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Career Exploration

Career Exploration Cycle - Assess Self, Discover Options, Build Experiences, Prioritize Goals

Exploration is a cyclical process without a defined beginning and end. If you don’t know where to start, you can always lead with self-reflection. Each new experience presents you with the opportunity to assess yourself, discover options, build skills, and prioritize goals.

The Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement has a variety of programs, resources, and events to help guide you through each part of this process no matter your starting point.

Career Exploration Cycle
Assess Self
  • Awareness of your VIPS (Values, Interests, Personality, and Skills) is important in the exploration process as you evaluate potential options. As you explore and gain experience, your VIPS, as well as your goals and priorities, may change.
  • Focus 2 is an online, self-paced assessment resource provided by the Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement that can help you identify your VIPS.
Discover Options

The Career Center offers a variety of programs for you to listen to, learn from, observe, and ask questions of recruiters, alumni, parents and family members, and partners of William & Mary. Additionally, you can learn a lot through Informational Interviews, or Career Conversations, where you get to ask questions of those already working in the fields that interest you; you have access to your global W&M networking through One Network. (Note: You can find more information about these programs in TribeCareers.) They include, but are not limited to:

  • Externship Program
  • Fairs (Career & Internship, Graduate School, Industry-Specific)
  • Information Sessions
  • Meet Ups
  • Panels
  • One Network
Build Experiences

Each experience you have helps you develop skills, test out possible options, and expand your network. These experiences can provide valuable lessons, as well as marketable skills, to include on your resume:

  • Academic coursework
  • Athletics
  • Clubs/Organizations
  • Externships
  • Internships
  • Part-time jobs
  • Research
  • Community service
Prioritize Goals
  • Making a decision does not mean you have to decide on the one career you will pursue from graduation to retirement. Instead, prioritize your options to create strategies for pursuing your goals.
  • Priorities can depend on strong interests, upcoming deadlines, availability of opportunities, and more.
  • Recruitment schedules vary by industry; while some industries recruit year-round, typically hiring just before a position will begin, others have early deadlines and hire a semester or two prior to the position beginning.

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Contact Us

Located in the Cohen Career Center, our office is between the Sadler Center and Zable Stadium on Stadium Drive.

We are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Career Development & Professional Engagement
Street Address

Cohen Career Center 180 Stadium Drive Williamsburg, VA 23186

Map & Directions
Mailing Address

Cohen Career Center P.O. Box 8795 Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795

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