Planning for Your Future

The four year plan is a guide to help you through your four years at Hampden-Sydney and beyond. It will help you gain the most of your time here, and provide you with a general timeline to get you closer to your career goals.

Freshmen     ||     Sophomores     ||     Juniors     ||     Seniors

Download the full Career Planning Guide for this information and much more!

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 Office 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 Career Education Office, 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 to develop a plan!
  • 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 THE H-SC job and internship board.
  • 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 - Bagby 213.
  • 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? Schedule an appointment!
  • Participate in on-campus organizations, clubs, and volunteering to gain valuable work-related skills.
  • Bookmark and check the Career Education events calendar 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 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.