Graduate Students: Your Next Steps for 2018

If you’re reading this you’ve survived the Fall 2017 semester!

Of course you want to leave yourself some actual time for rest. After hitting the pause button, there are some things you can do to get ready for a new year, and for your career development for 2018.

#1 Find Your Focus

For those of you in the second year of your program, now is the time to really focus on how you want to use your experiences to get to the next level of your career. For any employer that reviews your application, it’s important to share your background and skills but also the areas you’re the most engaged in and want to use your talents. It’s all about having an area of expertise.

Ultimately you want to articulate how your Master’s degree is preparing you for the next opportunity. Start simple: review some of the challenges and highlights of your semester and where you need to develop your skills, whether creative, behavioral (soft) skills, or technical skills. Reflect on both the positive and constructive feedback you’ve received. Last, start looking closely at companies and internship descriptions. We highlight many of our partner employers on CareerBuzz, and have several employers that recruit with us on Handshake. How do they describe their openings? What are the key qualifications?

#2 Do A Resume Rundown

Take some time to look over the most recent version of your resume to make sure that it’s up to date with the following:

  • Relevant course projects
  • Productions
  • Publications
  • Internships
  • Leadership positions on campus
  • Volunteering
  • New skills (such as software programs)

Feel like you need a refresher on resumes? Check out our resume guide for alumni and graduate students.

#3 Check Your Online Presence

Gone are the days when all you had to do was complete a resume and apply for internships. Now it’s about your professional image, both in person and online. What message are you sending to potential employers?

LinkedIn: Many students have LinkedIn profiles that can go unused for an entire semester. Remember that employers spend a significant amount of time reviewing candidates online along with applications so don’t be a mystery! Still feeling a little stumped about how to present yourself? Check out this article that provides some great visuals on mastering a LinkedIn profile.

Have writing samples, videos or visuals that you’d like to make available? Always be ready with examples of your work that’s presentable, and a reflection of your talents. Remember that anything you share is about the highlights of your experience, contributions and accomplishments that you would be proud to share with an employer.

  • Portfolios
  • Websites
  • Other Social Media (professional work only)

#4 International Students: Check out our new career course!

Starting on December 20th, career services will be offering the course: Career Pathways for International Students, which will provide international students with an overview of using career services, career development, and understanding what it means to learn and work in the U.S.  You should have received an invitation to join the course on Canvas. If you have any questions or concerns, email Shakira Moreta at

#5 Review Calendar for Spring 2018

Save those important dates. Site visits, employer info sessions and our annual Spring Internship and Career Fair will be taking place this spring. Don’t miss out on opportunities to interact with employers on campus and on site.

#6 Contribute

Have a project, internship or event you would like to share with us? We want to know about it! For any submissions, please email Anders Croft at

Have a great break and see you next year,


By Jessica Chance
Jessica Chance Assistant Director, Liaison to Alumni and Graduate Students Jessica Chance