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Academics: Focusing on the Future

Graduation is so close and yet so far. For many students, this thought sums up the first semester of junior year. Meaningful coursework coupled with dynamic experiences like internships, service learning and real-world research are exciting and rewarding.

Before long, senior year will be here. Now is the time to plan ahead. The next three semesters are key to a student's preparation for graduate school, employment or other post-graduation opportunities.

By now your student has declared a major. This focus enables your student to direct coursework, experiential learning and co-curricular involvement to helping build a resume, curriculum vitae and/or career portfolio.

Important academic tips for students include:

  • Meeting with an academic advisor to review coursework. Be sure core, academic major and minor requirements will be met. Discuss plans for a senior thesis, capstone project or independent study, among other topics

  • Making grades a priority. Employers and graduate school staff look at coursework and grades, among other things
  • Beginning to research graduate programs if considering that option. Look at the strength of the programs, requirements, deadlines and fees. Students who plan to accrue employment or other experiences prior to submitting a grad school application should also consider taking the Graduate Record Exams (GRE) during senior year while they are still immersed in their academic work
  • Securing career-related internships for junior and senior years. Students should have a minimum of three internships
  • Having one or two career-focused mentors, such as a professor, off-campus internship coordinator and/or an associate in a professional organization
  • Gaining as much research, creative and scholarly experiences as possible
  • Volunteering for an organization related to their major or minor, or obtaining one that provides opportunities to expand insights and skill sets to new areas
  • Considering study abroad or a domestic program for summer or senior year as a way to gain academic credit as well as remarkable, resume-boosting experiences
  • Attending scholarly lectures and programs both on and off campus in order to increase knowledge, network and accrue a possible internship or employment position
  • Seeking opportunities to attend and present papers at scholarly conferences or exhibit or publish creative works in order to build a career portfolio
  • Considering a role as a tutor for The Center for Academic Success and Achievement as a way to build teaching skills and assist peers

  • Visiting the BW Career Center to learn tips for building or enhancing your resume and interviewing skills. Career advisors can help you showcase your coursework, internships and co-curricular activities to impress potential employers and graduate school personnel.