Career Planning Overview

Choosing a major or defining an initial career path is an exciting opportunity for you to examine your hopes and dreams and make lifestyle choices. Like the world-of-work, people are dynamic and evolving individuals. Experts predict that on average people will make 10 to 12 shifts in their career direction over the course of a lifetime. Our goal is to teach you skills that will guide you throughout the course of your life. 

TWO GREAT MYTHS about career planning

  • There is only one true or best occupation possible for you.
  • Someone (a career coach) or something (a career “test”) can tell you what it is.

There are multiple environments and life roles in which people find satisfaction. Though career assessments can provide important and valuable insights and “career coaches” can be catalysts in helping you explore and grow your ideas, you are the only one who knows what is most important to you at any given time. The best career choices are achieved through the processes of self-exploration and values-clarification which are lifelong processes.

How career coaches help

Career coaches are trained to help you meaningfully interpret sophisticated career assessments which are designed to sort and differentiate interest and personality patterns. However, they do not assess your skills and abilities. Career coaches can aid you in thinking holistically about your results, and help you transform the information into achievable action plans.

Where to get started

Research suggests that the best place to start the career planning and major selections process is with self-assessment, followed by exploration of the world-of-work and the world-of-education and training. We encourage you to “Start Somewhere, Trust the Learning Process, and Keep Going!”


Four Year Plan

Freshman - EXPLORE

Enroll in Orientation Class

  • Attend SOAR
  • Sign-up for Connections

Get to know your academic advisor
Select courses that allow you to explore a variety of disciplines
Take CLEP and other exams to earn academic credit
Explore careers and majors at Career Services

  • Completing career interest inventories (Access Focus for online career exploration)
  • Taking “Career and Life Planning” – Psychology 1220
  • Connecting with alumni via the Student Alumni Mentor Network
  • Completing your profile in Career AGGIE – your online networking and internship/job posting site

Get involved with campus and community organizations

  • Develop a record of service and leadership to Utah State and the community

Sophomore - ACCESS

Continue to explore interests and abilities in order to declare a major
Enroll in courses that fulfill both general education and major requirements
Discuss potential majors with your Career Coach at Career Services who can recommend:

  • Professionals and alumni in your field (via Career AGGIE)
  • Faculty and advisors

Build your resume through:

  • Involvement in student and professional organizations – take a leadership role
  • Internships – local, regional, national, or international
  • Undergraduate research
  • Volunteer/community service
  • Student exchange programs

Consider the possibility of international study or work abroad through:

  • Study abroad programs
  • International internship opportunities (use Going Global in Career AGGIE)

Junior - FOCUS

If you have not done so, now is the time to select a major
Apply for internship opportunities, international study/exchange programs, and undergraduate research
Meet with your Career Coach to:

  • Create targeted employment documents (resume/cover letter)
  • Develop a network of potential employers and alumni
  • Research organizations
  • Prepare for and attend all fairs/expos

Take a leadership role in student organizations
Consider a “Service Learning” experience
Research graduate schools and prepare for entrance exams (GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT, MAT, etc.).  Guides are available for check out in the Career Cafe
Use Career AGGIE to apply for internships and to network with alumni and employers


Apply for graduation
Join the Student Alumni Association
If you are seeking career employment, visit Career Services to:

  • Receive one-on-one career search coaching
  • Update and edit your resume/cover letter and prepare for interviews
  • Participate in on-campus recruiting with various regional, national, and global organizations
  • Attend all job fairs and expos well prepared with an introduction and targeted documents 

If you are continuing your education:

  • Work with your Career Coach to create graduate and professional school applications
  • Take entrance exams in the Career Services-Testing area
  • Investigate the variety of programs available at Utah State and nationwide at the Grad School Fair

 Complete Career Services’ annual Graduation Survey to report your plans 


Click here to view suggested career exploration activities or Contact a Career Coach to schedule an "intake" appointment.