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Four-Phase Plan

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 Career and Community Engagement Center is here to guide you toward resources, people and experiences to craft your best life now and after Whitman! Use this Four-Phase Plan as a road map of sorts—adjusting it to meet your specific needs as you create your own unique Whitman story.

Four-Phase Plan

As you begin your story, set yourself up to work with the CCEC to access events, resources and programs that will help you learn more about opportunities for civic and professional growth.

  • Activate Handshake. Create your profile to schedule appointments with CCEC staff and access work-study positions, internships, jobs and events that expand your learning beyond the classroom.
  • Get to know your career coach and learn more about how they can help you by scheduling a check-in appointment via Handshake.
  • Develop a college-level resume. Schedule a meeting with a career coach or Student Career Advisor (SCA) to get started.
  • Log in to the Career Pathfinder and complete the different assessments to learn more about your values, strengths and career interests.
  • Check out WhitLife to learn about and join campus organizations and student clubs and to find opportunities to volunteer locally.
  • Create a LinkedIn account and build your Whitman Connect profile to research career paths of Whitman alumni, access alumni mentorship and communities, and connect with peers and other professionals.

Reflection Questions:

  • Which Whitman platforms did you find most helpful? Which platforms do you have yet to try?
  • What activities have you participated in and which classes are you taking this year? What do you like and not like about them?
  • What is the most important thing you are learning about yourself this year?
  • What new things would you like to do or try in the upcoming semester?

As you get started and move forward, look for ways to develop your story through involvement on and off campus.

  • Attend campus fairs to to learn more about student clubs, jobs and academic programs. Check out the Activities Fair, the Academic Majors Fair and job and internship fairs.
  • Participate in community engagement to connect with organizations and volunteer alongside them to address
  • Learn about career fields and roles that align with your interests and studies via Career Pathfinder and Whitman Connect.
  • Delve into leadership opportunities in student clubs, college programs and student government. Check out the Pathways Leadership Program on WhitLife.
  • Consider off-campus study programs to expand your horizons. Think about how studying in another region or country may influence and clarify your goals.
  • Research meaningful summer experiences. Ask faculty members about opportunities to conduct research, and use Handshake or other online platforms to learn about summer jobs or internships. Schedule an internship appointment with a career coach or SCA to get help.
  • Get to know the Fellowships & Grants team and explore opportunities that interest you. For guidance with the fellowship application process, they’re here to help—every step of the way!

Reflection Questions:

  • Which classes have been the most intellectually stimulating for you and why? What does this mean for your future?
  • How do you think you've changed since coming to Whitman? How have you stayed the same?
  • How do you best process information?
  • What is something new you tried this year that pushed you beyond your comfort zone? What did you learn from that experience?
  • What strengths did you gain or further develop this year?

Refine your story by taking on new leadership positions, delving deeper into academic interests and building your professional relationships.

  • Expand your leadership and campus job experience. Apply to a CCEC-funded or campus leadership position. Talk with your campus supervisor about increasing your job responsibilities.
  • Apply for internships and summer positions to enrich and extend your academic and professional experience. Consider the Whitman Internship Grant program to fund an unpaid opportunity.
  • Seek out mentors by tapping into faculty and staff for insight and advice. Use LinkedIn and Whitman Connect to reach out to alumni working in areas you’re curious about. Schedule time with a career coach or SCA to learn how.
  • Meet organizations and companies—hosted by the CCEC —for informational and recruiting sessions. Access the calendar of events and register for them on Handshake.
  • Collaborate with faculty on academic research. Publish your work and present at conferences—such as the Whitman Undergraduate Conference—to increase your readiness for graduate schools and/or fellowships.
  • Prepare yourself professionally. Do a practice interview, update your resume and LinkedIn profile, practice writing cover letters, and attend career workshops and fairs. Meet with a career coach to review your materials.

Reflection Questions:

  • How has your understanding of the subjects and themes in your (intended) major evolved since you started at Whitman?
  • If you studied away from campus, 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?
  • What actions have you taken toward developing a plan for your future?
  • 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 help you own your story as you prepare for life after Whitman.

  • Broaden your workplace experience by seeking out a yearlong internship or setting up opportunities to job shadow.
  • Learn more about employers doing the kind of work that inspires and interests you through online tools like LinkedIn, Handshake, Glassdoor, Vault and Google.
  • Extend your professional network using the LinkedIn alumni tool and join mentoring programs on Whitman Connect. Reach out to people you know who could be potential mentors and professional contacts.
  • Explore graduate school resources and consider when and how to apply. Talk to faculty about programs in your field of study.
  • Practice articulating your narrative in professional situations by scheduling informational interviews with alumni and others working in your field of interest.
  • Create your post-graduation plan by talking with faculty, mentors and your career coach to consider the next steps to move toward your goals.

Reflection Questions:

  • How are you connecting ideas from seemingly unrelated disciplines?
  • What are some times when you applied something theoretical to something in "real" life?
  • Have you connected to professionals in your fields of interest as you consider what’s next for you?
  • As you look ahead, what new things would you like to try after Whitman?
  • 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 is your time at Whitman shaping your goals and aspirations?
  • What do you think you want to pursue and what do you know you're not interested in? Why?

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 Center.

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

Whitman Connect: Whitman’s online directory to help you access alumni mentoring and insight.

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

Your ultimate resource: The Career and Community Engagement Center staff and student leaders. We can meet with you to discuss your goals, review resumes and applications, help you get connected to the community, prepare you for an interview, and much more. Schedule an appointment in Handshake or stop by our office in the Reid Campus Center. You can also email us at ccec_info@whitman.edu or call 509-527-5183.

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