A student examines a printed copy of the Four Phase Plan with an advisor from the Student Engagement Center.

Whether you’re a first-year student or preparing to graduate, the Student Engagement Center (SEC) is here to help you make a plan and craft your best life after Whitman! The Four-Phase Plan is a fluid road map to get you started. You may find that you move in and out of phases multiple times, and you can complete them in any order. Think of this plan as a progression of steps, a checklist, or simply some useful suggestions to help you succeed at Whitman and beyond.

As you begin your journey at Whitman, get to know our career programs, events and resources.

  • Create your Handshake profile: This free tool helps you find job opportunities on and off campus, as well as internships to expand your learning beyond the classroom.
  • Attend the Activities Fair: Discover clubs, on-campus activities and connect with community organizations.
  • Meet with a SEC career coach or student career advisor to begin developing a college-level resume.
  • Attend the On-Campus Job Fair in early September to find a job and review the Student Employment Handbook.
  • Attend the Job Fairs: Find on-campus employment, as well as local organizations that have opportunities available.
  • Explore careers on PathwayU, our assessment tool that connects your values and strengths with career fields.

Reflection Questions:

What activities did you participate in and which classes did you take this year?
What did you like and not like about them?
What is the most important thing you learned about yourself this year?
What new things would you like to do or try in the upcoming semester?

As you settle in to your Whitman community, look for opportunities to get involved on and off campus.

  • Look for leadership opportunities: Apply to be a community engagement program leader, student academic advisor or resident assistant; lead a trip with the Outdoor Program; or become involved in club leadership or student government.
  • Attend the Sophomore Summit before the start of the spring semester to hone your leadership and workplace skills.
  • Participate in community service programs and learn about ways to connect to Walla Walla.
  • Seek meaningful summer experiences: Apply for a Whitman Internship Grant; ask your faculty about opportunities to conduct research; use Handshake to find a summer job.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile, if you don't have one, so you can research the careers of Whitman alumni and use Whitman Connect to set up informational interviews.

Reflection Questions:

Which classes were the most intellectually stimulating this year & why? What does this mean in terms of your life after Whitman?
How do you think you've changed since coming to Whitman?
How have you stayed the same?
How did you navigate challenges you faced this year and what did you learn about yourself?
What strengths did you gain or further develop this year?

After you've declared your major, take time to delve into your passions and clarify your career goals.

  • Schedule a career coaching appointment to discuss what you are learning and what that can mean for your life after Whitman.
  • Expand your leadership roles in extracurricular and community engagement activities, such as the Community Fellow Program and Student Consulting Corps.
  • Apply for research opportunities and/or internships to expand your academic and career experience.
  • Prepare yourself professionally: Do a practice interview, update your resume, revise your LinkedIn profile, practice writing cover letters and attend career workshops.
  • Attend recruiting info sessions and use Handshake, PathwayU and Whitman Wayfinder to explore job and internship opportunities that match your interests.
  • Participate in Off-Campus Studies programs and expand your horizons. Think about how studying off-campus may influence your goals.
  • Explore graduate school resources and consider whether and when to apply.
  • Attend the Summer in Walla Walla Fair and learn about summer jobs, internships or research opportunities that might be right for you.

Reflection Questions:

What are you learning in your major?
How has your understanding of the subjects and themes in your major evolved since you started at Whitman?
If you studied away, how did your time outside of Whitman - both academically and socially - impact your future career plans or life goals?
Is spending time abroad an interest to you in the future?
How do you best process information?
What helps you learn well and what is difficult for you to pick up?
What is something new that you'd like to do next year and what is something from this year that you might want to stop or decrease your participation in?

Make use of college resources to prepare for your life after Whitman.

  • Broaden your workplace experience: Apply to be a Community Fellow or for the Whitman Internship Grant.
  • Collaborate with your faculty on research and/or papers, attend and present at conferences, increase your readiness for graduate school and fellowships.
  • Continue to hone your cover letter and resume-writing skills. Schedule an appointment with the SEC for assistance.
  • Attend recruiting events or career workshops about salary negotiation and financial literacy.
  • Use our online resources to research employers and explore jobs and post-grad internships. Handshake, Glassdoor.com and Vault.com are excellent tools.
  • Connect with professionals in your field: Conduct job shadows and informational interviews, and attend networking events.

Reflection Questions:

How have you connected ideas from seemingly unrelated disciplines while you've been at Whitman?
What were some times when your classes connected to one another in unexpected ways or you applied something theoretical to something in "real" life?
What new things would you like to try after Whitman?
What are you looking forward to having a break from once you graduate?
What kinds of working environments do you prefer?
Do you like collaborating with lots of people, working alone or some mix of the two?
Do you appreciate set schedules or do you want to follow your own timelines?
How has your time at Whitman shaped your goals and aspirations?
What do you think you want to pursue and what do you know you're not interested in?
How have you come to these conclusions?

Your Whitman Resources

No matter where you are in your plan, these resources are always worth revisiting:

Handshake: A platform to find on and off-campus jobs and internships. You can also schedule an appointment with the SEC.

PathwayU: An assessment tool you can use to explore career fields and job opportunities that match your interests.

Whitman Wayfinder: Explore how your major connects with different career paths.

Whitties Helping Whitties: Networking events held locally and around the country to connect you with Whitman alumni.

Whitman Internship Grant and Community Fellows: Paid opportunities to work for businesses or nonprofits in Walla Walla and beyond.

Your Ultimate Resource: SEC career staff and student career advisors. We can meet with you to discuss your career goals, review resumes and applications, prepare for an interview, discuss graduate school and more. Schedule an appointment in Handshake or stop by our office in the Reid Campus Center, email sec_info@whitman.edu or call 509-527-5183.