Career Planning

Most of us hope to find work that stimulates our interests, suits our personalities and makes good use of our abilities. The variety of activities and tasks that comprise the world of work make it difficult to choose the right career path.

Consider your career a lifelong learning process to hone your values, skills, interests and abilities.

Completing The University of Tulsa’s challenging curriculum is the first step toward a solid foundation of learning. Equally important is establishing good habits in identifying your specific interests and strengths to increase the likelihood of having an interesting and rewarding career.

The University of Tulsa has developed a process for evaluating your career choices that will serve you well throughout your life. Follow these suggested activities to find your best career path.

Before Your Freshman Year

  • Talk to family members, friends and others in the professional world about their careers – ask how they got into that career or job, what preparation is needed, what they like and dislike about it, what a typical day looks like, and what are some unusual or exciting things that happen in their job
  • Think about the activities you are involved in and the classes you have been taking; ask yourself which ones are more enjoyable and which ones are easier and harder for you
  • Check out career information at your high school or local library and read about different careers – ask yourself which ones seem more and less interesting and question why
  • Talk to your guidance counselor about this information and how it might point to a career direction or major for you

Freshman Year

  • Consider college as preparation for your professional life
  • Enroll in your block courses, and learn about the curricula and other requirements
  • Research faculty advisers, meet professors and take advantage of office hours
  • Learn the academic system, read the student handbook and use the bulletin
  • Visit the Center for Career Development and Professional Engagement to learn about the available services and resources
  • Make a tentative selection of a major field
  • Get involved on campus – start to develop your leadership and interpersonal skills
  • Get involved in part-time or summer jobs that will increase your understanding of careers
  • Attend Career Development and Professional Engagement workshops and career fairs

Sophomore Year

  • Complete your introductory courses in your prospective major
  • Declare a major and meet with your academic adviser to plan your course of study
  • Concentrate on academics – strive for good grades
  • Do a self-assessment: compile interests, strengths, skills, abilities and values
  • Make a tentative career plan, setting short- and long-term goals
  • Work on gaining experience that will help you find a job when you graduate
  • Meet with professionals for informational interviewing or job shadowing.
  • Attend Career Development and Professional Engagement workshops and career fairs
  • Explore occupations – learn what skills are needed, the demand and in which industries the occupation is used

Junior Year

  • Spend time studying abroad
  • Research graduate schools if you are considering continuing your education
  • Concentrate on coursework in your major
  • Meet with one of our career specialist to discuss your career plan and goals
  • Become familiar with the online registration service, and use it to explore summer employment and internships within your field
  • Explore the resources on our website or within Handshake and learn about resumes, interviewing, job search techniques and more
  • Develop a resume, participate in job-search-related workshops and purchase an outfit for interviewing during your senior year
  • Participate as a student member in professional organizations and begin networking
  • Research companies and organizations where you might like to work
  • Check your career plan – ask yourself whether you have assumed responsibility for making decisions on your life’s work, what your alternative career plan would be, and whether you have combined reality with your values and attitudes
  • Adjust short- and long-term goals
  • Get to know faculty, counselors and administrators
  • Participate in on-campus activities and group projects

Senior Year

  • Complete the requirements for your major (and minor, if relevant)
  • Update or develop a resume, research companies and participate in job-search-related workshops
  • Participate in mock interviews as a warm-up to the real thing
  • Research and explore companies interviewing on campus and participating in career and job fairs, and sign up for interviews
  • Participate in job interviews and fairs
  • Conduct a thorough job campaign
  • Discuss your opportunities with faculty and counselors
  • Choose faculty and administrators who you want as references
  • Enroll to take graduate school exams and apply for graduate school, if appropriate
  • Develop a timetable for your career development after graduation
  • Determine your financial needs and develop a realistic budget
  • Research topics such as fitting in on your new job, establishing a new lifestyle and coping with the changes you will encounter as you transition to the working world