Some majors are named for types of professions. The job that you can “do” with that degree is implied in its very name. This is why “profession” majors make you feel like you’re on a secure and direct path to your future.
Other majors, like many of those in the College of Sciences and Humanities, are named for types of disciplines instead of professions. You can pursue lots of careers with a “discipline” major, but navigating the path from here to there will require more than simply earning the degree itself.
We’ve created this year-by-year checklist that will help you stay on track and find your true north, and it’s pretty simple. Every year, in addition to earning your degree, you want to engage in activities that will help you improve/expand:
Your skills by applying them in as many different ways as you can to see what feels right and what doesn’t.
Your identity by exploring as many different interests as you can to see what makes you tick.
Your circle by meeting (IRL and online) as many different people as you can to create a wide and supportive community.
Your confidence by engaging in as many professionalization activities as you can to increase your career awareness.
- Approach your courses with an eye toward figuring out what you’re good at.
- Research Immersive Learning classes to take in the future.
- Approach your work-study job as a way to learn more about and apply your skills.
- Attend Star Party to learn about all the classes and clubs you can join. Join one thing.
- Go to at least one reading or lecture in your home department each month.
- Meet with an Academic Advisor to consider adding a major, minor, certificate, micro credential, or immersive learning class.
- Find out more about the Compass internship stipend available junior or senior year.
- Attend Star Party again (maybe you missed something).
- After the Star Party, join one more thing.
- Read interviews with our alumni to explore which career pathways interest you the most. Connect with your favorites on LinkedIn.
- Attend a Cardinal Directions event to learn about possible career pathways and challenge yourself to personally thank the alum after the event.
- Sign up for CardinalsConnect.com.
- Around the time you take the gateway course into your desired major, enroll in the Discovery course, which is about finding your purpose, not just finding a job.
- Create a LinkedIn profile with the assistance of your Discovery instructor.
- Learn about Career Center resources and meet your Career Coach.
- Join a student organization outside your department or volunteer in the Muncie community.
- Study abroad.
- Learn more about what you love and what you’re good at. Revise (probably more than once) what you want from life after college.
- Follow up with an alum after a Cardinal Directions event and ask for an informational interview, which you learned how to do in the Discovery course.
- Meet with your favorite professors during their office hours and ask them how they got from where they started to where they are now. Talk about your own efforts.
- Be thinking about which of these professors you’d ask for a letter of recommendation for graduate school or to vouch for you to employers.
- The transferable skills gained from classes in your major will be reinforced in additional classes via the Skills Infusion program.
- Continue to attend Cardinal Directions events, especially when the topic relates to one of your possible career pathways, but be open to going even when you think there’s no way you’d be interested in the topic.
- Make an appointment with a Career Coach to prepare for an internship the summer between junior and senior year.
- Apply for the Compass internship stipend.
- Create a resume and cover letter in conjunction with the Career Center. Describe the skills and abilities you learned from your major, thanks to Skills Infusion and the Discovery class.
- During your senior year, you are actively applying for graduate school, internships, and jobs, not avoiding the future.
- Attend Star Party to recruit, not be recruited. You’re an upperclassman who wants to share your story with underclassmen and talk about the Compass Advantage.
- Add a leadership experience to your LinkedIn profile.
- Continue to attend relevant Cardinal Directions events.
- Take part in informational interviews on your own, which you know how to do as a result of the Discovery class.