Senior Year Begins Now

Whether it's registering for fall classes, arranging for next year's housing or weighing post-graduation options, most juniors know that senior year begins now.

Employment and graduate school marketability takes on greater importance as students look ahead. Internships, networking and leadership initiatives are viewed as purposeful and imperative. Resumes, curricula vitae and career portfolios are seen as necessary tools for success.

Amid the pressure to excel, your student may be wondering, "Have I done enough?"

Seeing the Big Picture

Stellar grades, abundant co-curricular involvement and prestigious internship experiences may be every parent's dream.  But, in truth, college students vary in aptitude, achievement and motivation.

Whether your student is at the top of his/her class or is still working his/her way upward, take heart in knowing it is the sum of his/her experiences that matter most.

Most certainly, graduate schools and employers favor:

  • Solid grades.
  • Three or more internship experiences.
  • Diverse experiential activities (research, creative, scholarly, etc.).
  • Multiple co-curricular involvement including leadership positions.
  • Personal initiative in creating opportunities for oneself.

But even if your student is lagging behind, there is still time to take action. An academic advisor, Career Services expert and/or mentor can suggest ways your student can fill in the gaps.

Taking Inventory

Creating an impressive and well-polished professional profile goes beyond fulfilling a checklist of accomplishments. A student needs to see how his/her experiences, skills and achievements come together to present a marketable candidate for graduate school or employment. When thoughtfully woven together, experiences that may seem insignificant on their own can add up to create an impressive profile.

The following list can help your student get started. The list includes important experiences and competencies your student may have gained through academic, co-curricular and/or experiential learning activities. In scanning the list, your student should consider their use in a resume, curriculum vitae, career portfolio and/or when being interviewed for a position.

  • Foreign language, math, English competencies.
  • Peer tutoring.
  • Course assistant.
  • Teaching experience or serving as a trainer.
  • Counseling experience.
  • Mediation skills.
  • Public speaking on behalf of a cause.
  • Other public speaking.
  • Scholarly, creative or tutorial writing.
  • Writing press releases, working with media and marketing/public relations initiatives.
  • Editing a newspaper, newsletter or journal article.
  • Formal presentations at professional conferences.
  • Advanced computer, photography, broadcasting experience.
  • Graphic design competency.
  • Creative/artistic/performing arts talent.
  • Ability to analyze raw data and create reports.
  • Market, competitor, economic analysis skills.
  • Experience in bookkeeping, accounting, auditing.
  • Financial and management accounting skills.
  • Budgeting on behalf of an organization.
  • Experience in developing business plans and project planning.
  • Real-world consulting.
  • Leadership training.
  • Fundraising.

In addition to his/her experiences at BW, your student should take into account competencies gained through employment, community/civic volunteer work and affinity group activities.

Seeking Assistance

If your student is having difficulty synthesizing his/her experiences, attributes and skills into a marketable profile, encourage him/her to make an appointment with a Career Services advisor. The advisor can help your student create an impressive profile that can garner the attention of prospective employers and graduate schools.

Do Grades Need a Boost?

BW students are never alone. Students needing assistance should talk with their professors. Other resources include the Learning Center, Writing Lab and drop-in math tutoring.