»Roadmap for Sophomores | Career, Network and Experience

Examine the possibilities for the future

Congratulations on successfully completing Freshman year!  An important milestone in the university experience has been crossed.  Now it is time to begin another important aspect of your career management program. It is time to examine more closely industries, professions, skills, and workplace cultures that are a fit as your grow professionally.

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

Identify career interests through assessment

Career Leader Assessment encourages students to identify prominent skills, interests, and motivators.  These items are then aligned with specific jobs and industries for which the student’s interests and skills are aligned.  Career Leader is built on the premise that an individual’s characteristics and interests will drive future career choices, success, and satisfaction.

Students will receive a detailed profile and ranking of workplace skills and personal/professional characteristics.  They will be provided professional assistance in interpreting assessment findings.  They will be directed to use the assessment results to begin a more close examination of possible career fields and suitable employer types.

How:  Career Leader Assessment tool is used by major colleges and universities, and Fortune 500 companies to identify skills, interests, and motivators. In the case of students, these findings will assist them in identifying their aptitude for specific career fields, employer-types and workplace environments.

Students will be notified about Career Leader and the merits of their participation.  Since this is a web-based assessment, students will be encouraged to take the three part assessment at their own pace online.  Students will be given access codes and links that will direct them to the Career Leader sign-in process.  The assessment will take about an hour to complete. Once completed, all assessment participants will be invited to a Podcast where the Career Leader CEO will conduct a Q&A session which will include the goals and benefits of the assessment, along with it short and long term uses. 

Additional workshops may follow the completion of assessment.  For additional information see Career Leader Assessment.

Develop Undergraduate Business Career Center approved resume

An approved resume is a document that outlines the student’s skills, education and experiences.  Approved means that the resume is ready to be seen by employers and is posted on the Argyros connect system at the Argyros School. 

Take-Away:  Students will complete a one page chronological resume outlining basic skills, education and work experience.  In addition students should complete a one page cover letter detailing job interests and qualifications directed towards a specific employer and/or job.

How:  Generally resume development requires several iterations. The Undergraduate Business Career Center has appointments available on Argyros Connect as well as drop-in hours. When a student’s resume is ready for an official review they will upload it to Argyros connect for approval before the resume will post. In addition the following resources are available: 

Participate as member of a professional student organization

A professional student organization is defined as an organization that assists the student in learning about working a particular professional discipline, such as marketing, accounting, finance, human resources, etc.  Such out of classroom learning experiences help students develop knowledge of specific job types, contribute to a team of students and leadership skills.

Take-Away:  Students will gain valuable experience in understanding professions, effective communication, decision making, and leadership skills.  These roles can be used to add value to resumes and cover letters when applying for internships or full-time employment.

How: Argyros School Professional Student Organizations website (Coming Soon)

List professional network with 6-10 industry contacts plus 2 faculty contacts

(This is a continuation of outreach and communication from freshmen year.) 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.

Articulate Characteristics of a High Quality Internship

To offer the most rewarding experience for the intern and employer, a high quality internship should provide:

  • Meaningful work to intern and employer, examples include, but are not limited to research, analysis, and project management
  • Performance goals that are defined and appropriate for the intern’s level of experience (graduate vs. undergraduate)
  • Opportunities for the intern to “own” or manage a distinct piece of work or deliverable
  • Supervision by a company leader/sponsor with regular feedback and coaching
  • Opportunities for the intern to meet, collaborate with, and learn from employees in the organization

Take-Away:  Upon completion of a successful internship, the student will have had: (1) work experience in their area of study, (2) a helpful supervisor and/or mentor, (3) opportunity to develop communication and critical thinking skills, and (4) levels of responsibility consistent with student growth and ability.

How:  Attend the Finding a High Quality Internship workshop

Obtain Professional Internship

A meaningful internship is one that provides a valuable learning experience for the student internee.  The target is for the student to gain experience in an industry or profession that they hold interest in.  It can be more beneficial if the experience meets the high quality standards described above.  The work can be paid or non-paid as long as it allows a student to work in a professional setting with clear expectations, while adding real-world experience to their resume.

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 experience.

How: Resources to help to obtain an internship attend business-related events, information sessions, and career fairs held throughout the year at the Argyros School and Chapman University as a whole.  Additional information is coming.

Sophomore Summer: Articulate outcomes of a successful internship experience

A successful internship experience adds to student’s ability to enter and progress professionally in the future.  It provides important perspective to the student’s understanding of how a specific industry or job type fits for them.  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:   Students should complete the Internship Template outlining summer work experience, lessons learned, and next steps in communicating with employer.

Students should also complete an Internship Evaluation Form. A summer-end evaluation completed by the student intern to describe and evaluate internship experience from a number of viewpoints.

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

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