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Starting along your career development process is exciting, and yet a bit overwhelming. Use this guide for information, links and action steps that you can follow through the four stages of your career development process –– explore, connect, experience and succeed. Review this resource, use it as a catalyst to pursue career and academic aspirations, and contact Career Development for additional information and guidance. There is a downloadable / printable version of this checklist available here.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Stage One: Explore
Stage Two: Connect
Stage Three: Experience
Stage Four: Succeed

STAGE ONE: EXPLORE

This is all about new experiences and exploring your interests. You are encouraged to try new activities, volunteer, and get invovled on campus.

  • Get in contact with Career Development so we can help you throughout your college experience. We can assist you with finding your passions and interests, mapping out career ideas, and much more!
  • Attend the Involvement Fair to learn about Linfield activities and how to get involved on campus!
  • Get involved in one or two on-campus activities.
  • Attend the DIVE Event to learn about and apply for internships, local jobs and campus employment!
  • Follow LinfieldCareer: 
  • Explore classes from different fields of study to begin to identify a desired major.
  • Get acquainted with the Linfield College catalog
  • Strive for academic success in the classroom.
  • Begin to build relationships with a couple of your favorite professors (use the “coffee/lunch date” voucher given in colloquium).
  • Learn how to use Cat Connect so you can apply for jobs, internships, leadership and volunteer positions. For more volunteering information check out the Office of Community Engagement & Service!
  • Update or create a resume of the activities and experiences you have. Visit the Career Hub (Melrose 010) to get your resume critiqued!
  • Take the Career Liftoff Survey to gain insight into your career interests.
  • Visit What Can I Do with this Major.com to get ideas about careers in your fields of interest.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Linfield Career Development website.
  • Seek out resources to adapt to life at Linfield. A great directory is available here.
  • Map out a 4-year plan of which classes you can take and when, to ensure that you can graduate on time. Academic Advising is a great resource!
  • Find out about the study abroad options offered. Is this something you might want to pursue?

STAGE TWO: CONNECT

Assess your interests and hone in on what you want your major(s) to be. Start going to departmental activities and attend career events to be mindful of what is to come in the future.

  • Think about joining a student-run organization; they are great ways to meet people and create lasting friendships.
  • Decide on your major and strive for academic success.
  • Thinking about studying abroad at Linfield? Research the programs to see which one suits you!
  • If you haven’t already, take the Career Liftoff Survey and analyze your results with an appointment in Career Development.
  • If eligible, start looking at different honor societies to join. If not eligible, see if there’s something you can do to improve your grades.
  • Remember to cultivate relationships with your professors – they have great insights, and you will need a few of them to write letters of recommendation for you!
  • Practice interviewing now! That way when you need to interview for positions, it is a breeze. Make a mock interview appointment with Career Development!
  • Attend career events to be conscious of what the future will bring and to connect with opportunities!
  • Start looking for spring and summer internshipopportunities. Check out Cat Connect!
  • Recruiters may be looking at your online profiles. Make sure your presence is professional. Start with the Social Media Guide.
  • Start a portfolio of accomplishments and evidence to show to your connections and remind yourself of the great work you do.
  • Map your major and college career with your advisor.
  • Do career related research. Hold an informational interview, connect with alumni and employers, and use LinkedIn.
  • Register for the JanTerm Career Exploration course! The career focus varies each year.
  • Follow LinfieldCareer: 

STAGE THREE: EXPERIENCE

Set yourself up for success in life after graduation. Seek out leadership roles; think about applying to be a mentor for incoming students. Start preparing to take standardized tests or finding a job. The more options you have, the more likely you are to get into a grad program or get a great job.


  • Take initiative! Seek leadership positions in the student clubs and organizations with which you are involved.
  • Strive for academic success.
  • Stop by Career Development to set up a mock interview to practice interviewing.
  • Keep up your relationships with professors.
  • Search for summer internship opportunities.
  • Take advantage of study abroad opportunities.
  • Begin to ask professors if they can be a strong reference, if they can’t, find someone who can.
  • Work on a research project with a professor.
  • Attend the First Avenue Career Expo to connect with internship, full-time & grad school recruiters
  • Update and clean your online presence.
Career Path:
  • Research companies you want to work for. Contact them to see if you can apply for jobs.
  • Use the resources at Career Development to start!
  • Seek ways to learn from professionals. Engage in informational interviewing, job shadows, alumni connections, and company visits. Visit Career Development to learn more!
  • Attend programs to connect with employers. Check out Career Development events!
  • Make a list of career goals you wish to accomplish in five years and tell people!
  • Register for the Jan Term Career Exploration course!
  • Create and build a professional wardrobe.
  • Join professional associations in your industry and seek out industry events to connect with professionals.
Grad School Path:
  • Explore grad school options. Is it right for YOU? Unsure if you want to go to grad school? Schedule an appointment at Career Development!
  • Talk with professors about your Grad School plans
  • Research the entrance exams you have to take. Consider taking a prep class to improve your score.
  • Attend the Grad School Fair to connect with recruiters.
  • Explore grad school programs that will help you accomplish your goals.
  • Learn the admissions procedures. Use our resources to get started!


STAGE FOUR: SUCCEED

Take action to plan and prepare for your future. Continue connecting with employers, professors and other professionals you’ve met. Dedicate yourself to the job search or preparing for grad school. If you have questions or need advice, make an appointment with the Career Development staff and we will be glad to assist you.

  • Take initiative! Seek leadership positions in the student clubs and organizations with which you are involved.
  •  Visit Career Development to practice interviewing.
  •  Register for the Jan Term Career Exploration course!
  •  Make your resume specific to each job application. Not sure how? Career Development will be happy to assist you!
  •  Seek out and nurture your professional connections; make business cards to hand out so they can remember you!
  •  Continue to build your portfolio of work for recruiters to see what you have accomplished.
  •  Consider doing research with a faculty member.
  •  Maintain a positive attitude and stay flexible.
  •  Stay on top of application deadlines.
  •  Recheck your online presence to ensure professionalism
  •  Join a professional association if you haven’t already!
  •  Form a Plan B in case something changes.
  •  Attend the First Avenue Career Expo to connect with internship, full-time & grad school recruiters
  •  Contact Alumni and Parent Relations to learn about alumni benefits and services.
Career Path:
  • Engage in an active job search. Do informational interviewing, job shadows, company visits, and make alumni connections.
  • Research different careers of interest. Look at jobs and companies hiring. Remember, Cat Connect has many full time jobs!
  • Attend senior-specific events to connect with employers and learn to secure that job. Attend Career Development events!
  • If you still need experience, consider doing an internship after you graduate.
Grad School Path:
  • If you haven’t, take the required exams.
  • Complete your grad school application. When you’re done, have Career Development and the Writing Center review it.
  • Attend the Grad School Fair to connect with recruiters.
  • Follow up with the grad school programs after you submit the application.
  • Inform the universities you’re accepting and rejecting.
  • Follow up with your program and keep on top of pre-program prep.