Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

iChoose: A Student’s Perspective on Owning Your Career Development

Written by Emily Purdom ’18

In the realm of start-ups and business, success is a result of hard work and follow through. Career development is no different. Self-exploration in addition to rigorous research are the foundation of your next step, whether it be to an internship, job shadow, or full-time career.

Last November I had the opportunity to participate in CCD’s iChoose career development and exploration workshop with Vicky Keller. I was expecting the seminar to be another impersonal lecture touting the perks of LinkedIn and Career Connections, however the program was just the opposite. A small setting and one-on-one coaching allowed participants to bounce ideas off of each other and to dig deeply into our repertoire of strengths and experiences in order to align our career paths with our personal passions. However, the greatest take-away from the workshop was not the armada of resources or potential career leads, rather it was the relationship that I had forged with Vicky and the momentum that I had generated in relation to proactively chipping away at my long-term plan.

My path of career development post-iChoose has been composed of intensive researching interspersed with regular meetings with Vicky. The CCD consultants are a wealth of information, however they can only share this information if students are willing to put in the time and effort to develop a meaningful relationship. Therefore CCD and your career path are limited only by yourself. The hours of input that you invest into your development is directly proportional to the output that you will reap two months or two years down the road.

In light of the upcoming iChoose seminar and the recent internship fair, I have compiled a list of suggestions that I have found useful in my strategic plan.

  1. Go to iChoose: Start figuring yourself out. What makes you tick? When you look back through your past, what patterns emerge? Use the materials from iChoose to reflect on your experiences in order to chart your path.
  2. Follow up: Develop a relationship with CCD, have your resume edited, and talk with a counselor about where you hope to end up and co-develop a plan to get you there. However, be aware of reciprocity. Hold up your end of the bargain by doing your homework and showing up to meetings fully prepared.
  3. Use the computer…. And your head: It is all in the research. Set aside a block of time every week to comb through employer sites, Career Connections, and the news. Learn how to use LinkedIn. Be aware of who surrounds you. What opportunities do your peers, family, or professors offer to you. What can you offer to them?
  4. Stay organized- Start a networking log or a list of interesting leads. Not only will this save you time picking up where you left off or retracing your steps, it will also prevent you from becoming overwhelmed as materials accumulate.

Before attending iChoose, I was skeptical about what the program could offer in just a single session. I debated whether or not to make the journey all the way over to the executive center on that cold November afternoon. iChoose offered a gentle nudge to get me rolling, and since then I have found that the most important step is simply to get started. The walk was certainly worth it.



Thank you Emily for sharing your perspective.  The next iChoose session is Friday, February 13th from 1-4pm. Please contact UGRAD CCD if you are interested in attending.