Four Year Plan
Exploring what you care about, reviewing potential majors and careers, and reflecting on the myriad experiences you have as a student at Whitman College will all help you navigate your life after Whitman. This four-year plan can guide you through career and professional development with the Student Engagement Center. Whether you’re a first year already looking for an internship or a senior who hasn’t had a resume review since high school, the SEC is here for you. Wherever you are in this process, there is no time like the present to discover the resources available to you.
During your first year, identify ways to get involved on campus and begin creating your professional profile.
- Complete your Handshake profile.
- Attend the Activities Fair in August to explore clubs and community service learning opportunities
- 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
- Make a career advising appointment via Handshake with career counselor Gayle Townsend.
- Explore campus groups and clubs and opportunities for community engagement in Whitman Wayfinder.
- Attend the Majors Fair in early December.
- Attend a Whitman Internship Grant information session and explore the Whitman Internship Database for a spring semester or summer internship.
- Create a LinkedIn profile if you don't have one.
- 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 a sophomore you get to declare your major and further cultivate your community on campus.
- Participate in leadership opportunities by expanding your involvement--tutor through the ARC in a subject with which you're familiar, apply to be an RA or SA, lead OP trips/Scrambles, manage a club's budget, apply to lead a community service program, etc.
- Involve yourself in Walla Walla by participating in community service.
- Connect with Whitman alumni by attending Whitties Helping Whitties networking events.
- Make an appointment via Handshake for career counseling or to review your cover letter/resume/LinkedIn profile.
- Conduct job shadows and/or informational interviews to learn more about fields that interest you.
- Seek meaningful (and hopefully funded or paid) summer experiences. Attend a Whitman Internship Grant information session; reach out to faculty about grants for research; explore the Whitman Internship Database.
- Attend recruitment events and career development workshops (which you can learn about through Handshake).
- Take Focus2 assessments on values, personality, interests, and skills.
- Which classes were the most intellectually stimulating this year? Why?
- How do you think you've changed since coming to Whitman? How have you stayed the same?
- What situations, friendships, activities or projects challenged you this year?
- How did you navigate those challenges and what did you learn about yourself?
Your junior year at Whitman is an important time to clarify and delve into your passions and career goals.
- Consider applying for the Community Fellows Program (juniors and seniors only) or applying for community service leadership opportunities.
- Schedule a career advising appointment through Handshake and explore career assessments.
- Expand your leadership roles in your extracurriculars (clubs, athletics, music, theater, etc).
- Attend Whitties Helping Whitties networking events, Finding Your Future alumni career panels, and recruiting info sessions.
- Apply for research opportunities and/or internships, especially if you haven't done one yet.
- Arrange to job shadow people working in fields that interest you.
- Build your network: Attend additional office hours with your professors, see if family members or friends' parents know people who work in fields that interest you, and contact alumni through Whitman Connect.
- Pursue your professional development: do a practice interview, update your LinkedIn profile and your resume, connect with professionals in career fields of interest, and attend workshops about salary negotiation and financial literacy.
- Use Handshake, Glassdoor and Whitman Wayfinder to explore job and internship opportunities and learn about organizations.
- Explore graduate school resources and figure out whether (and perhaps when) you'd like to apply.
- Attend the Summer in Walla Walla Job Fair in March.
- 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?
- 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?
Now is the time to prepare for your transition from a college student to a career professional or graduate student (which doesn't mean you can't also be a wayfaring traveler or a briefly unemployed couch sitter.) Continue your partnership with the Student Engagement Center to hone your narrative. When life after Whitman seems overwhelming, the SEC is here to help you design your path - whether that includes graduate school, a fellowship, or pursuing and landing your first job.
- Apply to be a Community Fellow (juniors and seniors only).
- Update your LinkedIn and Handshake profiles (especially if the headshot of you hasn't changed in a few years!)
- Schedule an appointment via Handshake with career counselor Gayle Townsend and take Focus2 career assessments if you are still unsure of your direction.
- Collaborate with faculty on research, papers and/or conferences.
- During application process(es), make appointments via Handshake with SEC staff for cover letter/resume review and practice interviews.
- Do a job shadow, connect with professionals in career fields of interest, go to workshops about salary negotiation and financial literacy, and attend recruiting events.
- Research employers and graduate schools; explore jobs, fellowships, and post-grad internships: Whitman Wayfinder, Handshake, Indeed.com, Vault.com, Monster.com.
- Improve your presentation skills through the Whitman Undergraduate Conference, oral exams, and the Power and Privilege Symposium. Take advantage of the speaking fellows in the Center fOr Writing and Speaking to prepare for presentations.
- Expand your Whitman networking by attending Whitties Helping Whitties events and Finding Your Future Alumni Career Panels.
- Attend Senior Week Activities: Senior Brunch, What I Wish I Knew...
- How have you connected ideas from seemingly unrelated disciplines while you've been at Whitman? In other words, 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?