TartanGPS: A Roadmap for Your Career
Your career and professional development is a journey that began before you came to Carnegie Mellon, and will last long after you leave. We look forward to supporting you as you learn more about yourself and make decisions about how you will use this amazing academic experience to realize your professional aspirations.
Our discipline-specific career consulting model means that we are committed to developing a personal relationship with you. If you haven't yet done so, start by making an appointment with your career consultant.
We have developed TartanGPS as a navigation program through this exciting journey.
Coordinate One: Discover and Explore...
- Meet your Career Consultant who can help you to begin exploring or confirming your focus in college
- It might be helpful to take a career inventory to help you know how your unique interests, talents and values relate to major choice and career direction. Your Career Consultant can advise you of the best course of action regarding this option
- Work with your Career Consultant to research career information through resources like the Occupational Information Network and the Occupational Outlook Handbook
- Familiarize yourself with all of the resources available at the CPDC and the career website for your college
- Attend the Inside Scoop on Internships program to learn about internships and possible career paths
- Attend employer information sessions to gain information and insight on potential career paths, companies, and industries of interest
- Take entry level courses in academic areas you are considering
- Begin building your professional network, by talking to students, faculty, and alumni about your possible career aspirations
- Ask your Career Consultant about TartanTrak. This database is a resource for internships, student employment positions, full time jobs, and networking with alumni
- Meet with your Career Consultant to help you explore options related to school-year positions on/off campus and identify summer opportunities and or research opportunities to assist in formulating your plan
- Get involved: take advantage of other social/academic organizations and services on-campus! Use the Professional Network to seek individuals in a profession of interest to conduct an informational interview
- Create your professional resume
- Attend campus job fairs (CAOC, .GOV, TOC, EOC, BOC, etc…) to learn about possible internships and careers in a variety of industries
Coordinate Two: Decide and Experience...
The focus and programming of Coordinate Two will help you confirm or analyze what to major in, identify skills that you need to hone, and experiences that will help you further clarify your direction. Effective
decision making is an essential tool for navigating this Coordinate. Plan to meet with your Career Consultant to learn more about confirming your choices and gaining real life experience in a variety of
- Confirm your choice of major, track, or minor. Plan to meet with your Career Consultant to learn about career options related to your major choice
- Attend workshops and programs sponsored by the Career and Professional Development Center
- Consider part-time, on-campus positions, research opportunities, and internships that relate to your major or that will help you to develop additional skills and career savvy. Learn about ExperientialLearning through Student Employment at: http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/career/studentemp/index.html
- Use CPDC services such as career counseling, on-campus interviews, and TartanTrak
- Consider your study abroad options. Check with Office of International Education http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/oie
- Explore opportunities for independent research and creative projects through the Undergraduate Research Office. www.cmu.edu/uro
- Visit the Fellowships and Scholarships Office to learn about scholarship/fellowship information. www.cmu.edu/fso
- Send for career materials from professional associations and consider joining one as a student member
- Attend workshops for help with resumes, employment letters, interviewing skills and working job fairs
- Devote a significant amount of time seeking a summer job/internship related to your field. Attend job fairs, and search for internships on TartanTrak. Your Career Consultant can assist you with additional resources
- Join several organizations on campus and get involved outside of your academics. You could also assume a leadership role in campus organizations and/or volunteer projects
- Develop relationships with advisors and faculty members. Identify individuals who could serve as references for graduate school or employment
- Schedule a mock interview with a professional recruiter through TartanTRAK and/or with your Career Consultant.
- Explore your options to attend graduate or professional school. The CPDC has many resources to help you make and prepare for this decision
- Planning for medical or law school? Meet with Carnegie Mellon’s medical school and pre-law school advisors about admission processes and testing
- Plan to meet with your Career Consultant to learn about career options related to your major choice
- Attend workshops and programs sponsored by the CPDC
Coordinate Three: Connect and Implement...
At this point in your career planning you will be ready to make another important decision about the direction you will take after graduation, such as: will you go to graduate school, find a job or pursue alternative postgraduation opportunities? As in the other two Coordinates, the direction you choose requires specialized tools and skills to get there.
A very important aspect of Coordinate Three is maintaining the relationship with your Career Consultant. By having worked closely with your Career Consultant over the course of your undergraduate education he or she will know the kinds of positions or graduate programs you are seeking and can help direct you to
The end of your undergraduate academic experience may be a realization of one goal—to get your degree—it is the beginning of a new set of goals to advance your career plan. To prepare for life after graduation, your participation in the TartanGPS system will help you develop the following professional skills necessary to implement your goals:
- A polished resume and the skill to draft employment letters
- Mock interview experience
- A well developed marketing speech (your “elevator pitch”)
- A solid understanding of opportunities in your career field
- Knowledge of how to conduct a job search
- Ability to begin building your professional network
Plan for Graduate School:
- The Career and Professional Development Center and your academic departments have many resources to help you identify programs. Stop by to schedule an appointment with your Career Consultant
- Write your application essays and have them proofread. Complete applications and take the necessary entrance exams
- Request faculty members and employers to serve as references
- Get information about Interfolio, an on-line credential file service for graduate school application materials at the Career and Professional Development Center
- Continue researching graduate school funding sources by visiting the Fellowships and Scholarships Office
- Formulate your job search plan prior to your senior year. Meet with your Career Consultant for guidance with your final job search plan and to gain specific resources for positions of interest. Frequently check TartanTrak to learn about employer information sessions and interview schedules
- Network with parents, friends, alumni i.e. alumni database, ProNet, and others
- Contact employers by participating in on-campus recruiting and job fairs. Review job postings in TartanTrak, the Career and Professional Development Center’s Career Success Guides and the Internet
- Use the many resources available through the CCPD such as the Hoovers database which has access to over four million companies.
Plan for Alternative Post-Graduate Opportunities:
- Meet with your Career Consultant to help you identify alternative options to attending graduate school or finding employment.
- Consider research (university, hospital, clinical site, etc…)
- Consider non-certified or alternative teaching opportunities (Teach for America, National Association for Independent Schools, Carney Sandoe Associates, etc…)
- Consider volunteering (AmeriCorps, Peace Corp, Global Volunteers, BackDoor Jobs, etc…)
- Anything that you can dream of pursuing