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The Benefits of Starting Career Planning Early

Mount St. Mary's University offers a large array of student-centered services. If you aren't currently taking advantage of them, I encourage you to explore as many different service centers as you can this year. The Career Center is a powerhouse on campus that can help you focus on many areas including internships, jobs, resumes, and interviewing. Following their uniquely crafted action steps and guidance is easy and will set up students to become successful working adults.

Career centers offer professional advice and services to all students. They specialize in career planning and development, but the Mount’s Career Center can do more for you along with editing a resume or preparing you for an interview. As a first or second year student, it is not expected that you know what you want to do post-graduation. However, it is possible for you to start thinking about majors and career fields that relate to your interests or passions.

Starting your career planning early on in college can benefit you by giving you a head start on finding the job of your dreams. Career planning can also help you pick a major or minor based on what you’ll need to know for your desired career. It’s important as a first-year student to document your small and large successes on a resume. It might not feel like a big deal now, but come spring time when you are searching for your first summer job or even internship, you will want to be able to articulate your experiences.

Being engaged in learning and branching out to build a network on campus will allow you to create a positive professional image. The Career Center can offer support in creating the profiles and documents you’ll need to begin your career planning such as a LinkedIn account or a professional resume.

When I was a first year, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. My first step was to find a major in which I would study something I liked, including social media, graphic design and writing. After meeting with Career Center staff to look at career paths that involved my interests, they pushed me to log-on to my Focus account. Focus is a career planning platform through which Mount students can enter their skills and passions, and the platform will then offer suggestions for majors and careers based on a student’s self-assessment. This guidance helped me decide to become a communication major.

I also met with Career Center staff to make my LinkedIn account, which now connects me to a large network of professions. I have a polished resume that I will confidently send out to employers later this semester when I begin my job hunt.

One of the major services that the Career Center provides is help researching and connecting students with internship opportunities. Second-year students should be excited about their chances to land a summer internship. The great thing about an internship is that it gives you a taste of what specific career fields have to offer – not to mention they look great on a resume and count as real-world experience.

By shadowing professionals in their workplace and not being afraid to share your ideas and show off your working potential, you are learning more about yourself and what skills you would like to use in the working world.

After my sophomore year, I was hired as a marketing intern for Johns Hopkins. Some of the other people I was competing with had a lot to offer, but I knew my potential and ended up being offered a summer communications internship. That internship led to another internship with them the following year.

I gained real experience with Hopkins and made a positive impression. Recommendations are everything when applying for a job, and having employers that believe you are a dedicated hard-worker is key to feeling confident in your career development. Career Center staff members not only offered to write me a recommendation letter for my Hopkins interview, but they also helped me polish my resume and cover letter to JHU qualifications.

As for juniors and seniors, if you have not already started your career planning, you need to make an appointment with the Career Center right now. Our Career Center team specializes in preparing undergraduates for future employment. Juniors can easily get involved with the Career Center team and earn an internship that could lead to a future job offer. Seniors need to be prepared for next year; whether you want to look for a full-time job, go to graduate school or start your own business, the Career Center has connections that will help you accomplish your goals.

Employers visit our Career Center all the time. On-Campus Recruitment (OCR) provides employers the opportunity to recruit Mount students for future job opportunities. Many alumni take advantage of OCR during the academic year to meet Mount students and hire them after graduation. The Career Fair is held every year and gives students a chance to meet with over 60 employers.

Whether you are a first year student or a senior, I recommend attending the Career Fair this year to expand your network and get your foot in the door for future job and internship opportunities. All Career Center events can connect students to future employment; it’s never a bad idea to stop by an event to shake some hands and meet professionals.

Career planning can be scary, especially if you do not know where to start. But the great thing about the Career Center is that the team can offer you help every step of the way. From figuring out what your passions are, to selecting a major and eventually landing a killer job, the Career Center puts students’ needs first.

I recommend starting early and getting to know our Career Center team sooner rather than later. You never truly know how fast these four years go until you’re filing graduation forms and walking across the stage. Make sure when you earn your diploma, you’re ready for your next step.

You can visit the Career Center in the McGowan Center, Suite 240. Set up a meeting with one of our professionals online or by emailing Good luck starting your planning. Go Mount!