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O’Brien Center for Career Development


Four Year Plan

Career Planning starts with the first year of college.

Below you will find a listing of different actions and steps to take during your four years at Merrimack College. Not all of the suggestions may be applicable to everyone.


  • Attend class!!!
  • Adjust to college - learn to balance your new academic challenges and social life 
  • Learn how to use our online job search system, ADVANTAGE.
  • Revise your resume from high school, and/or start building one from scratch.
  • Get involved!  Join one or two student organizations to meet new people.
  • Make an appointment with career advisor to discuss your FOCUS assessment results and the relationship between majors and careers.
  • Apply for work study and employment opportunities through ADVANTAGE 
  • Get to know the RA’s on your floor.
  • Meet with an academic advisor to discuss areas of study that interest you.
  • Network! Network! Network! 


  • Think about study abroad for your junior year.
  • Attend special events sponsored by Career Services.
  • Consider an internship the summer after your sophomore year.
  • Participate in a job shadow program where you meet with professionals who are in different industries.
  • Get to know some professors.
  • Use FOCUS for continued career exploration. 
  • Apply to be an Orientation Leaders or Resident Assistant.
  • Volunteer in activities sponsored through the Stevens Service Learning Center.
  • Participate in an Alternative Spring Break program (winter break and Spring Break).
  • Update and revise your resume.
  • Meet with a career counselor to plan your next steps to obtain a co-op or internship.
  • If you don't already have a suit, buy one.
  • Network!  Network!  Network! 


  • Perform informational interviews to narrow your career interest areas.   
  • Continue to explore and participate in cooperative education opportunities and internships in your field.
  • Begin researching post- graduate national competitive fellowships and scholarships.
  • Join the professional association related to your major.
  • Participate in interviewing, cover-letter writing, and other job-search workshops. 
  • Use INTERVIEWSTREAM to practice your skills in a mock interview. 
  • Start reading professional journals or trade publications from your major.
  • Take on additional leadership positions in athletics, or co-curricular programs.
  • Give back by participating in a service opportunity.  
  • Start exploring whether Graduate School or a year of service are right opportunities for you.  
  • Attend on-campus career fairs and employer information sessions related to your interests.
  • Use FOCUS for continued career exploration
  • Ask current/former employers and professors to serve as references.
  • Do an internship in the summer after your junior year.
  • Build your professional wardrobe.
  • Network! Network! Network!


  • Put your job search campaign in high gear. Commit yourself to a thorough search.
  • If applicable, take graduate school entrance exams and complete graduate school applications.
  • Apply for jobs and participate in as many interviews as possible.
  • Update your resume and keep it updated-Upload most recent copy to ADVANTAGE
  • Develop an employer prospect list with contact names and addresses from organizations you are interested in pursuing.
  • Discuss career opportunities with faculty and counselors, friends, etc.
  • Attend workshops you may have missed on resumes, cover letters, interviewing, networking, and conducting a job search. 
  • Use INTERVIEWSTREAM to practice interviewing.  Keep track of your interview results and assess your performance after each interview. 
  • Be positive and stay alert to opportunities.
  • Participate in our mock-interview program.
  • Gather information on realistic salary expectations.
  • Join the Merrimack College Alumni LinkedIn Account.
  • Conduct a social media audit of your own accounts (Facebook, Flicker etc.).
  • Let the Career Center know when you have been accepted into graduate school or have found a job.
  • Network!  Network!  Network!