Four-Year Plan What to Do, When

Between the beginning steps of your first year, the preparations of your second and third, and the decisions of your senior year, now is always a good time to explore career options.


Most first-year students find winter term a valuable time for a first visit

  • Meet with a career advisor to review our career exploration resources. Make an appointment in Handshake or come to our office to meet a career fellow.
  • Discuss possible majors with your faculty advisor and upper-level classmates. Seek diversity in courses to help identify your interests or discover new interests.
  • Consider taking the online Self-Assessments and meeting with a career advisor to discuss your interests.
  • Participate in campus and/or volunteer activities to further explore your interests, abilities and values.
  • Check out Handshake for resume templates and review with a career fellow. 
  • Meet with a career advisor to discuss and develop your summer plans.
  • Visit for a one-on-one demonstration of Handshake, Liberal Arts Career Network, and other job and internship search resources.

Sophomores and Juniors

These two years of your college experience allow for further career exploration.

  • Learn how your preferences, interests and personal qualities relate to careers by taking the MBTI, Strong Interest Inventory or by using FOCUS 2. See below for assessment login information.
  • Gather more information about careers by using online resources or talking with alumni and professionals.  Suggestions include but are not limited to the VAULT GuidesGoing Global, and Industry Resources.
  • Update your resume for summer job/internship applications.  Emphasize new skills developed in the classroom, volunteer work, and student organizations.
  • Update your profile on Handshake and upload your revised resume.
  • Make an appointment to discuss resources for finding internships.
  • Explore opportunities in the Liberal Arts Career Network (LACN) and Selective Liberal Arts Consortium (SLAC) internship listings. 
  • See what you can do with your major on What Can I Do With This Major?
  • Practice job search skills, including interviewing and networking.
  • Schedule a mock-interview on Handshake or practice using InterviewStream
  • Learn how the on-campus recruitment program fits into your job search plan.  Companies will interview on campus beginning in mid-September.
  • Familiarize yourself with Colonnade Connections, W&L's alumni database, to identify alumni in your field of interest.
  • Discuss with your faculty advisor available fellowships and graduate or professional programs and the requirements for each.
  • Take any applicable entrance exams related to post-graduate plans in late summer of your junior year.
  • Develop an professional online presence via LinkedIn and social media.


Your senior year is a time to reflect on your skills and interests and to successfully convey these to potential employers or graduate programs.  Attend programs designed to assist you with the transition to life after W&L.

  • Meet with a member of Career and Professional Development staff to clarify your career goals or plans for continued study and formulate a timetable and strategies to achieve your goals.
  • Update your profile and upload your revised resume on Handshake. Search and apply for jobs.
  • Apply, in October, to take part in off-campus interviewing days through Selective Liberal Arts Consortium (SLAC).
  • If you are considering graduate school, discuss your options with your faculty early during Fall Term. Take the appropriate qualifying tests for your discipline, if you haven't done so already.  Submit applications during Fall Term.
  • Use the W&L alumni network in your job or graduate school search.  Register with W&L's online community, Colonnade Connections, to find alumni who may offer advice for your search.