Career Exploration Overview: This project is designed to help you get more information about your desired career: job description and requirements, salary ranges, job availability, career path, a typical day on the job, etc. While many of you are probably already working, or have worked in the past, you might not be working in your “dream job” or in the career for which you are currently studying. Many students are unsure of what they want to do when they graduate. Therefore, this project is designed to help you learn about an entry-level/ appropriate job-level option, or about the next step in your career path, no matter what stage you are in currently. 


1.You must determine what your expected or desired appropriate level job will be upon graduation and typical salary ranges for that job title. There are many online and print sources for determining this information. Make sure to make appropriate adjustments for local cost of living in determining a reasonable salary expectation. Base your salary range on at least three sources. 

2. Create a list of companies who recruit on campus for the job title you are seeking. If no (or too few) companies recruit on campus, develop a list of companies you could target yourself. In both cases, create a list of 5 to 7 companies with addresses, phone numbers and contact names. 

3. You will conduct an “informational interview” with someone already working in your chosen field, either in an entry-level position or higher up (the person can be a professional contact or a family contact). An informational interview is NOT a job interview; it is a short conversation with someone who holds a job you find interesting. Most professionals are willing to give 10 minutes of their time to talk about how they got their job, what their typical day on the job is like, what someone interested in the same career should do to prepare, etc.* When attempting to set up the interview, explain that you are not looking for a job, that it is an informational interview, which will take no more than 10 minutes of their time. Once the interview gets going, you may find that they are willing to spend more time speaking with you. You should feel free to ask them about their college major and activities, their first job and how they got it, their career path, what a typical day on the job is like, and anything else you might want to know before pursuing a similar career path yourself. Under no circumstances should you ask about their salary or benefits. That is rude, and you can get general information about salary parameters from other sources.

4. You should also write a job description for your targeted position. Feel free to use information from your interview, from textbooks, the web or any other sources to develop your job description. However, you should write it in your OWN words and not copy from any source.

5. Finally, please write a personal statement giving your reactions to what you have now discovered about your desired career. Are you still interested in pursuing this career? Why or why not? Are you more or less excited about it than you were before? What was surprising from your research? What is your overall reaction to this project? How prepared do you feel for this career and what are your next steps? 

What to submit: 

The paper should be typed, using a double-spaced, professional font. The contents should be presented in the following order:
•Cover page listing your name, date, course title and your targeted job title.
• Job description of your expected or entry level job
• Salary ranges (from at least 3 sources – please list sources) 
• Summary of informational interview, including contact information for your interviewee • Short personal statement 
• List of 5-7 target companies to which you could apply– including addresses, phone numbers, contact names 
• References (similar to a bibliography) – any sources you used to compile information. 

Note: You are strongly advised to start this project early in order to complete all of the requirements. Projects missing any of the requirements will earn less points. Make sure to use page numbers and headings.

Please note: 5 points will be immediately deducted from all late projects for each day that they are late.

No projects will be accepted more than one week late unless prior instructor approval was given. 

*Most students find much value in doing an informational interview with someone already working in their field of interest and get a lot of great advice (and sometimes even offers of internships or job interviews.) However, if you cannot find someone to interview in the time needed for this project, you may attend a company presentation or workshop conducted by Career Management Services or a professional networking event as an alternative (please check with me to be sure your chosen event will serve the purpose of this project.) You will complete all other parts of the project discussed above and will write a summary of the presentation or workshop you attended (date, speaker, who you met, topic, what you learned, how it can help you in your career, etc.) in place of the summary of the informational interview. (See next page “Summary of Event”) 

FINAL NOTE: Due to the nature of your potential interviewees’ schedules and limited availability in career services workshops and presentations, early planning is essential to ensure you have enough time to complete your project.


Students seeking to become ENTREPRENEURS (For students seeking entrepreneurial careers – items in BOLD are different) 
The paper should be typed, using a professional font. 
The contents should be presented in the following order:
• Cover page listing name, date, course title and your targeted job title. 
• Description of your current or proposed entrepreneurial venture 
• Instead of salary ranges, please list a complete list of start-up expenses associated with your business idea.
You may present the summary of an informational interview, or you may attend a conference/networking event related to your field.

Your summary should include:
o List the name of the event you attended. 
o How did you find out about this event? 
o What did you discover/learn at the event?
o Who did you meet? 
o How (if at all) will/can they impact your career?
o How easy/difficult was it to network with others?
o Was the event worth attending? 
• Short personal statement – explaining your desire, interest, commitment for becoming an entrepreneur. 
• Instead of a list of 5 target companies to work for, include a list of 5 competitors with a short description of location and what products/services they offer. 
• References (similar to a bibliography) – any sources you used to compile information. 

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