Career Exploration Module

The First Year Seminar (FYS) Professionalism and Career Exploration Module, created by 21-22 Career Faculty Fellow, Pat Wing, is designed as a set of simple activities and assignments to help students connect their academic and professional pursuits, beginning from the first semester at the University of Redlands. As described below, the module provides guidance for FYS faculty in introducing institutional resources and habits of thought and reflection that will help students start to think about professionalism as an interconnected part of their entire college experience.

Components

The module consists of four components, the specifics of which can be adapted to the goals and preferences of each FYS instructor.

  1. Exploration of OCPD Resources. Students are introduced to the OCPD website and might complete an assignment designed to familiarize them with the resources available. Part of this assignment could include creating profiles on Handshake and AlumniFire.
  2. Interaction with U of R alumni. The FYS faculty member would invite one or more alumni to class for a discussion and Q&A with students about their own time as a student and the path that has taken them where they are today.
  3. Reflection on interests. Students might write a short, reflective essay on the kinds of work and interactions they find meaningful. FYS faculty and peer advisor would help students think about what constitutes meaningful work for them, through structured class discussions or other activities.
  4. Goal setting is a continuous part of academic advising. Students could create a professional goals document, which would be part of their Self-Service advising file, and would be revisited by their advisor during their registration advising session once a semester. Goals might include creating a resume, interview practice, reaching out to alumni for informational interviews, seeking internships, etc. The document could also include target dates and concrete steps to be taken to achieve the goals

The proposed module would require FYS faculty to devote a few class sessions, or parts of class sessions to introduce the activities and assignments. Ideally, these activities and assignments would be incorporated into the topic of the seminar. For example, in the FYS “The Middle East, Yesterday and Today,” faculty might invite alumni whose work or life experience has taken them to the Middle East. Additionally, the reflective essay assignment might ask students to consider how class content has affected their thoughts about meaningful work in their own life.