Bartlett Hall: Room G2
Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Associate Dean of Students and Director of Career Development
Campus Life | Career Office
The Office of Career Development provides guidance, resources and opportunities to students as they make career decisions related to their future aspirations. Having a plan greatly enhances the probability of making wise decisions about one’s future. These are a few areas in which we offer assistance:
- choosing a major/interest inventories
- applying for internships
- resume writing
- job-search strategies and correspondence
- mock interviews
- alumni network referrals
- information on career fairs
- graduate school application process
In short, we help students prepare for a successful transition from Ripon College.
Visit our office early. Visit our office often. Graduate prepared.
…provides information including:
- Researching Grad Schools & Programs
- Factors in Selecting a School
- Admission Requirements
- Financial Aid
- Sample Inquiry Letter
What Career Development Does For You
As a student enters the career development process, Ripon College offers support through three stages — planning, exploration and search.
The logical first step in the career development process is planning. Here, services are provided which afford students the opportunity to explore themselves and the world of work within the context of their educational experience. Students are challenged to think about their interests, values and skills as a basis for choosing and preparing for careers.
Choosing a major Career decision-making assistance Determining work values Interest inventories/assessment Career information fairs Skills identification Developing a four-year plan Goal-setting
In the exploration stage, students learn to better understand the world of work and to realistically relate their own interests to available possibilities. The purpose is to understand one’s self in relation to options for work and continued study. Getting hands-on experience and interacting with professionals in the work place provide students a solid foundation for exploring unlimited opportunities.
- Career connections with alumni
- Corporate and organizational profiles
- Local and national internships
- Occupational research
- Information interviewing
- Developing a prospect list
- Local volunteer opportunities
- Researching graduate schools
- Part-time and summer job vacancies
- Video and audio tape library
- Employer/field visits
Whether students are seeking full-time employment or post-graduate education, the career search stage has programs designed to assist each individual in preparing for and initiating plans for a successful transition from Ripon. These opportunities contribute in a special way to personal growth and serve as a foundation for a lifetime of development.
- Resume writing/self marketing
- Off-campus job fairs
- Job search correspondence
- Employment listings
- Practice or “mock” interviews
- Graduate school exam study guides
- Letters of recommendation file
- Senior survival strategies
- Alumni network referrals
- Complete job search resources for teachers
- On-campus recruiters
- Graduate school entrance examinations
- Chamber of Commerce information
- International job opportunities
- National directory of addresses and telephone numbers
- Study abroad
- National trade and professional associations
- Hiring and salary trends
- Business periodicals
- State and federal government jobs
- Professional etiquette guides
- Peace Corps, Vista, Teach for America and other nonprofit opportunities
- Foreign Service exams
- Sunday classifieds
- Employment Listings
- An extensive network of alumni and friends of Ripon College has been developed to assist students in their career development planning, exploration and search.
Suggestions for Choosing a Major
- Explore this site: What Can I Do With This Major?
- Register for courses in a variety of fields, especially in your first year or as a sophomore.
- Filling requirements first can be a benefit.
- Don’t limit yourself to subjects in which you have always done well.
- Grades are only one indicator of your interests. Part of the college experience is to overcome your weak areas, as well.
- Take an assessment inventory such as the Campbell Interest & Skill Survey (CISS). This inventory is a great starting point! It helps identify and determine the strength of your personal interests and skills in a variety of occupational-related activities.
- Talk with alumni to find out how they apply their Ripon College education in the work force.
- After you find one or two subjects that interest you, explore and evaluate them. Talk to faculty, sit in on some classes and talk to students majoring in those areas.
- You can do anything with any major if you are a well-rounded, competent person. Remember, employers hire competent people, not majors.
- Don’t be afraid to explore, but be aware that some majors find jobs more easily (business and computer science).
- Don’t shy away from any courses. All can be important even if they seem irrelevant at first. For example: Philosophy courses help to form value systems that are important in any field.
- If you go into technical or graduate prep programs, complement your core courses with business and communication electives. Make the most to supplement your major.
- Take part in an Information Interview (visiting an employee at his/her work site to gain a clearer idea of what a particular occupation involves) or do an internship (actual work experience within a given field).
- Don’t be afraid to switch majors if you find out you don’t like the one you chose. Be careful to consider extra time and money when doing so if you choose to switch. Sometimes it’s helpful to look at career possibilities, and then a choice of major may be more obvious. Remember: Your major may not be in the area in which you will eventually work. Employers hire competent, well-rounded individuals — not particular majors.
- Don’t develop “tunnel vision” early in the process. Leave yourself open and flexible.
The Four-Year Plan At Ripon College
The Career Development Office embraces what is called a Four-Year Plan. This plan is based on the premise that career planning is a development process which involves learning and decision-making over an extended period of time.
Write answers to the following key questions:
- What do I want to do?
- What can I do?
- What do I need to do to develop myself further?
- What is stopping me from pursuing my career goals?
Things to Do:
- Meet the Career Development Staff
- Determine your interests, values and skills by taking appropriate interest inventories
- Review various career publication
- Talk with faculty, friends, administrators and career staff to develop focus and direction
- Evaluate your social media profile
- Get a summer job — gain work experience/develop a strong work ethic
- Begin to build a network of people to assist you
Gaining Career Experience
- Explore further career options associated with your education
- Information interviews
- Begin work on resume writing
- Participate in a mock interview
- Attend appropriate Career Fairs
- Begin to research possible internship/summer job opportunities
- If appropriate, research potential graduate school programs and consider taking the appropriate entrance exam
- Assume leadership positions in organizations
- Obtain an internship/summer job in your chosen field
- Continue to develop job-related and computer skills
- Compile a list of qualifications as they relate to your career objectives
- Continue to build a solid network and work references
Write answers to the following key questions:
- What do I have to offer an employer?
- Who needs what I have to offer?
- How can I market my skills to make employers want me?
Things to do:
- Develop a file of information about specific careers; narrow down potential options
- Talk to alumni and others about careers
- Select courses which will enhance your skills related to your career goals
- Choose a major area of study
- Get involved in organizations, especially those related to your career goals
- Get a summer job and build a good work reputation and work references
- Develop job-related and computer skills
- Develop job maturity and knowledge of the workplace
Job Search/Graduate School Transition
- Put your search into high gear
- Attend appropriate Career Fairs
- Attend the Wisconsin Foundation of Independent Colleges Job Fair in February
- Finalize your resume and prepare cover letter
- Perfect your interviewing skills
- Identify and target employment opportunities through job bulletins, contacts and other various listings
- Interview with on-campus recruiters
- Consistently mail out resumes and letters and keep track of progress in an organized manner
- Continue to information interview and expand on your existing network of contacts
- Open a credential file in the Career Development Office
- Narrow down your list of Graduate Schools and get all necessary forms (applications, financial aid, …)
- Take or retake appropriate graduate school entrance exam if necessary