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Make A Plan

A Career is a journey, not a destination.

Utilize this checklist to serve as a roadmap to make sure you stay on track in your career planning.


  • Meet with a Career Specialist to get help with your career planning and management.
  • Create a professional profile on Handshake and familiarize yourself with its capabilities.
  • Identify your career interests, values, personality and skills by using FOCUS 2, a free online self-assessment, or Strengths Quest.
  • Choose a major with the assistance of your academic advisor and/or Career Specialist.
  • Explore career options that align with potential majors.
  • Identify and research companies/organizations/industries you would like to work for.
  • Read internship/job descriptions to get ideas of career paths.
  • Learn about campus resources and get involved in student clubs and organizations. Perhaps take on a leadership role.
  • Consider volunteering, study abroad, alternative spring break, etc. to round out your experiences.


  • Attend career workshops to learn about a variety of career topics.
  • Understand the application process for internships and jobs.
  • Create a résumé and cover letter and have a Career Specialist review them.
  • Identify which of the NACE career competencies you possess and which you need to develop.
  • Develop interview skills and practice by doing a mock interview with a Career Specialist.
  • Create a record-keeping system for jobs, websites and employers of interest.
  • Identify three professional references.
  • Plan for summer: think about internships, summer employment, or volunteering.
  • If considering graduate studies, prepare for admissions by becoming familiar with the timelines and requirements of various programs.


  • Participate in experiential learning: internships, research, study abroad, or job opportunities in your field of interest.
  • Dress for success by expanding your wardrobe to include career-appropriate clothing.
  • Create a professional LinkedIn profile and use the site for networking purposes.
  • Participate in career fairs, company information sessions and job shadows.
  • Develop a brief and persuasive speech/pitch to spark employers’ interest in you.
  • Stay current on trends in your field by reading articles and joining professional groups on LinkedIn.
  • Expand your network by joining a professional association and attending networking events.
  • Schedule informational interviews with professionals in your field; start with UMass Boston alumni via LinkedIn.
  • Develop a relationship with one or more career mentors.


  • Work with a Career Specialist to learn how to manage job offers, negotiate salaries and how to interpret company benefit packages.
  • Research what it takes to be successful on your first career job or speak with recent alums.
  • Consider further education and professional development/training.
  • Stay connected with UMass Boston after graduating—alumni have full access to all career services.
  • Continue to educate yourself about the state of the labor market, your industry, and employers in your targeted region.
  • Pursue networking and career-related opportunities.
  • Maintain a good relationship with past employers and professors who are serving as references.
  • Update your job search records: employers, websites, and positions for which you have applied.