The Catholic University of America

Four Year Plan

FreshmanSophomore / Junior / Senior / Graduate

 Freshman Year - Getting Started 

  • Decide or confirm your choice of major
    • Discuss your choice of major with your academic advisor
    • Look at career options associated with your major and other majors
    • Make an appointment with a Career Services counselor and take a career interest test
  • Develop attributes valued by employers
    • Join a student organization and/or intramural/athletic team and take an active role
    • Get involved in residence hall life as a floor representative, committee member, etc.
    • Take part in community service activities with Campus Ministry (tutoring, food runs, etc.)
    • Write an article for a student publication (The Tower, Crux, etc.)
  • Find out when, where, and how to start looking into internships
    • Learn from your academic department how and when internships for credit are available
    • Look at types of internships students from your and other CUA majors have held
    • Register with Cardinal Connection and see the variety of internship opportunities are offered
    • Attend Career Fairs to talk with employers about what their interns do and what qualifications they seek
  • Create a resume and cover letter
    • Build 1st draft or revise existing resume
    • Draft basic cover letter
    • Meet with Career Services counselor for a critique of resume and/or cover letter

 Sophomore Year - Explore Your Options
 

  •  Confirm your choice of major and look into possible minors
    • Look at career options associated with your major and other majors
    • Make appointment with Career Services counselor to talk about your progress to date, and how you can use the coming years to hone in on specific career possibilities
  • Look into study abroad options
    • Discuss study abroad with your academic advisor
    • Talk with students who have done study abroad to learn about their experience
  • Know when, where, and how to start looking into internships
    • Learn from your academic department how and when internships for credit are available, and how to register
    • Look at types of internships students from your and other CUA majors have held
    • Become familiar with Cardinal Connection and learn about on-campus recruitment opportunities 
    • Attend Career Fairs.
  • Create or update your resume and cover letter
    • Keep updating and revising your resume
    • Draft basic cover letter or update existing version
    • Meet with Career Services counselor for a critique of resume and/or cover letter
  • Expand your campus involvement & attributes valued by employers
    • Join a student organization and/or intramural/athletic team and take an active role; if already involved, seek out greater responsibility; branch out with new activities
    • Take part in community service activities with Campus Ministry
    • If working on campus, talk with your supervisor about how you can get the most valuable experience out of your position
    • Attend employer networking events to mix with alumni in fields of interest
  • Build your global skills (intercultural and international awareness)
    • Discuss electives with your academic advisor that will enhance your future ability to work internationally or with an organization with overseas activity
    • Attend campus events that expose you to speakers and students with international and multicultural backgrounds

Summer:

Junior Year - Get Experience

 

  • Explore your career options including graduate school
    • Look at career options associated with your major and other majors
    • Make an appointment with Career Services counselor to talk about careers you are considering and what you can do to make yourself the best possible candidate
    • Register to use Alumni Career Network to talk with CUA grads about their work
    • Network for job opportunities
  • Consider graduate or law school
    • Discuss graduate or professional school requirements with your academic or pre-law/pre-med advisor
    • Read about possible academic programs
    • Decide if/when you will take a grad exam prep course
  • Look into study abroad options
    • Discuss study abroad with your academic advisor
    • Talk with students who have done study abroad to learn about their experience
  • Get an internship (November - May)
    • Learn from your academic department how to register for credit for an internship
    • Meet with a Career Services counselor to discuss what types of positions you are looking for;
    • Look on Cardinal Connection and Internships.com and apply.
    • Participate in On-Campus Interviewing, make sure you are up to date with when employers are coming to campus
    • Look at types of internships students from your and other CUA majors have held
    • Attend Career Fair
  • Revise your resume and cover letter for summer job or senior internship
    • Revise and update existing resume
    • Revise and update cover letter
    • Meet with Career Services counselor for a critique of resume and/or cover letter
    • Do a mock job interview with a Career Services counselor
  • Continue developing attributes valued by employers
    • Take classes that expand your skills
    • Join a student organization and take an active role; if already involved, seek out greater responsibility
    • Take part in community service activities with Campus Ministry
    • If working on campus, talk with your supervisor about how you can get the most valuable experience out of your position
    • Attend employer networking events to mix with alumni in fields of interest
  • Summer:
    • Search and apply for internships for the fall
    • Take LSATs

Senior Year - Start the Job Search

 

  • Prepare for the job search (September through December)
    • Network for job opportunities
    • Meet with a Career Services counselor (fall semester) to discuss your ideas about jobs, and to map out a strategy
    • Look at current job openings in your fields of interest to get an idea of what employers are offering. See Cardinal Connection and Internships.com 
    • Polish up your resume and cover letter. Be able to expand on any point in detail.
    • Identify people who can serve as references during your job search
    • Attend employer networking events to mix with alumni in fields of interest
    • Register to use Alumni Career Network to talk with CUA grads about their work and how to break into their fields
  • Apply to graduate/ law school
    • Take required admissions exam (GRE, GMAT, LSAT) (Sept-Oct)
    • Complete applications, including personal statements (Nov-Dec)
  • Apply for jobs (September-May)
    • Identify job openings through your network, Cardinal Connection and other sources
    • Participate in On-Campus Interviewing
    • Do a mock job interview with a Career Services Counselor to prepare for the real thing
    • Attend Mid-year and Spring Career Fairs to apply for positions 

Graduate Student

- Prior to your last year

 

    • Gain Experience
      • Learn from your academic department how to register for research experiences and internships in your field of interest
      • Join a student organization and take an active role; if already involved, seek out greater responsibility
      • Meet with a Career Services counselor to discuss what types of positions you are looking for
      • Look on Cardinal Connection and industry specific sites for positions and apply.
      • Attend Career Fair
      • Revise your resume or C/V, and cover letter
      • Meet with Career Services counselor for a critique
      • Do a mock job interview with a Career Services counselor
    • Graduate Student - in your last year

       

    • Prepare for the job search (September - December)
      • Network for job opportunities
      • Meet with a Career Services counselor (fall semester) to discuss your ideas about jobs, and to map out a strategy
      • Look at current job openings in your fields of interest to get an idea of what employers are offering. See Cardinal Connection and Internships.com
      • Polish up your resume or C/V and cover letter. Be able to expand on any point in detail.
      • Identify people who can serve as references during your job search
      • Attend employer networking events to mix with alumni in fields of interest
      • Use Cardinal Connection to network with CUA grads about their work and how to break into their fields
    • Apply for jobs (September-May)
      • Identify job openings through your network, Cardinal Connection and other sources
      • Participate in On-Campus Interviewing
      • Do a mock job interview with a Career Services Counselor to prepare for the real thing
      • Attend Mid-year and Spring Career Fairs to apply for position