources in the Career Library.
- Begin to build a personal career network.
- Decide on and declare your major and/ or minor(s).
- Meet with a Career Coach in Career Education to discuss career options and ways to gain relevant experience.
- Update, or create, your resume and learn about cover letters.
- Talk with the Career Education Office about doing an internship and how to start searching. An internship search is best if started in the early Fall semester!
- Conduct informational interviews with employers in your field of interest. Not sure where to start? Ask Career Education!
- Participate in on-campus organizations, clubs, and volunteering to gain valuable work-related skills.
- Bookmark and check the Career Education events calendar (on webpage) regularly for info sessions, workshops, and chances to meet potential employers and alumni.
- Update your information on TigerConnections, the online job/ internship board.
- Continue to study hard and maintain a solid GPA.
- Consider studying abroad for a summer or semester, or doing summer research with faculty.
- Start building a professional wardrobe and purchase a professional portfolio to use in upcoming interviews.
Juniors: take initiative to get experience
Gain career-related experience by participating in an internship, on-campus research, on-campus clubs, or job shadowing
- Learn about occupations as they relate to your interests and values.
- Gain career-related experience through a number of options.
- Consider either graduate or professional school, or a job after graduation.
- Become familiar with the internship and job search processes.
- If considering graduate school, learn about what is needed and which schools you may be interested in.
- Meet with Career Coaches at Career Education for help with the job search, resume and cover letter writing, applying to graduate school, and career guidance.
- Update your resume and learn how to write a good cover letter.
- Consider doing an internship in the summer in a field of interest.
- Attend workshops, programs, and info sessions sponsored by Career Education and take advantage of the many resources offered.
- Update info on TigerConnections and explore it frequently for internship opportunities.
- Maximize involvement with campus clubs and organizations to further develop transferable skills employers are seeking.
- Continue informational interviewing and expand your network.
- Consider studying abroad for a semester or summer.
- Participate in job shadowing and/ or volunteer and community service opportunities for career-related experiences.
- Identify professional associations related to your career interests and get involved to stay up-to-date on trends in your interest area.
- If considering graduate school, initiate conversations with your faculty to research your options. Preparefor the appropriate entrance exam.
Seniors: connect and take action
Connect with employers and begin your professional job search, OR start preparing for graduate or professional school
- Prepare for graduate or professional school.
- Learn about the job search process, and start in the Fall!
- Continue your professional networking.
- Research labor market information.
- Make an appointment with Career Coaches for help with planning your job search, writing a resume and cover letter, interviewing skills, and general career guidance.
- If you are still deciding on possible careers but unsure, consider taking one of the many self-assessments Career Education offers!
- If you are considering graduate school, start preparing applications, contacting references, and making sure you have taken the proper entrance exam.
- Update info on TigerConnections and explore it frequently for career opportunities.
- Update your resume and learn how to write a good cover letter.
- Develop a list of references and reference page to use with both graduate school and job applications.
- Continue developing your professional network of contacts. Remember social and professional networking sites can help or hinder your job search- use them wisely and remove any compromising information.
- Attend relevant job and career fairs found on the Career Education events calendar.
- Develop a list of potential employers and companies you are interested in working for.
- Participate in a mock interview with a Career Coach for interviewing practice.
- Make use of all of the job/ graduate school services and resources that Career Education offers.