Exploring Careers

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Four-Year Planning Guide

Freshman Year 
During your first year at Macalester, spend time learning about yourself.

  1. Develop a relationship with your academic advisor. Talk about courses, majors, requirements, and other academic concerns.
  2. Schedule an individual to meet with a Career Counselor. (It's never too early to start planning!)
  3. Complete a Career Assessment exercise using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and/or the Strong Interest Inventory.
  4. Connect to Mac alumni in your areas of interest.
  5. Get acquainted with the Jobs and Internship Database.
  6. Explore community engagement opportunities to build work experience and explore interest areas.

Sophomore Year

  1. Begin planning an Internship experience.
  2. Work with the Jobs and Internships Database to find available internships.
  3. Consider how study abroad (if you are participating) will fit in with your personal and academic goals.
  4. Meet with Academic Programs Director to discuss major scholarship and fellowship opportunities (e.g., Truman, Rhodes, Watson)

Junior Year
Narrow your career choices and make some tentative decisions. 

  1. Schedule an individual to meet with a career counselor to discuss your career plans and options.
  2. Plan to attend programs and events that include alumni panelists to hear about their jobs and career planning process.
  3. Begin or continue to conduct more informational interviews.
  4. Begin researching graduate school.

Senior Year
Begin your job search or complete the graduate school application process.

  1. Meet with your advisor to finalize academic plans.
  2. Set up specific internships and/or volunteer opportunities.
  3. Join professional associations and attend meetings and conferences.
  4. Develop and practice effective interviewing skills.  
  5. Set up an individual with a career counselor to have your resume and cover letters critiqued.
  6. Attend CDC events.
  7. Review the Jobs and Internships Database to find available positions.

Career assessments

Career assessments may be used to help you find out more about yourself:

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

  • The MBTI is a tool for identifying and understanding your own preferences and discovering how they apply to a career decision.
  • The MBTI will also help identify your strengths and unique gifts.
  • You can use the information to understand yourself, your motivations, your strengths, and potential areas of growth better.

Strong Interest Inventory

  • The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) is based on the idea that individuals are more satisfied and productive when they work in jobs or at tasks that they find interesting and when they work with people whose interests are similar to their own.
  • The SII takes about 25 minutes to complete and contains 317 items that measure your interests in a wide range of occupations, occupational activities, hobbies, leisure activities, and types of people.
  • Your interests are compared to thousands of individuals who report being happy and successful in their jobs.

These assessments are paper-based and may need to be sent out to be scored. An individual career counseling appointment must be scheduled to review assessment results. Assessments are free for current students and $25 each for alumni.

Informational Interviews

An informational interview is an information-gathering session used to get first-hand impressions of work in a specific field.