Photo of Linda Flynn advising a student.

Four Year Career Development Plan

Freshmen Year: College Awareness

  • Learn about the university, the Montclair community, and visit your Career Services advisor in University Hall Suite 2154 to learn about the resources and services that are available.
  • Get to know faculty, counselors and academic advisors
  • Enhance involvement to build skills (join campus organizations, become active in sports and/or participate in community activities).
  • Begin to develop your Career Goals based on your interests and strengths; align academic planning with these factors
  • Develop effective time management skills for success. Managing Time for Success in College (PDF)
  • Create good study habits and maintain a strong GPA (if needed seek faculty assistance or a tutor from the Academic Success Center)

Sophomore Year: Self- Assessment and Career and Occupational Exploration

  • Explore your interests, personality, values and life goals through career assessment inventories such as Focus 2.
  • Participate in workshops held by Career Services including Resume Writing, Interviewing Skills, Job Search, etc.
  • Attend career fairs and develop employer contacts so you can explore career possibilities. Try to schedule an Informational Interview.
  • Consider a semester studying abroad.  Talk to an academic advisor about how it will fit into your academic program of study.
  • Continue to participate in clubs/ organizations. Think about taking on a leadership role.
  • Research employment opportunities and employment statistics (rate of growth, salary trends) for your major.  This can be done by accessing the Occupational Outlook Handbook

Junior Year: Experiential Learning

  • Re-explore your interests, personality, values and life goals through career assessment inventories, as well as develop specific work-related criteria (location, size of business, opportunities for growth, benefits).
  • Learn about internship and co-op and begin to explore these opportunities so you can gain important related work experience.
  • Pursue an internship, volunteer work, research project and summer or part-time job related to your interests in order to continue to gain experiences.
  • Attend the Montclair State University Career Fair: make contacts and network with professionals.
  • Ask professors and employers for recommendation letters.
  • Create an “interview portfolio.”
  • Update your resume and cover letter to include any experiential education experiences you have completed.
  • Consider a second co-op or internship experience. You can never have too much experience!
  • If you intend to attend graduate school, now is the time to start preparing.  Research admissions policies and requirements.  Participate in strategy sessions and practice tests for the appropriate entrance exam.

Senior Year: Career Planning Focus- Job Search and/or Graduate School

  • File your final audit.
  • Refine resume and meet with a Career Advisor to have it critiqued.
  • Practice interviewing in person and through Mock Interviews held by Career Services.
  • Take entrance exams for graduate or professional school early on in senior year and complete applications (Be aware of deadlines!)
  • Spread the news! Tell people you are graduating.  This is another great way to network, network, network!
  • Research potential employers and review literature from businesses, school districts and government agencies.
  • Apply and interview for positions. 

In addition to these steps outlined above, there are a handful of things you should be completing each year:

  • Continually update your resume.
  • Contact and/or visit the Career Services Center located in University Hall 2154.
  • Use the tools on the Career Services website to further your knowledge of yourself, of careers, and of career requirements.
  • Attend workshops held by the Career Services Center.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to review your academic program.
  • Strive to gain and maintain the strongest GPA possible.
  • Gain as much knowledge as you can about your areas of interest through contacts, mentoring, work experience and volunteer opportunities.
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with your professors and employers.