Four Year Career Development Plan

How do I become the professional I want to be?

Career development is not easy. That is why we suggest that you begin working on exploring and planning for your career as soon as you arrive. We created a handy check list based on the four-year college model to help you make sure you're on the right track.

First Year: Self-Assessment & Career Planning

  • Meet with a Career Development Services staff member to learn how to develop and implement a personalized 4-year career plan. 
  • Visit the Career Development Services website and log into your account on John Jay Careers Online.  
  • Assess your personal values, interests, skills and abilities through career self-assessment tools such as the Strong Interest Inventory.
  • Attend a resume-writing workshop and develop your first college resume.
  • Get involved on and off campus.  Join a student organization, volunteer, and/or get an on-campus job.
  • Get a summer job that will provide you with an opportunity to learn about a career field that interests you.
  • Do your best work academically! 

Sophomore Year: Career Exploration & Leadership Development  

  • Meet with a Career Development staff member to discuss your career plans and evaluate your 4-year career plan.
  • Actively research career fields that interest you.
  • Attend career related workshops or events to learn about career opportunities or career paths and attend programs featuring guest speakers from career fields that interest you.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals to learn about a particular career field.
  • Take an active role in a student organization to develop your communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills.
  • Develop a resume and have it critiqued by Career Development Services.  Also complete a mock interview to prepare for your summer job or internship search.
  • Secure an internship, or summer employment related to your career goals.  

Junior Year: Career Goal Setting, Gaining Experience & Graduate School Planning

  • Meet with a Career Development staff member to formulate your job or graduate school search timeline and plans.
  • Focus and set career goals. At this time all the experience and information you have gathered should be crystallizing into solid career goals and plans.
  • Join student chapters of professional organizations to gain career information and to start networking.
  • Research graduate/professional school possibilities, the application procedures and deadlines.  Register and prepare for admission tests such as the GRE, LSAT and MCAT.
  • Participate in career fairs and career related events to explore your options and network with potential employers.
  • Get to know alumni and actively network with professionals in your area of interest.
  • Take on leadership roles on and off-campus.
  • Get professional experience through on-campus research, internships, on-campus employment, volunteer work or a summer job.
  • Apply for federal cooperative education and internship programs—they often require several months for a background check! 

Senior Year: Implementation & Transition

  • Meet with a career counselor to design a job search strategy or finalize your graduate/professional school search.
  • Attend career-related workshops targeted to seniors: Job & Internship Search, Resume-Writing, Interviewing, & more.
  • Ask faculty and employers to be references for you.
  • Research companies/organizations and the career opportunities they offer.
  • Prepare for job interviews or graduate school with a mock interview in Career Development Services.
  • Engage in an active job search starting in the Fall semester.
  • Participate in career fairs and other related events to build your network of contacts in your field of interest.
  • Revise and update your resume and draft a cover letter.
  • For graduate or professional school, complete your personal statement. Mail your applications to schools.
  • Complete an internship or career-related work experience if you haven’t already.
  • Actively apply for positions. Attend networking events and make the connections for your job search
  • Formulate an alternate “Plan B” in case you need to make last minute career adjustments. 

For more information, contact