Career Planning

THE CAREER PLANNING PROCESS

go career featurePlanning your career involves a process that is challenging and exciting!  Think of your career as a life-long process of learning to utilize your important values, skills, interests, and abilities.  Most of us hope to find work in which we can use our abilities; work that stimulate our interests and that suits our personalities and abilities.  The variety of activities and tasks that make up the world of work can make it difficult to choose.  However, if you are willing to take the time to identify your specific interests and strengths, you will increase the likelihood of finding activities and tasks that fit you and can provide you with an interesting career.  In the meantime, you will have discovered a systematic approach for making good career decisions.  This process will serve you well throughout your life. Keep in mind that evaluating your career choices requires patience and effort.  At certain points you may feel discouraged or anxious.  But if you have a good understanding of your abilities and goals, and persevere through the maze of career information, you are bound to find the right path. Below are suggested activities that can assist you in gaining the knowledge needed to make choices about your major and career – starting with your acceptance to the University of Tulsa.  

Prior to Your Freshman Year

  • Talk to family members, friends, parents of friends, relatives, and friends of your parents about their careers.  Ask how they got into that career/job, what preparation is needed, what they like/dislike about that career/job, what a typical day is like for them, and what are some unusual or exciting things that happen on their job.
  • Think about the activities you are involved in and the classes you have been taking.  Which ones are more enjoyable?  Which ones are easier/harder for you?
  • Check out career information at your high school or local library.  Read about career in different areas.  Which careers seem more interesting?  Less interesting?  Why?
  • Talk to your Guidance Counselor about this information and how it might point to a career direction or particular major for you.  

cravens studentsFreshman Year

  • Consider college as preparation for your professional life. 
  • Enroll in your block courses, learn about the curricula other requirements. 
  • Research Faculty Advisors, meet Professors, and take advantage of office hours. 
  • Learn the academic system, read the student handbook, and utilize the bulletin. 
  • Visit the Career Services office to learn about the available services and resources. 
  • Make a tentative selection of a major field. 
  • Get involved on campus – start to develop your leadership and interpersonal skills. 
  • Get involved in part-time or summer jobs that will increase your understanding of careers.
  • Attend Career Services workshops and Career Days.

Sophomore Year

  • Complete your introductory courses in your prospective major.
  • Declare a major. Meet with your academic advisor to plan your course of study.
  • Concentrate on academics – strive for good grades.
  • Do a self-assessment:  compile interests, strengths, skills, abilities, and values.
  • Make a tentative career plan, setting short- and long-term goals.
  • Work on gaining experience that will help you find a job when you graduate.
  • Meet with professionals for informational interviewing or job shadowing.
  • Attend Career Services workshops and Job Fairs.
  • Explore occupations – learn what skills are needed, the demand, and in what industries the occupation is used.

Junior Year

  • Spend time studying abroad. 
  • Research graduate schools, if you are considering continuing your education. 
  • Concentrate on coursework in your major. 
  • Meet with one of our Career Specialist to discuss your career plan and goals. 
  • Become familiar with the online registration service, and use it to explore summer employment and internships within your field. 
  • Explore the Career Library and learn about resumes, interviewing, job search techniques and more. 
  • Develop a resume, participate in job search related workshops, and purchase an outfit for interviewing during your senior year. 
  • Participate as a student member in professional organizations and begin networking. 
  • Research companies and organizations where you might like to work. 
  • Check your career plan.  Have you assumed responsibility for making decisions on your life’s work?  Do you have an alternative career plan?  Have you combined reality with your values and attitudes? 
  • Adjust short- and long-term goals. 
  • Get to know faculty, counselors, and administrators. 
  • Participate in on-campus activities and group projects. 

Senior Year

  • Complete the requirements for your major (and minor, if relevant). 
  • If you haven’t already done so, develop a resume, research companies, and participate in job search related workshops. 
  • Participate in mock interviews, as a warm-up to the real thing. 
  • Research and explore companies interviewing on campus and participating in career/job fairs and sign up for interviews. 
  • Participate in job interviews and fairs. 
  • Conduct a thorough job campaign. 
  • Discuss your opportunities with faculty and counselors. 
  • Choose faculty and administrators that you want for reference purposes. 
  • Apply for take the graduate school exam and apply for graduate school, if appropriate. 
  • Develop a timetable for your career development after graduation. 
  • Project your financial needs and develop a realistic budget. 
  • Research topics such as fitting in on your new job, establishing a new lifestyle, and coping with the changes you will encounter as you begin to participate fully in the world of work. 

Career Counseling and Assessment

FOCUS 2 guides students through a reliable career and education decision making model to help them choose their major and make informed decisions about their career. FOCUS 2 combines 5 self-assessments, career and major exploration, action planning and decision making in one comprehensive product. Customized with your University of Tulsa majors, students' assessment results are matched to career options and majors/programs offered at the University of Tulsa.

To access the FOCUS 2 program for a career assessment, click here. The access code is "career", all lower case without the quotation marks. You will need to set up a new account with a username and password of your choosing.

FOCUS 2 contains the most comprehensive occupational and educational information database available. FOCUS 2 has been fully certified in meeting the highest level of standards established by the Association for Computer-Based Systems for Career Information (ACSCI). The FOCUS 2 system conforms to the standards and criteria established by the National Career Development Association and the U.S Department of Labor.

The University of Tulsa Career Services office offers career exploration counseling for students that are unsure of which major to study or which careers to pursue. Students that would like to learn more about their FOCUS 2 results can do so by making an appointment with the office of Career Services.

How Soon Can I Start?

The first step is to call the Career Services office at (918) 631-2549 to set up an appointment.  While most of the time an appointment can be scheduled within the week, at certain times of the year a greater number of students request counseling and you may have to wait to see a counselor.  If you live outside of the Tulsa area and a face-to-face appointment is not possible or convenient, email us at careerhelp@utulsa.edu.  

Who Will Know?

The staff considers any information received in counseling as personal and confidential.  No information is released without your specific request.

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