Attallah Piazza

»Roadmap for Freshmen | Career, Network and Experience

Explore your future and your interests

“University Life” affords all students the opportunity for self-discovery and learning. Freshmen in particular are encouraged to ask questions, join clubs and form relationships with peers and faculty.  The career emphasis during freshman year is also a time for students to begin exploring the many career fields available to them. This is accomplished by introducing students to career management resources on the roadmap and basic tools needed to successfully launch exploration of their future.

Once a student has familiarized themselves with university life and their coursework routine during fall term, the spring term will provide a great opportunity for exploring career options through research, attending professional events, and by interacting with faculty and advisors at the Argyros School and beyond.

Next: Go to Academic Roadmap for Freshmen | Career Roadmap for Sophomores

Describe services offered by Undergraduate Business Career Center

Dedicated solely to business students, the center serves as a resource to help prepare students develop a career plan and job readiness strategies such as: resume and cover letter writing, interviewing preparation, job search and networking skills, and self-awareness through individual career coaching appointments.

Take-Away:  Students will be able to describe primary services of the center.  Based on career development needs, students will utilize appropriate resources and be exposed to career and employment opportunities through events and individualized career coaching appointments. 

How:   Step Up. Stand Out. Start Now.  For more information visit Argyros School’s Undergraduate Business Career Center website.

Identify personal strengths through assessment

Strengths Finder (a product of Gallup Inc.) is a web-based personal assessment tool developed to assist students to outline a student’s five major strengths out of 34 presented. Strengths Finder focuses on building strengths rather than on weaknesses. It is believed that a student’s knowledge of these personal themes (strengths) will encourage them to further develop their strengths to easily excel in academic and professional settings.

Take-Away:  Students will identify their five personal themes or primary strengths.

How:  In order to encourage broad participation in the Strengths Finder assessment, students will be provided with information on the goal, benefits, and follow-up involved in taking the assessment. Interested students will be given an access code and the steps to take following completion of the assessment.

Assessment takers will be provided with general insight into how to integrate their own assessment results into personal and career development initiatives.  Initial emphasis on the application of strengths will consider the translation of strengths into academic success, and in creating more positive interaction with friends, family and classmates. Students can also receive professional assistance in the interpretation of strengths finder results.  Looking forward students can compare their personal strengths to their business-related goals and opportunities.

More information is coming soon. In the meantime see the Strengths Finder Website.

Construct a first resume

A resume is a document that outlines skills, education and experiences so employers can see “at a glance” how a student can contribute to the workplace.  It remains the most important document used in presenting one’s case for being selected for employment.

Take-Away:   Student will possess a one page resume, in chronological format, to use when applying for part-time employment or internship.

How:  One way to create a first resume is based on the Argyros School template.  The template outlines the primary categories to consider when developing the initial resume.  See also these resources: 

Summarize experience from at least 2 professional speaker or career events

A “professional event” is a meeting, usually consisting of at least some people from the private, public or not-for-profit sector, who convene to share current practices, network, and encourage new members to grow and contribute.  As part of their career exploration phase, students will select events that assist in their learning about the professional “real world,” and to interact with those who are prominent in it, and who can pass on information and tips.

Take-Away:  Students can describe one or two new lessons learned from being in attendance at each event.  In particular, details about certain jobs and industries are particularly important as it pertains to identifying opportunities in the future.

How:  Attend business-related events, information sessions, and career fairs held throughout the year at the Argyros School and Chapman University as a whole.  See Argyros School page for upcoming events.

List professional network with 3-5 industry contacts plus 1 faculty contact

Professional networks are a way of establishing and maintaining a current and ever expanding contact list of those who are willing and supportive collaborators to access students to job leads, information, and interviews.  Professional networks are the most essential component of job search success.

Take-Away:  A documented list of professional contacts.

How:  Students must learn the basic steps of successful networking and begin to establish contacts who will be helpful in gaining opportunities.  Resources to achieve this include:

  • Networking Checklist.  This document breaks down the steps a student should take in developing, expanding and maintaining a viable network.
  • Network Tracking Sheet.  A simple excel spread sheet that contains categories to complete once a student has made a contact i.e., name, contact info, status, comments.
  • Initial Networking Prospects List.  Provides a list of people and professionals a student should consider when developing a network for the first time i.e., roommate, dentist, sports coach, business associates of parents, etc.

Freshman Summer

Work experience adds to student’s ability to enter and progress professionally in the future.  Employers identify previous work experience as essential in their hiring decisions.

Take-Away:  Students will obtain valuable experience and resume building material.  Students will be prepared to take on progressively more responsible job duties which will build on their previous experiences.

How:  There are various resources available to gain some work experience, but the most valuable network could be your personal network during your first year. Don’t forget to consider student employment on campus or a non-profit organization. The goal is to gain work experience, but does not require that you be paid. Civic engagement is a great addition to a resume and gives students exposure in the community. As students gain more contacts it is helpful to use the Network Tracking Sheet as a personal record. For more information on a job or internship visit Argyros Connect. Additional materials coming soon.

Next: Go to Academic Roadmap for Freshmen | Career Roadmap for Sophomores

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