STEM PPG Module 4: Making a Plan for Career Development

Objective: To reflect on your informational interview(s) and career development experiences, and to generate a plan to prepare yourself to be a strong job candidate.

Individual Activities

  1. Conduct your informational interviews
    1. Remember the professional narrative you practiced earlier this year
    2. Have a list of questions in mind that will help you learn more about the career you’re interested in
    3. Keep an ear out for any places you might be of help to the person you’re meeting with (Did you recently read an article or hear a podcast that might be relevant to them? Do you have contacts that they might like to talk with?)
    4. Follow up with an email to thank the person you spoke with. Confirm any follow-up plans by email
  2. Reflect on what you learned in the informational interview, and throughout this program.
    1. Is there a career or role that you are excited about? Are there other people you can talk with to learn more?
    2. What skills are required in this role? Which of these do you feel are currently some of your strengths?
    3. Are there any gaps that you can work on in the next few years?
  3. Brainstorm activities you can get involved with to close any gaps you might have
    1. Are there groups/positions on campus you can get involved with?
    2. Are there external opportunities you can seek out?

Group Activities

  1. Share what you learned in your informational interviews. This is an opportunity to share the experiences and knowledge of the alumni you talked to with your group and to hear about their experiences in return.
    1. Who did you talk with? When did they graduate from Yale? What do they do now?
    2. What did you learn about this role (and related roles)?
    3. What surprised you the most about this role?
    4. How do you plan to keep track of your contacts and follow up with them? Will you use written notes or a typed document to record important details from your conversations?
  2. Recap each group member’s career exploration
    1. Did you have any thoughts of what careers you might be interested when you came into this program?
    2. How have your thoughts changed over this year?
    3. Is there one career that stands out to you?
    4. What skills might you need to work on to be a strong candidate for this role? How can you do that? As a group, brainstorm activities each member can get involved with to work on skills they might need
  3. Create a written/typed career plan with SMART goals
    1. What (3) skills do you hope to obtain by the time of your graduation that will make you a stronger candidate for a job you’re interested in?
    2. How do you plan to practice those skills? What clubs or activities can you participate in?
    3. What steps will you need to take along the way?
    4. How will you monitor your progress?