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Student Checklist for a Global Career

Student Checklist for a Global Career

Are you considering a global career? If you're in school, it's sometimes difficult to know where to begin. Use this checklist as your action plan for your career preparation.

Freshman Year

Get acclimated and begin to explore your options.  

  • Continue your language study from high school, or learn a new language.  
  • Get involved with student groups that focus on international issues.   
  • Seek out a faculty adviser who works with international career issues and schedule a meeting to discuss your studies.   
  • Visit your career center, and begin to familiarize yourself with its resources.  
  • Attend career panels or workshops on choosing a major; explore different courses of study related to international careers. Common majors include anthropology, political science, economics, area studies and history.  
  • Consider a spring or summer internship to explore a career area of interest.  
  • Develop your first resume with a career counselor.

Sophomore Year

Choose a major, continue exploring your options and begin to build relationships.  

  • Update your resume to reflect your summer internship or work experience.
  • Continue your language classes.
  • Pursue either a fall or spring internship to explore a second career area of interest.
  • Choose your major and begin more concentrated coursework. 
  • Discuss your choice of major and potential internships with your faculty adviser, and seek some academic advice.
  • Begin attending career education events -- panels and alumni evenings, for example -- in different areas of international affairs.
  • Explore the Internet for international career information. Join a listserv to exchange ideas with other students. 
  • Plan for summer by organizing a course at a language institute, a service project abroad or a summer internship.
  • Research study abroad possibilities for junior year.
  • Email current juniors studying abroad to get their advice and feedback.

Junior Year

Narrow your focus and begin preparing for a career through internships and study abroad.  

  • Update your resume to reflect your summer internship or work experience.
  • Study abroad, either in the fall or spring semester (or both). Be sure to stay in touch with your career center to keep abreast of opportunities while overseas.
  • Continue your Internet research to learn of new trends. Read informational interviews online to prep yourself for conducting your own.
  • Do some informational interviews with alumni to learn more about career choices, either here or abroad.
  • Try to secure an internship overseas to complement your studies. Some summer internships, like those at the US State Department, have fall deadlines, so start early.
  • Secure an internship in the career area you think you most want to pursue after graduation.
  • Get advice from your faculty adviser and advise him of your progress.
  • Establish a relationship with a career counselor on campus if you haven't already. Discuss recruiting options for senior year.
  • Continue to attend relevant career education events, and begin to focus more on your goals after graduation.

Senior Year

Continue your professional development, cement mentor relationships and begin exploring the job market.

  • Update your resume to reflect your summer internship or work experience.
  • Secure a fall internship, and update your resume again.
  • Register for on-campus recruiting, sign up for interviews and attend employer information sessions.
  • Attend a Peace Corps information session.
  • Explore fellowship or post-graduate study abroad opportunities. Remember, several have fall deadlines, so start early.
  • Take a language refresher course, or join a conversation hour to maintain your skill level.
  • Reconnect with your network: previous internship employers, faculty and alumni, and update them on your plans. Ask for advice, contacts and information.
  • Plan a trip overseas during spring break to interview or explore options abroad.
  • Polish your interviewing skills and start your proactive job search.

Of course, these are just guidelines; not everything will apply to what is important to you and your specific career development. The most important thing to take away from this exercise is that there are actions you can take each year while you are in college to make yourself more marketable and better informed for the global employment market.

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