Four-Year Career Checklist

Career Engagement

Although four years sounds like a long time, college can go by fast. Before you know it, you will be applying for internships, jobs, or graduate programs. The Four-Year Career Checklist provides important action items to empower your career development. Use this checklist to guide the choices you make professionally during your time at The University of Texas.

Keep in mind that careers are flexible. You will likely make adjustments or revisit certain action items throughout your collegiate journey.

Remember, no matter where you are in your Four-Year Career Checklist, Texas Education Career Engagement is here to support and empower your career development. Contact Texas Education Career Engagement for more information.

Identify your points of contact for academic and career planning. The College of Education Career Coordinator and Academic Advisors are excited to help you plan your class schedule so that you are prepared upon graduation.

Attend ‘Gone to Education’ and ‘Gone to Texas’. Start building your Longhorn community by attending signature events that kick off the Fall semester. Connect with fellow classmates and student organization representatives.

Participate in a few meaningful experiences. (e.g., volunteering, research, job-shadowing). Meaningful experiences help you develop your career readiness competencies. It is never too early to start gaining valuable experiences.

Create professional networking profiles. HookedIn is a great tool for building career connections within the Longhorn community. Create your profile and be sure to frequently update your account.

Attend your first Career Fair. This will help you learn what employers are looking for in a UT College of Education student. It is also a great way to network and practice professional communication skills. Be sure to prepare for a career event ahead of time. You do not have to be actively job searching to attend a Career Fair.

Make an appointment for career planning. Touch base and let your Career Program Coordinator know where you are on your career plan. Be sure to share any challenges or adjustments regarding your potential career path.

Lean into extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities will enhance your college experience and provide you with experiences that employers are seeking. It is also a great way to build your professional résumé.

Transition your high school resume to a college resume. By the end of your freshman year, all high school experiences (e.g. clubs, honor societies, sports) should be removed from your résumé. Learn how to add valuable transferrable skills with your Career Program Coordinator. 

Apply for internships, especially for the summer. Deadlines can sneak up on you. Plan ahead to avoid missing out on meaningful summer experiences and opportunities.

Conduct an informal interview. Reach out to someone in a career that interests you. Gain insight into their day-to-day responsibilities to see if that career path appeals to you. This is a personal way to learn about career options while building a professional network. Remember that Texas Education Career Engagement can help you identify professionals who may be helpful to connect with.

Assess your personality, values, skills, and interest. Reflect on and assess whether or not these traits align with your academic and career plans. Talk to your Career Program Coordinator to discuss these in further detail.

Lean into leadership roles. Consider becoming a FIG/TrIG Mentor, Orientation Advisor, Student Ambassador, or Lab Assistant. Leadership skills are a critical career competency and résumé booster.

Attend Texas Education Career Engagement events. Our events, such as the Job Search Tools Workshop, various webinars, and Meet and Greets are a prime opportunity to explore career possibilities and network with professionals. Remember that some events may be required for your major!

Polish your résumé and cover letter. Professional documents are required for most internships and part-time jobs. Be sure that your résumé is up to date. Remember that your Career Program Coordinator can review your résumé and provide feedback.

Attend another Career Fair. Meet with new employers and revisit recruiters you connected with during your first year. At this point, you may have skills and experiences that are highly sought after for internships and summer job opportunities.  Consider attending fairs and events hosted by other schools and colleges at UT.

Explore study abroad opportunities. Studying abroad can enrich your professional opportunities, language and communication skills, and view of the global community. We encourage all students to take advantage of the long-session and Maymester study abroad opportunities the college has to offer. Be sure to ask your advisor about any programs that may interest you.

Connect with UT alumni on HookedIn. Continue networking and building your professional brand. HookedIn is a great way to connect with fellow Longhorns and showcase your skills and experiences.

Revisit your professional documents (résumé, cover letter). At this point in your college career, you should customize your professional documents for positions that interest you. Connect your experiences and transferable skills needed to be a competitive applicant. Visit your Career Program Coordinator for guidance marketing your experiences to employers.

Search and apply for experiences related to potential career paths. This includes internships, research, volunteering, shadowing, or other career-oriented experiences. To get started, visit HireUTexas and HookedIn. Consider the IE (Intellectual Entrepreneurship) Program if you are thinking about graduate school. Networking opportunities and recruiting events are other ways to find beneficial experiences.

Prepare for the application and interview process. Contact your Career Program Coordinator to schedule a mock interview and learn how to discuss the professional experiences you have gained in college. Talk about how your experiences and coursework have prepared you for your potential career path.

Finalize your internship/externship plans. Keep in mind that once you have accepted an offer, you should withdraw all other applications. Your Career Program Coordinator can assist you with the job search and decision-making process.

Evaluate your involvement so far. Would you like to continue with the same experience or try something new? How are your experiences preparing you for life upon graduation? Would you like to take on more responsibility or assume a leadership position within an organization: HornsLink. These questions will help you evaluate your involvement and professional experiences.

Schedule an appointment with your Career Program Coordinator. Discuss your career-related successes and challenges, and ask questions. Your Career Program Coordinator can offer resources and tools specific to your career journey and unique situation.

Identify career options to plan your final year at UT. Revisit your career values and reflect on your experiences. Decide what path makes the most sense for you. If you are considering graduate or professional school, research application deadlines for programs of interest.

Explore professional development opportunities. This includes: professional associations, webinars, conferences, and Texas Education Career Engagement events. Professional development opportunities provide valuable career insight and connect you with other professionals.

Think about future letters of recommendation and references. Who can attest to your work experiences and skill set? Have you made meaningful connections with faculty, staff, and professionals in your field? If not, develop a plan of action to gain strong references.

Reflect on your experiences, so far. Is there anything that you would like to change? Are you comfortable with your current career plan? Check-in with your Career Program Coordinator to discuss your action plan and goals for after graduation.

Actively build and maintain professional relationships. Connect with your Career Program Coordinator, Academic Advisor, faculty, and professionals you have networked with. Inform them of your progress at UT and about your future career plans. Utilize your HookedIn account. Think of professional and academic contacts who can speak to your skills and write you a strong letter of recommendation. Always allow at least three weeks for them to prepare the letters. Be sure to thank them.

Polish your résumé and cover letter. Review your professional documents. Remember that your Career Program Coordinator can review your documents and provide feedback.

Attend Career Fairs and Texas Education Career Engagement Events. These events are designed to help you network with recruiters and secure job positions. Showcase the skills and experiences you have obtained during your time at UT.

Search and apply for full-time positions. Remember that there are many ways to search for jobs. Contact your Career Program Coordinator if you have questions about the application or would like help navigating the job search process. Apply to preferred job openings first. Then, apply to alternatives.

Finalize your job search. If you have not yet secured full-time employment, continue actively searching. Remember that your Career Program Coordinator can help you with interview preparation and the job search process.

Strategize your exit from UT. What will the months after graduation look like? Are you planning to relocate or stay in Austin, TX.? Does your plan account for your current financial situation? Remember to identify back-up options.

Revisit your digital brand and online network. Continue building and maintaining academic and professional connections. Be sure to update them on your progress and plans for life after graduation. Your network can help you prepare for the next steps in your career journey.

Apply for Graduation. You must apply to graduate during your final semester of coursework. Consult the academic calendar for an exact update.

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