Master's Student Timeline

No matter where you are in your graduate degree, you can start preparing towards finding a career or job after graduation. See our guided timeline below for some ideas about how to prepare. You can also use our checklists to help you prepare for your job search. 

Explore Our Timeline: 

Year One:

Build Your Network

  • Identify and secure an advisor who compliments your interests and mentoring style.
  • Evaluate your network. Identify where your network is strong and make a plan to strengthen your network where it is weak.
  • Conduct informational interviews with relevant companies and/or positions.
  • If applicable, join professional organizations to expand your network.
  • If applicable, attend professional conferences to learn more about your field and to network.
  • Created a LinkedIn account and update it regularly.
  • Introduce yourself and get to know other graduate students and faculty in your department and around campus.
  • Attend networking events on campus and throughout your own personal network (such as your undergraduate alma mater, conferences, industry events, professional associations,etc).

Plan for Success

  • Create a timeline for the next two years that outlines your goals and pertinent deadlines. 
  • Familiarize yourself with your department’s cycle of regular deadlines, research & travel grants, and fellowships and grants.
  • Explore the Career Center website to learn about informational interviews, networking, and other pertinent information for job seekers.
  • Draft a Master List of your past experiences for fodder to make your Resume.
  • If you have a CV, convert it into a resume.
  • Do some self-reflection and research to determine possible companies or organizations of interest or desirable career paths or positions.

Gain Experience and Transferable Skills

  • Research and apply for summer internships, jobs, and/or volunteer work to explore and hone your transferable skills.
  • Visit the Career Center to identify transferable skills and help with your application materials for summer opportunities.
  • Consider taking on a leadership role on campus through the Graduate Student Association, the Graduate Student Commons, or in a low-impact departmental or campus committee.
  • Consider participating in the Graduate Division’s Graduate Student Leadership Certificate Program.
  • If possible, do an internship, volunteer work, or hold a part-time job while you earn your degree to expand your network and skills.

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Summer Between Year One & Year Two:

Build Your Network

  • Use the summer to conduct informational interviews to build your list of contacts at desirable companies or organizations or learn more about desirable positions.
  • Attend networking events on campus and through your own personal network (such as your undergraduate alma mater, conferences, industry events, professional associations,etc).
  • Update your LinkedIn profile.
  • If applicable, join professional organizations to expand your network.
  • If applicable, attend professional conferences to learn more about your field and to network.

Plan for Success

  • Update and adjust your timeline until after graduation with appropriate deadlines and goals.
  • Visit the Career Center as necessary.
  • Draft necessary application materials such as a resume, cover letter, and other applicable documents.
  • Have a trusted mentor, peer, or Career Center coach critique your application materials and revise them as necessary.
  • Do some research and identify possible fellowships or job openings to apply to and create a calendar of deadlines.

Gain Experience and Transferable Skills

  • Use this summer to do an internship, a part-time job, and/or volunteer to build your skills and network.

Click here to go back to the top. 

 

Year Two:

Build Your Network

  • Update your LinkedIn profile regularly.
  • Continue to conduct informational interviews if necessary.
  • Continue to attend networking events on campus and throughout your own personal network (such as your undergraduate alma mater, conferences, industry events, professional associations,etc).
  • If applicable, join professional organizations to expand your network.
  • If applicable, attend professional conferences to learn more about your field and to network.

Plan for Success

  • Create a calendar of when job applications are due.
  • Continue to adjust your long term timeline with goals and deadlines.
  • Attend Career Fairs on campus or elsewhere.  
  • Tailor your resume and cover letter for job applications and apply.
  • Visit the Career Center to revise your application materials and practice interviewing.
  • Practice interviewing with a trusted peer, mentor, or Career Center coach.
  • Visit the Career Center website to learn about negotiating a job offer.
  • Research salaries in your field.
  • Tell your network that you are actively job hunting.
  • Utilize professional organization contacts to explore and identify job openings.
  • If applicable, identify other areas of interest to pursue and apply for such as fellowships or apprenticeships.

Gain Experience and Transferable Skills

  • Research and apply for summer internships, jobs, and/or volunteer work to explore and hone your transferable skills if you haven’t secured a job or if your job doesn’t start until the fall.
  • Consider taking on a leadership role on campus through the Graduate Student Association, the Graduate Student Commons, or in a low-impact departmental or campus committee.
  • Consider participating in the Graduate Division’s Graduate Student Leadership Certificate Program.
  • If possible, do an internship, volunteer work, or hold a part-time job while you earn your degree to expand your network and skills.

Click here to go back to the top.  

Do you need help creating a personal timeline or preparing yourself to go on the job market? Make an appointment with one of our Career Coaches today!