The 5-STEP Career Development Model provides a comprehensive framework for assessing skills and establishing learning outcomes that demonstrate knowledge of self, career paths, and academic and career opportunities. Career decision-making is a process, and you can set your own pace in pursuing career development accordingly. If you work with a career coach and take advantage of the CEC's programs and resources you will be better prepared to make informed and meaningful career decision.

Step 1: Assessment
Get to know yourself - Begin to identify your values, interests, skills, personal traits and career satisfiers in order to identify the ingredients of a good career "fit":

Take self and personality assessments
Meet with a career coach for help with assessments and early planning
Begin to identify career fields and/or academic programs that fit your interests and abilities
Create a draft resume and have a career coach review it
Complete your Handshake profile
Step 2: Exploration
Explore and research career possibilities - Learn the connections between academic programs, experiential learning, previous professional experiences, and careers:

Conduct career research and gather information from valuable online resources
Gather information on different fields, industries and companies
Decide on a major and learn what career paths a major can offer
Conduct informational interviews with people in fields that interest you
Explore opportunities to gain relevant work experience, such as internships, summer jobs, or volunteer work
Attend career and networking events
Step 3: Preparation
Develop your resume and cover letter writing skills; refine your career goals and strategy - Through informational interviewing, internships, and part-time/temporary or summer jobs, "test the waters" and determine a potential career direction:

Create an effective resume and cover letter
Research graduate schools and visit campuses
Learn to present your goals and skills in an elevator pitch
Conduct informational interviews and build your network
Develop and practice your interview skills
Test it out – for example, Obtain an internship. Internships may be limited to undergraduate and graduate students, or recent graduates. Other populations can consider doing volunteer or temporary positions.
Develop a Career Action Plan
Step 4: Implementation
Develop and implement your job search or graduate school strategy - Develop the skills you need to accomplish your goals:

Sharpen your job search skills and develop a list of potential employers
Prepare for interviews and practice interviewing skills with a mock interview
Network with friends, parents, faculty, alumnae/i and others
Gather graduate school application materials and write a personal statement
Attend events such as career fairs, company presentations and career-related forums with alumnae/i
Step 5: Decision-Making
Make an informed and meaningful career decision - Gain insight into necessary professional development skills to be successful:

Refer back to your career goals, interests, strengths, and values for guidance
Analyze job offers/graduate school admissions and weigh your options
Meet with a career coach to walk through your decision-making.