Timeline for Career Success

It’s never too late or too early to start preparing for your Career.

We know it can be difficult to know where to start. Below is a suggested timeline of steps to take in preparing for your future career success. Start with your current year in college, but don't limit yourself. Look both before and after to see what suggestions there are to get started on your journey to success after Penn State.

Penn State and the College of IST have many resources to support you along the way. You are NOT alone, but you do need to be proactive in reaching out. Invest in you!

Throughout your 4-years at Penn State you can always return here for inspiration. Use this as a reminder for what you've done or a window into what your next steps might be. Make this resource work for your unique career process.

Remember, your success depends on you!

Getting Started:

  • Get involved with student organizations - build relationships, skills, and your resume. There are many opportunities to get involved, both at the College of IST, and University-wide.
  • Practice your networking at IST and University-wide career events.
    • Go to Nittany Lion Careers, click on the ‘Events’ tab to find details on upcoming career fairs, info sessions, and workshops. in Students from all Penn State campuses are welcome at all career events.
  • ResearchIST majors available at Penn State. Talk to an academic adviser if you have questions about the majors or potential career paths within these fields.

Through the Year:

  • Study hard! Some employers exclude applicants with grade point averages below a certain level (often 3.0) from consideration. Maintaining a good GPA will help you have access to the greatest number of opportunities.
  • Discover the career resources offered through IST's Office of Career Solutions and get to know our team.
  • Explore Nittany Lion Careers to find internships, workshops, company informational sessions and more.
  • Update your resume and upload it to Nittany Lion Careers
  • Invest in professional attire - Business professional attire is expected for career fairs, interviews, student organizations and company events.

Tips:

  • Think before you post! Review your social media accounts. Think about the impression your social media presence may be making on employers. Update your settings to private.
  • Get to know your instructors. Building relationships with faculty not only helps in the classroom but can potentially open doors.
  • Looking to do more? Start your LinkedIn profile.
  • International students: check in with an adviser at University Office of Global Programs to learn more about CPT and OPT so you are prepared for future internships and employment.

Getting Started:

  • Join a student organization related to your intended major.
  • Network by attending information sessions with companies on campus. The beginning of each semester is the busiest time for recruiting events. Be prepared to engage in networking.
  • Update your resume from experiences from your first year – projects, part-time jobs, research, student organizations, etc.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile. Start with everything on your resume. Increase your network by connecting with Penn State Groups.

Throughout the Year:

  • Search for an internship, co-op, or project in Nittany Lion Careers.
  • Create your ePortfolio. Include any projects you've completed in the classroom and personal projects you've done "just for the fun of it".
  • Continue to build relationships with faculty and instructors at Penn State. You never know if you need a reference or letter of recommendation.
  • Practice your interview skills by doing a mock interview. For virtual options check out Interview Stream.

Tips:

  • Update your voicemail message so that it sounds professional, once you start interviewing.
  • Reach out to alumni and professionals for informational interviews, this is a great way to build your network and learn more about potential career paths.

Getting Started

  • Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Add all professional positions you have held, including any volunteer or leadership positions. Include related course or personal projects.
  • Start looking for an INTERNSHIP for IST 495
    • Attend career events at Penn State and review details on Nittany Lion Careers. Before you go, find out which employers will be attending and focus your efforts on those of most interest to you. Remember, that the fall is the heaviest recruiting season.
    • Search for co-op or internship opportunities in Nittany Lion Careers and apply for positions of interest. Remember: an internship experience is a graduation requirement.
  • Consider using the GPA Calculator to add your major GPA to your resume. You calculate this using only your major courses.

Throughout the Year:

  • Meet with a career coach to help with your internship search, career prep, and learn more about IST 495 requirement
  • Join a professional organization in your intended field and use every opportunity to network with other professionals.
  • Add to your ePortfolio. Include any projects you've completed in the classroom and personal projects you've done "just for the fun of it".
  • Practice your interview skills by doing a mock interview. If you are not at the University Park campus, check with your campus career office to see whether mock interview options are available to you.

Tips:

  • Be Proactive: Take advantage of all the resource at Penn State from Career Solutions and Career Services.
  • Investigate your options and get information on entrance exams that may be required (e.g., GRE), if you are considering graduate or professional school.
  • Transfer students: start getting to know faculty in your department as quickly as possible. You may need them as resources or references.

Getting Started:

  • Take any required entrance exams, if you are planning to go to graduate school.
  • Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Add all professional positions you have held, including any volunteer or leadership positions. Create targeted versions of your résumé for different positions or employers, as needed.
  • Attend all the career events at Penn State and check Nittany Lion Careers for information sessions and company workshops.
    • Before you go, find out which employers will be attending and focus your efforts on those of most interest to you. Remember, that the fall is the heaviest recruiting season.

Throughout the Semester:

Tips:

  • Contact people in your professional network—including professors, instructors, and former employers—to request references.
  • Accept an offer. If you have had successful co-op or internship experiences, you may already have one or more full-time job offers from past employers. Weigh the pros and cons of your options before you accept any offer.
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Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement

E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

Appointments and Drop-ins

careers@ist.psu.edu
(814) 865-4509