Career Services works with University of Arizona students to assist them in choosing and planning for a career, obtaining career-related experience (internship) prior to graduation, preparing for and obtaining post graduation employment and applying to graduate school. We work with students from in-coming freshmen through PhD candidates. We offer this assistance through counseling, workshops and presentations, events that bring students and employers together, such as campus interviewing and career fairs, a small career library and this informative website.
Although we do not work with high school students, many of the resources on this website are available for you to use as you begin your career and academic planning. This page is intended to pull together some of these resources that can assist you in this planning process.
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Applying to The University of Arizona
Many high school students apply to a variety of colleges and universities. You will want to spend some time doing your homework and researching a variety of schools that fit your academic interests. Your high school should have many resources to assist you in the process of selecting and applying to college. Make sure and use those resources. If you are interested in applying to the University of Arizona contact the Admissions Office for information on the different academic programs and on the process of applying.
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On Being Undecided
Many students enter the University not at all sure what they want to major in or have as a future career. This is totally normal and does not have to affect your graduating on time. There are many, many fields of study that exist at the University and occupations in the work world that you may know nothing about. Your freshman year is an excellent time for you to do both academic and career exploration. The University of Arizona has wonderful resources to assist you with both. The Center for Exploratory Students works with students who are undecided about their major and can assist you with your major exploration. And Career Services has many resources, both online and in-person, to help you with your career planning. Making good use of both will ensure that you make decisions in a thoughtful and timely fashion.
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Using your High School Resources
High school students often want to know how they should prepare for college and how to go about choosing their course of study. The most important preparation for college is for you to do well academically while you are in high school so you are prepared for the work you will encounter in college. Meet with your Guidance Counselor to map out the courses you need to take. Talk with him/her about your academic and potential career interests and use the resources that are available for you through your high school to explore career and academic options.
Make sure that you are aware of all the resources your high school offers to assist you with the transition from high school to college. These might include:
- A career resources center with print materials on occupations, careers and colleges
- An online career center with links to information and career assessments
- Job shadowing programs
- Employment opportunities
- Summer college programs
- Information on and assistance with the college admissions process
- Assistance with researching and securing financial aid
- College representatives campus visits
- …..and more
High school guidance counselors are experienced with working with high school students and are a wonderful resource for you to use. Seek them out and ask for help; do not let this important resource slip you by.
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Career Planning Process
Planning your career and making decisions about your future career is not something that is accomplished quickly. For most people it is a process that requires you do some thinking about who you are and what is important to you as well as research about the work world, before you begin implementing your plans. The steps might include:
- Exploring yourself: Find out about your current interests, skills and life values. Keep tabs on how all of those change as you go through college (and life) and how those changes might affect your career plans.
- Exploring the work world: Learn about different occupations, see what occupations interest you, and find out the link between academic majors and occupations.
- Making decisions about choice of occupation and major: Research different major choices that fit with your occupational choices, meet with an academic advisor to get help solidifying your choice.
- Setting goals: Lay out a game plan as to how you are going to get from where you currently are to employment, in your occupation of choice.
- Planning your education: With the assistance of your academic advisor, plan out your undergraduate course work, including major/minor requirements and electives. Plan in time for study abroad and/or internships, if possible. Figure out how much education you need to work in your chosen field and plan for that additional graduate or professional schooling, if needed.
- Getting work experience: This can assist you, not only in getting valuable experience in your field before you graduate, but also in confirming your occupational choice. Learn about the different types of work experience (internship, Cooperative education, volunteer) that are available in your field of choice. Plan for at least one, if possible.
- Planning your job search: Learn how to write a resume, interview effectively and look for professional employment in your field. Take advantage of the programs that bring employers to campus, such as campus interviewing and career fairs.
- Planning your graduate school search: Research potential graduate programs, decide what schools to apply to and complete the application process.
This process is ongoing throughout your college career; in fact some of the steps might be revisited a number of times before you end up with a solid decision.
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Career and Academic Plan
Career Services has developed a career/academic plan that outlines the different steps you can take and campus services you can use throughout your time at the University. This plan is very detailed and can be overwhelming if taken in one gulp. You may just want to pay attention to the items under the Freshman year and then go back to it during your college years. Keep in mind that most people do not go through the tasks included in the plan in the nice orderly manner it’s laid out. Some students will skip over entire areas or accomplish things in a different order. That is all ok. The plan is provided to give you a guide to some of the different steps UA students take in planning their careers.
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Career assessments come in many forms. They can be quizzes that give you information about your personality or full-blown career inventories that give you information on how your interests fit with a variety of occupations. Even the best of career assessments are only intended to give you a piece of information about your career interests. There is no “test” around that can tell you what you “should” do. Do not put too much stock in assessments, instead use them as a tool to help you think about who you are in relationship to the work world.
Career Services has a web page with career exploration tools , including free career assessments. Many high schools have links to career assessments on their web pages. These assessments can help you explore your interests, values and skills, give you information on occupations that match your major or interest area, give information on educational opportunities and tips on conducting your job search and being effective on the job.
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There are many websites with information on planning your career and conducting a job search. Career Services has developed an annotated list of these websites, the Career Web Resources . This list is divided into the following sections:
- Career/Major Exploration Resources
- Career-Related Experience: Internships & Co-ops
- Job Search Tools and Strategies
- Career Information for Diverse Groups
- Career Information by Field
These websites might be helpful to you as you are exploring your career and academic options and learning about different occupations and the work world.
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What Can I do with this Major/Degree?
Many new college students are unfamiliar with the wide variety of majors that exist on a college campus, much less the careers that may link to specific majors. What Can I do with this Major/Career is a wonderful website that helps you connect majors with careers. For each major that interests you, choose "Information" to find an outline of common career areas, typical employers, and strategies designed to maximize career opportunities. Choose "Links" to find a list of websites that provide information about listed majors and related careers.
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Online Social Networking Sites
Many high school and college students use social networking sites to build and maintain their friendships and school social connections. These sites can be a fun and creative outlet; they can also be used and abused by individuals that you don’t intend to use your site. Although these sites may be only intended as social networking, please be aware that some colleges and employers have been known to look up applicants/candidates on social networking sites as a way of determining the applicants’/candidates’ fit with their organization.
Follow some basic guidelines to protect your reputation:
- Set your security settings so that only the people you want to have access to your information do
- Make sure you are looking at all the details of the security settings and setting all of them
- Only accept “friends” you actually know and who are in-person friends
- Do not post information that allows a person to find out where you live, your phone number or your schedule
- Do not post any information, photos or use language that you would not want your “grandmother” to see or read
- Ask others who post to your site to follow the same rules
- If anyone posts something that is offensive, delete it immediately and remove them from your “friends” list
- Remember that it is always possible to find anything online that has been once posted to the Internet, so play it safe by not posting anything you could later regret
At some point, you will be applying to college or for a professional position. You do not want to be removed from consideration for a job because of a photo or language on your social networking site that an employer found offensive.
Good luck with your career planning. Please remember that there are many resources to assist you with your career and educational planning, both at your high school and at the college you end up attending. And if you end up coming to the University of Arizona, please come to Career Services and let us assist you with your career planning and ultimate job search.
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