Timeline for Career Success | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Timeline for Career Success

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Below is a suggested timeline of things to consider in preparing for your future career success.  Penn State has many resources available to students, but you do need to be proactive in taking advantage of them.  Remember, your success depends on you!

  • Research IST majors available at Penn State. Talk to an academic adviser if you have questions about the majors or potential career paths within these fields.
  • Study hard! Some employers exclude applicants with grade point averages below a certain level (often 3.0) from consideration. Maintaining a good GPA will help you have access to the greatest number of opportunities.
  • Discover the career resources offered through IST's Office of Career Solutions and get to know our team.
  • Log-in to Nittany Lion Careers, Penn State's job posting and recruiting system, and begin looking at jobs and internship targeting College of IST majors.
  • Create a LinkedIn account and complete your profile. You will add to your profile as you go through your degree program. Make connections with recruiters and classmates as appropriate.
  • Write a resume. Don't worry if you do not have a lot of information to include yet! You will gradually add information as you go through your degree program.
  • Review your social media accounts. Think about the impression your social media presence may be making on employers. Clean up inappropriate content or make any such content private.
  • Begin building your ePortfolio. This is a great way to supplement your resume and LinkedIn profile and showcase your skills and abilities to future employers while highlighting your passions. You will continue to add to this as you move through your degree program.
  • Purchase a suit. Invest in a good-quality suit in a classic color and style that you can use for the next few years. Business professional attire is expected for career fairs, interviews, and some company events.
  • Attend IST and University-wide career events. These events offer you great opportunities to meet and network with employers. Company events, workshops, and career fairs can also be found under the ‘Events’ tab in Nittany Lion Careers. Students from all Penn State campuses are welcome at all career events (students at campuses other than University Park should also check for events on their own campuses, if available).
  • Get to know your instructors. Building relationships with faculty not only helps in the classroom, but can potentially open doors with future employers.
  • Investigate the various student organizations. Getting involved with student organizations will help you to develop interpersonal and leadership skills, and may help you to make professional connections. There are many opportunities to get involved, both at the College of IST, and University-wide.
  • International students: check with an adviser in the University Office of Global Programs regarding any special requirements for co-ops or internships with your specific visa status. Find out how much and when you may be allowed to work at a short-term assignment, if you choose to do so.
  • Complete all steps in First Year Timeline
  • Update your résumé and LinkedIn profile with any career-related experience you have had so far. Remove high school information after your first semester at Penn State.
  • Network with companies on campus. Fall tends to be the heaviest recruiting season, so be prepared to engage in networking and other recruiting activities as soon as you arrive on campus.
  • Search for co-op or internship opportunities in Nittany Lion Careers and apply for positions of interest. Remember: an internship experience is a graduation requirement.
  • Join student organization related to your intended major.
  • Add to your ePortfolio. Include any projects you've completed in the classroom and personal projects you've done "just for the fun of it".
  • Continue to build relationships with faculty and instructors at Penn State.
  • Practice your interview skills by doing a mock interview. If you are not at the University Park campus, check with your campus career office to see whether mock interview options are available to you.
  • Arrange some informational interviews with professionals in any fields you are considering.
  • Update your voicemail message so that it sounds professional, once you start interviewing.
  • Complete all steps in First Year and Second Year Timelines.
  • Update your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Add all professional positions you have held, including any volunteer or leadership positions. Include related academic or personal projects.
  • Consider using the GPA Calculator to add your major GPA to your resume.  You calculate this using only your IST, SRA, or DS courses.
  • Search for co-op or internship opportunities in Nittany Lion Careers and apply for positions of interest. Remember: an internship experience is a graduation requirement.
  • Add to your ePortfolio. Include any projects you've completed in the classroom and personal projects you've done "just for the fun of it".
  • Attend career events at Penn State and check Nittany Lion Careers for information sessions and company workshops. Before you go, find out which employers will be attending and focus your efforts on those of most interest to you. Remember, that the fall is the heaviest recruiting season.
  • Practice your interview skills by doing a mock interview. If you are not at the University Park campus, check with your campus career office to see whether mock interview options are available to you.
  • Join a professional organization in your intended field and use every opportunity to network with other professionals.
  • Investigate your options and get information on entrance exams that may be required (e.g., GRE), if you are considering graduate or professional school.
  • Transfer students: start getting to know faculty in your department as quickly as possible. You may need them as resources or references.
  • Complete all steps in First Year, Second Year, and Third Year Timelines.
  • Take any required entrance exams, if you are planning to go to graduate school.
  • Update your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Add all professional positions you have held, including any volunteer or leadership positions. Create targeted versions of your résumé for different positions or employers, as needed.
  • Practice your interview skills by doing a mock interview. If you are not at the University Park campus, check with your campus career office to see whether mock interview options are available to you.
  • Search and apply for entry-level full-time jobs through Nittany Lion Careers and other online job posting resources.
  • Add to your ePortfolio. Include any projects you've completed in the classroom and personal projects you've done "just for the fun of it".
  • Attend career events at Penn State and check Nittany Lion Careers for information sessions and company workshops. Before you go, find out which employers will be attending and focus your efforts on those of most interest to you. Remember, that the fall is the heaviest recruiting season.
  • Schedule on-campus interviews. If you are enrolled at another Penn State campus but you are planning an on-campus interview, talk to the recruiter about your options for a telephone/virtual interview if you are not able to make it to University Park.
  • Contact people in your professional network—including professors, instructors, and former employers—to request references.
  • Accept an offer. If you have had successful co-op or internship experiences, you may already have one or more full-time job offers from past employers. Weigh the pros and cons of your options before you accept any offer.

 

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E103 Westgate Building
Email: careers@ist.psu.edu
Phone: (814) 865-4509

Schedule an appointment: appointments.ist.psu.edu

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