Make a plan! Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week

How far (or near) is your graduation? How clear is your idea of what you want to do once your degree is completed? Do you already have a specific job and company in mind? Are you thinking about graduate school, law school, medical school or business school? Are you considering the military, the ministry or the Peace Corps? Are you planning to be an entrepreneur?

Or, do all of these choices seem so far away that you haven’t given very much thought to any them?

Whether you feel almost 100 percent certain that you know what you want to do, or even if you are not quite sure that your chosen major is right for you, you are okay! Wherever you are in this process, making a plan will help you to get where you want to be.

Acquiring factual knowledge and developing subject mastery are critical in technical fields. It is also important to know and understand yourself — your interests, your strengths and weaknesses, your preferences and your values. You will have to find ways — outside of the classroom — to apply what you learned in your courses and find ways to demonstrate the interpersonal skills needed to be a successful professional.

A Google recruiter recently told a group of Fulton Schools students that co-curricular activities and experiential learning are not “extra,” they are expected! Start now to prepare to be the ideal candidate for the position you want.

Don’t be overwhelmed by all of this! Ben Franklin said it best, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This summer, make the time to reflect and create a plan that will get you to achieving your post-graduation goal. Assess your skills, both technical and interpersonal. Select activities to complement what you will learn in your classes — research, internships, working on campus, involvement in student organizations, etc. You have so many options.

List the skills you want to develop and select activities for each year and summer between now and graduation. When considering internships, co-ops, scholarships and research opportunities, pay attention to deadlines and schedule accordingly.

As a Fulton Schools student, not only do you have many choices, you also have a team to help you — faculty, professional staff and peer career coaches.


Joyce Donahue is a career counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center.  She is a nationally certified career counselor and holds “Master Career Counselor” membership status with the National Career Development Association.