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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 and experiences to craft your best life after Whitman! Use this Four-Phase Plan as a road map of sorts—adjusting it to meet your specifics needs, as you create your own unique Whitman story.

As you begin your story, set yourself up 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 access work-study positions, internships, jobs and Career and Community Engagement Center sponsored events that expand your learning beyond the classroom.
  • Develop a college-level resume. Schedule a meeting with a Center career specialist 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 or find opportunities to volunteer locally.
  • Create a LinkedIn account to research the career trajectories of Whitman alumni and connect with peers in a professional space.
  • Build your Whitman Connect profile to access alumni mentorship and online communities.

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?

While you’re getting setup on platforms, look for ways to develop your story through involvement on and off campus.

  • Attend campus fairs 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 address issues you care about in the Walla Walla Valley.
  • Learn about career fields and roles that align with your interests and studies using the Career Pathfinder.
  • Delve into leadership opportunities in student clubs, college programs or student government. Check out the Pathways Leadership Program on WhitLife.
  • Enroll in 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 a faculty member about opportunities to conduct research, use Handshake or other online platforms to learn about summer jobs or internships. Schedule an internship appointment with a career specialist or SCA to get help.
  • Get to know the Fellowships & Grants Office and explore programs that interest you. To learn more, set up a meeting through Handshake.

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 elevating your professional experiences, taking on new leadership positions and delving deeper into academic interests.

  • Expand leadership and campus job responsibilities. Apply to a Center-funded or campus leadership position. Talk with your campus supervisor about increasing your job responsibilities.
  • Apply for internships and summer positions to extend your academic and career experience. Consider the Whitman Internship Grant program to fund an unpaid opportunity.
  • Attend Craft Your Future events. This professional development series of workshops and speakers is designed to help you hone your skills for the future.
  • Meet organizations and companies hosted by the Center for informational and recruiting sessions. Access the calendar of events and register for them on Handshake.
  • Collaborate with faculty on research and/or papers. Attend and present at conferences like the Whitman Undergraduate Conference to increase your readiness for graduate schools 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. Schedule a meeting with a Center career specialist 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 job-shadowing opportunities.
  • Participate in Next Steps programming. This workshop series for seniors will prepare you for all of the changes coming in your life after Whitman.
  • Learn more about employers doing the kind of work that excites you through online tools like LinkedIn, Handshake, Glassdoor, Vault and Google searches.
  • Build your professional network using Whitman Connect, the LinkedIn alumni tool, and by nurturing personal and professional relationships.
  • 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.

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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