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Preparing for Career Establishment

Preparing for Career Establishment

Once you have discovered where you want to go, the next step is identifying and mapping the potential paths to get you there. The academic, extra-curricular and career-related opportunities you choose will reinforce your decisions and set your plan in motion. The goal of preparation is knowing what it is that you need to do to ensure your success after you graduate.


Recommendations for Preparing for Career Establishment

Below are listed the “preparing” recommendations from the Career Engagement Guide, targeted at helping you continue your personal creation of your future success. By selecting the “+” to the left of each recommendation or the “Expand All” button at the top of the recommendations list, the path for how to fulfill each recommendation will be revealed. We also encourage you to also visit the complete PDF version of the guide linked at the bottom of this page to read more about the purpose behind each recommendation.

  • Work with a Career Services team member to create a career plan with action steps toward your post-graduation goals.
    • Schedule an appointment with a Career Services staff member to discuss and identify the best experiences and opportunities for your customized personal career plan.
  • Continue involvement and pursue leadership opportunities within campus, community or industry-related clubs, organizations and activities.
    • Visit OSU’s CampusLink website, campuslink.okstate.edu to explore the more than 400 clubs, organizations and activities throughout the Stillwater campus and learn how to get involved.
  • Continue to establish and maintain good relationships with faculty members, advisors, peers, alumni and campus staff.
    • Build relationships with your classmates and expand your networks together by sharing contacts. Visit with your professors after class, during their office hours, at campus events, or schedule appointments to discuss their disciplines and career advice. Attend discipline-specific student organization meetings, alumni panel discussions, and other activities. Keep in contact with your network connections, let them know what is happening in your professional development, ask for advice and be willing to help them in return. Remember, developing a relationship takes more than a one-time meeting.
  • Set and pursue academic goals for a strong GPA, using tutoring and other academic assistance resources as needed.
    • Develop effective study habits and use academic support resources to earn the best GPA possible. The Ferguson College of Agriculture Student Success Center staff can assist you with identifying personal academic success strategies and with connecting to other academic support resources throughout the OSU-Stillwater campus.
  • Keep your OSU Hire System account active, and your profile and résumé updated.
    • Visit the OSU Career Services website, hireOSUgrads.com and go to the “Student & Alumni” section. Select the “Hire System Login” tab on the left-hand navigation menu. Log in to your account. Once inside the Hire System, use the options under “My Profile” in the top navigation to update your profile and upload a current résumé.
  • Create or update your LinkedIn account, including a professional photograph.
    • Set up a LinkedIn account at linkedin.com. Varying levels of LinkedIn subscriptions are available, including a free subscription option. LinkedIn also has an app for both Apple and Android products. The site has helpful information about account set up and use under the “Help” menu. Career Services staff also can provide guidance in maximizing your LinkedIn usage.
  • Create a résumé or update a previous résumé and have it reviewed by a Career Services staff member or trained volunteer.
    • If you need assistance deciding how to add new experiences to your current résumé, visit the “how to” resources available online at casnr.okstate.edu/careerservices. Once you have a rough draft developed, bring it by the Ferguson College of Agriculture Student Success Center, 103 Ag Hall, to have it critiqued and get advice.
  • Purchase appropriate interview attire.
    • Ferguson College of Agriculture Career Services recommends having both business professional and business casual options ready for the interview process. Business professional will typically be appropriate, but in some instances, employers may provide candidates with the opportunity to interview in business casual. Safe definitions of each style are available in the career fair preparation guide online at casnr.okstate.edu/careerservices/attire. Lots of options are available for putting your interview attire together on a budget including sales, discount stores, resale shops, and partnering with peers for mix-and-match options.
  • Complete a mock interview and/or participate in Mock Interview Day.
    • OSU Career Services offers 24-hour online virtual mock interviews through Interview Stream. OSU Career Services also hosts a Mock Interview Day each semester where employers volunteer to facilitate practice interviews with students, and students may also schedule mock interviews with Career Services staff. Information about how to use Interview Stream, how to participate in Mock Interview Day or how to schedule a mock interview with a staff member is available online at hireosugrads.com/StudentsAlumni/Interview-Practice.aspx.
  • Attend career development workshops, presentations and events.
    • Visit the OSU Career Services website, hireOSUgrads.com to find a schedule of campus-wide career events.
    • Stay informed of workshops, presentations and events coordinated by Ferguson College of Agriculture Career Services by visiting casnr.okstate.edu/cl-events and following our social media channels.
  • Attend career fairs and employer information sessions.
    • Visit the OSU Career Services website, hireOSUgrads.com to find a schedule of campus-wide career events including career fairs and employer information sessions.
    • Find out about employer-student connection events coordinated by Ferguson College of Agriculture Career Services by visiting casnr.okstate.edu/cl-events and following our social media channels.
  • Build your career-related work experience through volunteer opportunities, part-time jobs, research experiences and/or internships.
    • Meet with a Career Services staff member and your faculty advisor to identify potential experiences to support your career path and develop a plan for how to pursue those opportunities. Your academic advisor also can assist you in determining if earning academic credit for an internship experience is necessary or recommended and how to pursue academic credit for the experience.
  • Begin the information gathering process for graduate and/or professional school options, if applicable to your goals.
    • Visit the websites of different institutions and programs to gather basic information about admissions steps, requirements, testing, timelines and key contacts for the process and your discipline. Write down questions about information you are unable to locate. Call and/or email the key contacts to fill in the holes within your information.


To understand the purpose behind these recommendations, consult the Prepare section of the Career Engagement Guide.