University at Albany

Career planning timeline

This is a suggested timeline for planning your first career after graduation.

This is only a guideline and you can come and talk to someone in Career Services at any time to discuss career and job search plans.

Freshman year

  • Meet with a Career Counselor to identify your values, interests and skills. The most satisfying career will be consistent with your personality, values, interests, and abilities.
  • Take courses from several areas to explore different fields and narrow down your interests. Career Services can help you further clarify your interests and narrow down fields to consider. Find out what's out there - explore the careers available to you by reading about and talking with others in different fields.
  • Register with Career Services via UA CareerPath. Receive announcements and reminders of upcoming workshops, events, and other information of interest as well as the ability to search internship & job listings
  • Focus on your grades. GPA is looked at by graduate schools, scholarship committees, and some employers.

Sophomore year

  • Explore career options. Determine what education, experience, and/or skills are necessary to enter a particular career field, as well as what the workplace environment is like.
  • Consider extracurricular activities, volunteer experiences or a summer job.  Membership in student clubs and professional organizations, or any type of "real world" experience can help you build skills and learn about future careers.
  • Meet with a Career Counselor to discuss career options for your major. Be aware, however, that most majors don't prepare you for a single type of work. Choice of a major is only one factor in determining your career path. Visit our "Explore careers for my major" page!
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Junior Year

  • Take on a leadership position in a campus group. Leadership and communication skills are valued by employers.
  • Look for an internship. Not only is this a great way to build your resume, it may help you network with professionals in the field as well as confirm whether you would enjoy it as a career.
  • Meet with a Career Counselor to develop a resume, cover letters and start your internship search.
  • Attend an orientation for On-Campus Recruiting (OCR). This is mandatory if you wish to apply to and interview with prospective companies that visit our campus. Employers interview to fill internships as well as full-time positions.
  • Research graduate school, if interested. Narrowing down graduate programs and universities will take some time; begin early to leave yourself enough time to be fully prepared and to meet application deadlines.

Senior Year

  • Update your resume and have it reviewed by a Career Counselor. Critiquing is also available for cover letters and graduate school personal statements.
  • Meet with a Career Counselor to develop a job search strategy. Counselors at Career Services can direct you toward job listings, directories, and how to approach and begin your "plan of attack."
  • Participate in On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) through Career Services. Whether you choose to participate in OCR will depend on your job search objectives. OCR represents a segment of the job market for graduating students and those looking for internships. The opportunities available through OCR are driven by employer demand. Some career fields and some types of employers are well-represented in OCR while others are not. An orientation is mandatory for participation in OCR, which is entirely managed online through UA CareerPath.
  • Begin application process to graduate school, if interested. Leave yourself a good amount of time for this process. Meet with a Career Counselor to discuss your interests, and consult our Graduate School section for more information.
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