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The Four Year Plan

Major/Career Exploration

Online Career & Education Planning System

Career Services has joined forces with FOCUS 2 to bring you a new online, self-guided, interactive program designed to help you select the right college major and plan your career based on your personal interests, values, skills, personality, and aspirations.

FOCUS 2 will help you:
  • Assess your interests, skills, personality, and values through this online assessment
  • Five reliable and valid assessments help guide you through your career/education exploration and decision making process.
  • Identify potential majors and minors
  • Review the major areas of study that best match your assessment results
  • Research occupations that match your unique profile
  • Review job duties/skills, outlook, salary, work conditions and more
  • Consider your own career path and occupational goals

How to Utilize FOCUS 2:
  • Create your account by registering for FOCUS 2 at: focuscareer2.com/portal/login
  • The access code for Sweet Briar is “vixen” (lowercase)
  • Choose your own username and password for future use. Be sure to remember your personal username and password (Career Services will not have it).

  • Available online anywhere, anytime
  • Your results are always saved.
  • Use FOCUS 2 as often as you wish
  • Ability to change your choices and research options

Use FOCUS 2 to explore, think about the results, make comparisons and discuss your ideas with your career advisor and/or academic advisor

 

Use FOCUS 2 throughout your college years and as an alumnus. FOCUS 2 can be used in different ways throughout all stages of your education and career planning according to your personal needs.

1st- or 2nd-year students:
  • Understand the career planning process
  • Self awareness — Learn about yourself through the assessments
  • Explore majors at your college that match your interests and support your career goals
  • Explore career fields and occupations that appeal to you
  • Develop an Action Plan
  • Make informed decisions about your major and career


Upperclassmen and alumnae:
  • Use FOCUS 2 for ongoing career exploration and awareness
  • Gain experience
  • Make career plans
  • Plan for advanced education and training
  • Explore future options for transitioning into specialized occupations  

 

The comprehensive program of career planning and placement at Sweet Briar College (available to all students and alumnae) is based on the premise that career planning for women studying liberal arts and sciences is a highly individual and lifelong process. Sweet Briar's career planning program is designed to help you identify and attain your professional goals, while our Career Services staff are here to help you formulate your plans for each level of your life and career.

 

A four-year plan introduces you to the concept of career services and is a general guide for you, full of ideas and activities you can partake in during your time at Sweet Briar. This guide will help you gain a better understanding of your career options and maximize your prospects for finding the right position or getting admitted to the graduate program of your choice after graduation.

This isn't an exhaustive list, or something that needs to be followed "step-by-step"...but there is a reason why we mention "Visit Career Services" each year. The Career Sevices Center is provides assistance to all students, regardless of class year!

FIRST YEAR — AWARENESS

(You are not expected to make career decisions during your first semester on campus.)

Goals

  • Explore & become familiar with the Career Services website
  • Become aware of career fields in relation to tentative majors
  • Begin self-exploration process; assessing values, interests, skills, and motivation
  • Become aware of the Career Services Center and its programs/workshops
  • Develop good study skills along with establishing a strong GPA

Activities

  • Visit the Career Services Center, Prothro Bldg. 2nd Floor, and take a tour.
  • Research careers and majors in the Career Services Resource Library and on our website
  • Take a variety of classes to get an idea of different academic fields
  • Complete the Focus 2 Major/Career Exploration Online Planning System
  • Complete the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator or Strong Inventory personality/career assessment
  • Meet with one of the Career Services staff to explore possible majors and careers that fit your interests, skills, and values
  • Attend Career Services workshops, and programs, including Career Fairs
  • Bookmark the Career Services website/facebook page/blog as a favorite

SECOND YEAR — EXPLORATION

(Select a major during your sophomore year)

Goals

  • Explore career possibilities
  • Learn about occupations
  • Begin to build a personal career network
  • Investigate Experiential Learning - (Cooperative Education & Internships)
  • Research and clarify career options  after self-assessment
  • Decide on a major/career choice

Activities

  • Complete the Focus 2 Major/Career Exploration Online Planning System
  • Research career options in the Career Services Resource Library and on our website using related links such as EXPERIENCE e-recruiting, and CAREER 15.
  • Continue to study hard and stay on track
  • Participate in on-campus organizations/clubs to gain valuable work-related skills
  • Explore co-ops, internships, and part-time career related employment using Internships.com, EXPERIENCE e-recruiting, and CAREER 15.
  • Conduct informational interviews
  • Meet with faculty, advisors and/or alumnae to discuss major and career options
  • Begin to develop your RESUME and COVER LETTER
  • Attend Career Services workshops and programs


 THIRD YEAR — EXPERIENCE

(Gain experience by participating in an internship or co-op opportunity in your junior year)

Goals

  • Build job search skills
  • Gain career related experience
  • Consider graduate or professional school
  • Familiarize yourself with Career Services' job search and recruitment programs
  • Learn about occupations as they relate to your major or interests
  • Familiarize yourself with the online job search process

Activities

  • Register with CAREER 15 and EXPERIENCE e-recruiting databases
  • Complete the Focus 2 Major/Career Exploration Online Planning System
  • Participate in co-ops, internships, or career related employment
  • Maximize involvement with campus clubs and organizations to further develop leadership skills
  • Continue informational interviewing - expanding your network
  • Identify professional associations related to your career interests
  • Consider studying abroad for a summer or semester
  • Participate in job shadowing and/or volunteer and community service opportunities
  • Attend Career Services workshops and programs including Career Fairs
  • Meet with Career Services staff for help with job search, resume, and career guidance
  • Continue to develop your resume and cover letter and upload it to CAREER 15 and EXPERIENCE
  • Explore CAREER 15, EXPERIENCE and the Career Services webpage for employment opportunities


FOURTH YEAR — CONNECT

(Connect with employers and begin your professional job search in your senior year)

Goals

  • Narrow and finalize your career choice
  • Prepare for graduate or professional school
  • Research labor market information
  • Narrow focus on positions and industry openings

Activities

  • Make an appointment with Career Services staff to help plan your job search
  • Develop a refined resume, cover letter, and a list of references
  • Practice interviewing skills and review professional dress guidelines
  • Begin developing a professional wardrobe for future job interviews
  • Continue to develop your network. Remember social (Facebook, MySpace) and professional (LinkedIn) networking sites can help or hinder your job search. Utilize them wisely and remove any information that may compromise your credibility with employers
  • Join a professional organization in your field
  • Complete a co-op or internship if you haven't done so
  • Attend Career Services workshops and programs including Career Fairs
  • Explore EXPERIENCE e-recruiting database, amd CAREER 15 webpages for employment opportunities and resources
  • Develop a list of contacts/potential employers.
  • Make use of all Career Services job search/graduate school services and resources.
  • Complete the Focus 2 Major/Career Exploration Online Planning System