Four-Year Timeline

Whether you are a first-year student, sophomore, junior, or senior – decided on a major or undecided -- Peru State has resources and services that will help you to make better informed decisions regarding your career path. Use the timeline below for guidance throughout your college experience:

Exploration - Suggestions for First Year

  • Attend class; spend time studying and work extra-hard your first year
  • Read the course catalog and take courses of interest
  • Talk with faculty and upper class students about different majors and careers
  • Stop in to read about career options in your interest areas
  • Browse Career Services’ Major and Career Exploration web pages
  • Use Focus to identify personality characteristics relevant to major field and career decision-making
  • Make an appointment to learn about available resources, discuss career assessments, and/or discuss career concerns or goals
  • Begin building your leadership and teamwork skills by participating in campus activities and organizations


Research – Suggestions for the Sophomore Year

  • Continue to assess your interests, skills and values; read and research major fields and careers of interest
  • Work toward earning a high GPA
  • Continue to meet with your academic advisor to seek advice about your curriculum
  • Choose a major, if you have not already, and obtain information about the major from your advisor, faculty in the department, or Counseling Services
  • Join an organization related to your academic and career interests
  • Use experiential opportunities to learn more about careers - e.g., interview professionals in fields of interests, shadow professionals, volunteer for a community organization, or get a part-time job
  • Build your transferable skills by increasing your computer literacy, meeting students from other countries and diverse backgrounds, exploring study-abroad opportunities, and continuing to participate in campus activities or athletics
  • Attend on-campus career fairs and other career-related programs and events
  • Create a resume that can be a “work in progress” as you build skills and experiences over the next few years
  • Research part-time and summer job and internship opportunities
  • Become familiar with employment programs offered through the Candid Career program
  • Volunteer or find a summer job or internship related to your career interests
  • Use your summer to begin developing networking contacts, work references, job and computer skills


Focus – Suggestions for your Junior Year

  • Become familiar with employment programs offered through the Candid Career program
  • Have your resume critiqued by the career counselor
  • Meet with the career counselor to identify values, interests, and goals related to post-graduation options or to discuss internship options
  • Check out internships, part-time jobs, and summer opportunities related to your degree field and/or participate in as many relevant experiential learning opportunities as possible
  • Begin developing your interviewing skills; research strategies for successful interviewing; schedule a mock interview
  • Attend career fairs (such as Peru State's Southeast Nebraska Career Fair and the Big Nebraska Career Fair)
  • Be an active member in a campus organization or athletic team; seek leadership opportunities; run for an elected office or apply to be a resident assistant; volunteer for a community-based organization (Employers look for leadership experience)
  • Continue talking with your adviser to make sure you meet academic requirements for graduation and to discuss career and graduate school options
  • If considering going to graduate or professional school, begin planning for the graduate school application process; research prospective graduate schools and take entrance exams
  • Use the spring semester and summer term to clarify your goals; explore specific job targets and employers; clarify geographic & financial goals; and formulate long-term career goals
  • Continue talking and networking with professionals in your fields of interest; begin to develop a list of professional and academic references
  • Read all email you receive from campus offices, your advisor, and faculty – you don’t want to risk missing a message relevant to your academic or career goals


Applying/Realizing Goals – Suggestions for your Senior Year

  • Begin actively participating in Candid Career programs
  • Analyze and summarize the experience you gained from the past four years and assess your career-related strengths and abilities
  • Work with your advisor to finalize course selections and be sure you meet graduation requirements; discuss your goals and aspirations
  • Continue researching career options, companies, organizations, and graduate schools; ask the career counselor for information on resources
  • Rework/update your resume
  • Have your resume, cover letters, graduate school essays critiqued by the career counselor
  • Contact the career counselor to schedule several mock interviews
  • Build your professional interview wardrobe and begin dressing as a professional
  • Prepare a reference list and/or gather letters of recommendation
  • Network with professors, on-campus speakers, employers, alumni, friends, and family
  • Start searching for a full-time job in the fall of your senior year; develop a list of prospective employers; work with the career counselor to make effective use of Internet job sites and other resources
  • Attend career fairs; get information about career fairs sponsored by Career Services, NIC Accounting Interview Day (fall), Big Nebraska Career Fair (fall), Meet the Pros (spring - PSC?), and Teacher Interview Days (spring – PSC?)
  • Narrow graduate school choices; sit for admissions examinations (if not taken earlier); apply to graduate schools (references, personal statements, applications, financial aid/fellowship forms); if possible visit your top schools
  • Apply for graduation (on time) and complete all graduation requirements
  • Read all campus email you receive – you don’t want to risk missing a message relevant to graduation, graduate school, or employment


Counseling Services is here to help you plan for your future. Call 402-872-2436 (toll free 800-742-4412 , ext. 2436).