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!

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.