Your 4-Year Action Plan For A Rewarding Career
PennWest California's Career Advantage Program is an exceptional, one-of-a-kind opportunity to realize your personal potential. It's a four-year plan to help you discover the college career path that's the perfect fit for your skills, talents and interests. You will:
- Identify your skills, interests and values.
- Choose a college major.
- Explore your best career options.
- Gain job experience while in school through internships and the University's Cooperative Education (co-op) program.
- Prepare for your job search and/or graduate school by developing an effective resume, personal brand and networking/interviewing skills.
- Connect with employers looking to hire PennWest California graduates.
View the Career Advantage Road Map.
When is a good time to begin developing a Career Advantage?
Right now! Students who start freshman year - or earlier - and who actively participate in Career Advantage activities save time and money by choosing a major that is a good fit in their early college years. They also graduate more prepared and confident to secure a position in their fields. But it's never too late to gain a career advantage!
How Does Career Advantage Work?
The PennWest California Career Advantage Program breaks down the three key phases of career development - explore, experience and connect - into straightforward actions for you to take each year. View the key career action items for each year below.
- Complete the FOCUS 2 online interactive career exploration system.
- Meet with your career coach in the Career and Professional Development Center to begin your Career Advantage plan.
- Take the Career Planning class.
- Sign up for Handshake.
- Utilize the resources on the Career and Professional Development Center website.
- Use the PennWest California Career Network on LinkedIn to do informational interviews.
- Develop a resume.
- Get involved in student organizations.
- Take the Career Readiness class.
- Explore cooperative education (co-op).
- Complete a co-op, internship or service learning experience.
- Meet with your career coach to talk about your Career Advantage progress.
- Update your LinkedIn profile and build your professional network.
- Attend the networking events.
- Attend career and internship fairs.
- Fine-tune your resume and upload it to Handshake.
- Practice your skills with a practice interview.
- Meet with your career coach to develop job search strategies or plan for graduate school.
- Participate in on-campus interviews and information sessions.
- Tap into your career network using the PennWest California Career Network.
- Attend job fairs and networking events.
Career Advantage Graduation Cords
Stand out at graduation with a Career Advantage certificate and the distinction of wearing Career Advantage cords. You can accrue points to earn your certificate and/or cords by participating in Career Advantage activities and reporting them using Handshake.
Get Your Career Advantage
Watch a video that explains how the Career and Professional Development Center can give you a career advantage: