4 Milestones to Your Career

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

Where will you be when you graduate from NLU? 

Begin taking steps now to reach your goals. It's never too early (or too late) to start. But—the earlier you start, the easier it will be to prepare! 

Develop the habit of connecting with the Career Development Office a regular basis. 

Here's a timeline to guide your progress:

The Basics: 

  • Make an appointment to talk with a Career Readiness Advisor.
  • Update your resume and have it critiqued and proofread.
  • Join professional associations and become an active member to build a network of colleagues in your field. Find a student version of your professional association and take leadership roles.
  • Subscribe to and read professional journals in your chosen field.

Milestone 1 

Asking questions, exploring your options (up to 30 credit hours)

  • Schedule an appointment at the Career Development Office to familiarize yourself with the services and resources available.
  • Take interest and career inventory assessments using Career Beam-- access Career Beam through your student portal.
  • Start a career information file or notebook that will include records of your career development and job-search activities for the next 4 milestones.
  • Identify at least four skills employers want and plan how you will acquire these skills before graduation. Meet with your Career Readiness Advisor for help.
  • Scan the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is filled with information on hundreds of occupations. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the CDO website—a good source of tips and articles to help with your job search.
  • Complete the Resume module in Career Beam. Write your first resume.
  • Explore your interests, abilities, and skills through required academics.
  • Talk to faculty, alumni, and career advisors about possible majors and careers.
  • Join university organizations that will offer you leadership roles in the future.
  • Collect information on cooperative education programs, internships, and summer jobs available through eRecruiting (accessed through your portal).
  • Consider volunteer positions to help build your resume.

Milestone 2 

Researching options/testing paths (up to 60 credit hours)

  • Schedule an appointment with your Career Readiness Advisor to bring yourself up-to-date on what's needed in your career file.
  • Update your resume (with your summer activities) and have it critiqued.
  • Begin a cooperative education program or consider internship, summer, and school-break job opportunities that relate to your interests.
  • Explore at least three career options available to you through your major.
  • Complete the Cover Letter module in Career Beam.
  • Review your progress in learning four (or more) skills employers look for in new hires.
  • Research various occupations in the Occupational Outlook Handbook  and materials on the website.
  • Identify organizations and associations in your interest areas for shadowing opportunities and informational interviews.
  • Join at least one professional or honorary organization related to your major to make contact with people in the professional world.
  • Work toward one leadership position in a university club or activity.
  • Begin to collect recommendations from previous and current employers.
  • Put together an interview outfit.

Milestone 3

Making decisions/plotting directions (up to 100 credit hours)

  • Schedule an appointment with your Career Readiness Advisor to have your updated resume critiqued.
  • Narrow your career interests.
  • Review your participation in a co-op program or explore internship opportunities with your Career Readiness Advisor.
  • Review the resume and cover letter modules on Career Beam, and practice interviewing in the Interview module. 
  • Practice your skills at mock interviews.
  • Review your progress in learning four (or more) skills employers look for in new hires.
  • Take leadership positions in clubs and organizations.
  • Consider graduate school and get information on graduate entrance examinations.
  • Ask former employers and professors to serve as references or to write recommendations to future employers.
  • Complete at least five informational interviews in careers you want to explore.
  • Shadow several professionals in your field.
  • Research potential employers and talk to recent graduates in your major about the job market and potential employers.
  • Start your professional wardrobe.

Milestone 4

Searching, interviewing, accepting, success!

  • Update your resume and have it critiqued by a Career Readiness Advisor.
  • Develop an employer prospect list with contact names and addresses from organizations you are interested in pursuing.
  • Gather information on realistic salary expectations. The CDO will be able to help.
  • Attend local association meetings to meet potential employers.
  • Draft a cover letter that can be adapted for a variety of employers and have it critiqued.
  • Participate mock interviews and practice whenever you can.
  • Read two or more professional or trade publications from your major and career field on a regular basis.
  • If you are planning to go to graduate school, take graduate school entrance exams and complete applications.
  • Follow up on all applications and keep a record of the status of each.
  • Go on second interviews. Evaluate job offers and accept one.
  • Report all job offers and your acceptance to the Career Development Office.

Good luck in your career!

 

Adapted from National Association of Colleges and Employers, copyright holder. www.naceweb.org

Locations
  • CHICAGO DOWNTOWN CAMPUS

    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603

    (888) 658.8632

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  • ELGIN

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123

    (888) 658.8632

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  • NORTH SHORE

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077

    (888) 658.8632

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  • LISLE

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532

    (888) 658.8632

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  • WHEELING

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090

    (888) 658.8632

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  • FLORIDA (TAMPA)

    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

     

     

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634

    (800) 366.6581

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  • WISCONSIN

    NLU's Milwaukee campus has a proud history of serving graduate students in education in southeastern Wisconsin. Nearly one in five certified Wisconsin teachers looks to NLU for graduate education programs – more than any other university in the state. In addition to classrooms with high-tech media equipment, the campus offers a state-of-the-art computer lab with wireless Internet access and an extensive IDS research library.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007

    (414) 577.2658

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