Class Year Checklists

Wondering how you can jumpstart your career development journey?

Career Development Checklists

The CDO has checklists for each class year, highlighting important milestones to consider and pursue during your time at Pomona College to better prepare for what comes next. Please note that career development is an ever-changing process that builds upon itself. Some steps may repeat themselves as you grow and develop your skill set. 

First Year Checklist

Assess Yourself

  • Attend a sponsor group meeting to learn about CDO resources.
  • Become familiar with Handshake and build your interest profile.
  • Talk with CDO staff and discuss how your interests and preferences relate to majors and careers.

Explore Interests

  • Visit the CDO and use the library and other resources to research majors and careers of interest.
  • Attend Career and major related events and meetings to learn more about fields of interest.
  • Volunteer off-campus. Join campus clubs or activities related to your fields of interest.

Develop Skills

  • Create a résumé – use the CDO’s Résumé and Letter Guide to help you.
  • Build your LinkedIn profile and learn how to find Pomona alumni and other people working in your fields of interest.
  • Learn about networking and informational interviewing and practice talking with people about their career paths and interests.

Implement Your Plan

  • Get an on-campus job and build your experience.
  • Apply for a Pomona College Internship Program (PCIP) or a Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP). Work with the CDO and find a summer experience to learn more about your interest areas.
  • Start your summer internship search in December.
  • Shadow a Sagehen over winter break to learn about possible career paths.

Sophomore Checklist

Assess Yourself

  • Make an appointment with a career counselor to discuss assessments and career options.
  • Clarify skills, interests, and work preferences and reflect on how they relate to possible careers.
  • Examine your experiences (work, classroom, hobbies, etc.) and identify those that ignite your passions and imagination.

Explore Interests

  • Actively participate in groups related to your interests to gain experience and test out those fields.
  • Talk with alumni and others with similar interests and learn about their experiences.
  • Visit the Study Abroad Office to look into options for studying abroad.

Develop Skills

  • Join LinkedIn Groups related to your fields of interest.
  • Update your résumé to reflect your college experiences.
  • Build your professional network – conduct informational interviews, talk with professors, and attend industry-related events.
  • Search for summer internships that build on your interests. Learn how to position yourself for getting your top opportunities.

Implement Your Plan

  • Declare your major after exploring varied coursework.
  • Complete a career-related internship or research position either through PCIP, SURP​ or on your own.
  • Develop an on-going connection with 3-5 people working in your field for mentoring and professional advisement.

Junior Checklist

Assess Yourself

  • Identify and reflect on the pros and cons of your experiences-jobs, internships, volunteer, leadership, classroom, etc. and look for trends.
  • Create a list of possible post-graduation career paths. Get input from trusted advisors like the CDO, faculty, or alumni.

Explore Interests

  • Attend career related workshops and presentations through academic departments and the 7C Career Centers.
  • Research alumni career paths to learn career options. Use resources like Candid Career and LinkedIn for your research.
  • Talk with faculty about graduate school and fellowship options and recommendations.
  • Volunteer and take on leadership roles in your areas of interest.

Develop Skills

  • Do a practice interview in preparation for internship, fellowship, or graduate school interviews.
  • Continue to hone your networking skills through informational interviewing and attending career-related events.

Implement Your Plan

  • Complete a career-related internship or research position either through PCIP, SURP​ or on your own. For some industries, the summer following Junior year is the springboard for an opportunity in that field post-graduation.
  • Identify job listing sites in your field.
  • Determine your top post-graduation interest: graduate school, full-time position, fellowship, gap year, etc.
  • If considering graduate school, research programs and prepare for entrance exams.

Senior Checklist

Assess Yourself

  • Clarify your interests and values – discuss with the CDO how they connect to your post-graduation plans.
  • Examine the pros and cons of past experiences (internships, volunteer, research, co-curricular).

Explore Interests

  • Network with alumni and conduct informational interviews to learn about career paths and options.
  • Explore gap year opportunities or research your target industry and employers.
  • Update your Handshake profile. Identify key job search resources in your field.

Develop Skills

  • Have your résumé, cover letters, and personal statements reviewed by the CDO.
  • Refine your interviewing skills by signing up for a practice interview.

Implement Your Plan

  • Talk with trusted advisors and people in your field. Connect with professional associations.
  • Determine criteria for post-graduation plans and design search around those priorities.
  • Attend career fairs, info sessions, alumni panels and workshops.
  • Identify target organizations, grad schools and fellowships; focus your search efforts there.

Transfer Checklist

Assess Yourself

  • Reflect on your experiences to identify possible fields or paths to explore that ignite your passions.
  • Talk with a career advisor to discuss your interests, experiences, career options, and next steps.
  • Create a list of possible post-grad career paths with input from trusted advisors and faculty.

Explore Interests

  • Actively participate in courses, groups, and clubs related to your interests to gain experience and test out those fields.
  • Attend interest-related workshops, presentations, career fairs, and academic/co-curricular events.
  • Customize your Handshake profile to make sure you receive emails when positions and events of interests are happening on campus or around the other Claremont Colleges.

Develop Skills

  • Create or refine your résumé and get ready to use it!
  • Practice your networking skills – attend a workshop, career fair, or professional event.
  • Connect with people in your interest area through LinkedIn, Sagehen Connect, and SagePost47.
  • Conduct informational interviews to gain knowledge in your field of interest through shadowing a Sagehen.

Implement Your Plan

  • Take on leadership roles with organizations in your interest areas.
  • Identify career-related opportunities and apply for a SURP, PCIP, internship, or research experience.
  • Talk with your faculty and other advisors about possible post-graduation paths.
  • Know the typical hiring practices of your chosen field: some fields recruit for their summer jobs/internships in early fall.