Planning for your next steps after college begin long before you walk across the stage at graduation.
We recommend that students begin exploring career options when they declare their major or in their sophomore year, whichever comes first. So, what should you do to start planning for your career?
From the outside, it is hard to know what a particular job is really like on a day-to-day basis. Thorough research will include online reading about jobs and careers, networking with people in the professions you are interested in, and job shadowing. Talk to people you know, ask friends and family for introductions to professionals you want to know, and reach out to individuals you don’t know to ask questions. You may be surprised at how many professionals will respond to a well thought out and professional email from an up-and-coming future leader.
Use the UWM Career Planning & Resource Center
Students should also regularly utilize the resources available through the Career Planning and Resource Center at UWM. The center is about more than resume preparation. The career professionals there can help you identify your professional goals and teach you techniques (like informational interviewing and shadowing) to learn more about professional careers. They can also help you develop your job search strategy and the necessary tools needed (like a cover letter, resume, and professional online profile), as well as connect you with UWM alumni who may be able to provide you with information or advice in a particular industry or career. This is a fantastic resource that you should definitely be using!
Hone Your Skills / Get Experience
We want you to graduate with more than just a diploma. You should leave UWM with a resume including multiple experiences related to the career you aspire to. Students should plan to engage in internships, volunteer experiences, and part-time jobs that help them not only develop workplace skills and habits but also learn about different work environments and job details. Sometimes through an internship or part-time job, you may find that the career you thought you really wanted in reality isn’t a good fit for you. Figuring this out while in college and via a short-term situation is much more valuable than landing that dream job after graduation and realizing the fit is not ideal.
Engage with Faculty
Cultivate relationships with your professors and instructors and advisors. They can help you understand how the skills and knowledge you have gained in a particular course translate into job qualities that you can use to market yourself. Your UWM connections can continue to be a part of your professional network long after you graduate.
Sample Job Outcomes by Program
Each of our degree programs can lead to many different career outcomes. There is no “one” job for a Global Studies major or a French major. The benefit of our liberal arts based programs is that they offer this unlimited career potential – but the challenge that goes with having so many choices is figuring out how you want to apply your degree to that first job after college. Below are some examples of jobs held by our alumni. Some may require a graduate degree beyond the bachelor’s level.