Two Steps to Help Students Explore Careers

Some of the most common career questions we receive from students relate to choosing a major and career path. The level of stress and anxiety around this process is real and well worth addressing.  Many students worry they could “make the wrong decision” and that their entire future success is dependent on this one decision. That’s a lot of pressure!  For those of us who have the benefit of some perspective on life post-college, we know that the career journey is not necessarily a linear path. Major doesn’t necessarily = career.

We can help students make these decisions more confidently when we provide them some time for self- reflection, research, and connections with alumni and professionals in their fields of interest. This is the first step in the career development process and we offer many resources that can help students with self-assessment and decision-making.

Step 1: Know Thyself

Whether in 1-1 appointments or group webinars, we hope to answer the following questions:
Personality -(assessment options: Myers Briggs, Focus2)

  • What are your natural preferences, strengths, and traits?
  • How do they connect to your preferred work and way of being in the world?

Interests (assessment options: Strong Interest Inventory, Focus2)

  • What do you like to do? When are you in flow?
  • What are your intrinsic motivators and how can you connect those to a field of study and future career?

Values -(assessment options: values inventory)

  • What is important to you?
  • What are your priorities and how might they change over time?
  • How can you make good decisions that align with your values?

Skills -(assessment options: skills inventory, SkillScan)

  • What transferable skills are you developing?
  • What skills are in demand in the market? Which majors and experiences will help you develop these skills?

Resources & Activities for self-assessment:

Step 2: Career Research & Exploration

Once some basic self-assessment is complete, the next step is to help students make connections between school-work-life.  This requires them to put their research and critical thinking skills to work.  We believe that the best way to learn about majors and career pathways is to connect with those who are already working in the field.  We provide students with easy and friendly ways to connect with alumni and professionals through the following career exploration events:

  • Employer Insights Series: Interviews with top employers who hire SJSU Spartans with a  focus on career paths and tips for job & internship success (last tab in accordion)
  • Careers in Science Series with SJSU Alumni:
  • SJSU² Mentoring & Meetups: Mentoring database of 500+ alumni (across all majors/field) who are interested in connecting with students for informational interviews and act as mentors.
  • Career Exploration Panels (All events and zoom links are listed in Handshake.  *To request event recording:

Employers Are Hiring Spartans!

Visit San José State University | Student Outreach and Recruitment | San Jose State UniversityDespite the headlines about the economic downturn and unpredictable recovery scenarios, there are still internships and job opportunities for our students. Active recruiting is taking place and we want to share some resources and tips that can help our students set themselves up for success and resiliency in this job market. Currently, there are 1,600 full-time, and 505 internship opportunities posted on Handshake (aggregate number across all majors/industries).  We’ve also seen active participation in our recruitment events (virtual job fairs and employer information sessions).  This is an encouraging signal for our students that despite the current economic slowdown–There is still demand for Spartan talent. If you would like access to the Handshake database to review job and internship opportunities for your own major/department or industry, please email Donna Rizando (

Here are our top tips to help students complete in this market:  

  • Use V-Mock to get your resume ready for employersThis free app provides instant feedback on resume format, spelling/grammar, and impact (strength of accomplishment statements). This app will be featured in our Career Coffee Chat*
  • Watch our Job Fair Success webinar to prep for the upcoming virtual job/internship fairs.
  • Review the Interview Guide to prepare for interviews and use Big Interview to practice virtual mock interviews.
  • Meet your career counselor and schedule a 1-1 virtual appointment through Spartan Connect.

Featured Events For Faculty & Staff:

  • Career Coffee Chat webinars* A virtual chat series offering faculty and staff demos of key career resources and Q&A.  Led by our career counseling team and recorded to access at any time. 
  • Employer Insights Series:  An interview and Q&A series with hiring managers and recruiters sharing insights on job search strategies and successfully navigating the virtual world of work. Upcoming sessions:
    • Texas Instruments 9/18
    • Microsoft 10/2
    • HPE 10/16
    • Galileo 10/30
    • Lockheed Martin 11/6
    • Please email Lisa Trikofski ( for zoom links.
  • Present at the Spartan Leadership & Career Conference, Friday, October 9 – This conference is a great opportunity for students to connect with employers, SJSU alumni, and current campus leaders to build leadership and career management skills. Call for proposals for faculty and staff who want to present best practices and research on developing leadership skills, emotional intelligence, intercultural communication, and DE& I for the workplace.  Contact Kelly Masegian ( for more information.  Student registration via Handshake. 

Workforce Trends:V, W, L, or Swoosh? (no, it's not a meme) - Charlotte Financial Planning & Advice - NorthStar Capital Advisors

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  3. COVID-19 The Case for Improving Scientific Literacy for All

“In the Fourth Industrial Revolution literacy can no longer be restricted to reading and writing. Before COVID-19, a basic understanding of molecular biology and notions of epidemiology were entirely optional for any citizen. Now that the burden of mitigating the pandemic relies on our collective responsibility, this knowledge can be a matter of life and death, for yourself and others. We are living through a collective realization of how understanding science has tangible, practical, and immediate applications for our daily lives.”

New Career Center Blog for Faculty & Staff

By: Anita Manuel, M.A., Associate Director of Career Education

We know that the start of this semester is not ideal. As we focus on making the college experience as close to normal as possible, the truth is, it’s just not normal. In our 1-1 sessions with students, career webinars, and canvas course modules, our team has focused on applying the design process to life and work.  In particular, we’ve been doing a lot of reframing of current situations and challenges to help our students design new ways forward.

We also know that we can’t reach every student (35,000!) on our own and value faculty and staff partners who help us by sharing, connecting, and referring students to our resources.  We know this year is different and challenging for you, too.  We want to support your work, share your insights, and collaborate on best practices.

Thus, this blog…

Our hope is that this will be “a place” that you can easily find resources, updates on services, and innovations in the field of career development.  In addition, we welcome your best practices, research, and success stories related to student career readiness and success (email:  Be sure to subscribe (right-hand menu) so you can receive our latest posts in your inbox (only once a month, we promise.)

So, let the semester begin…And hurrah for all things virtual!

Except this, don’t do this:

New Virtual Career Readiness Resources for Fall 2020!

If you’ve visited our website ( recently, you might have noticed that it has a new look and feel! 

Here are our top 5 resources for educators:

  1. Request career workshops/webinarsEducators Webpage
  2. Who to refer your students to for career counseling/coaching: Your Career Counseling Liaison
  3. Access career readiness content for Canvas: Career Readiness Canvas Modules
  4. One page overview (pdf) of resources by career topic: Resources & Services Guide 
  5. Career Outcomes Data: Top Employers & Industries 2017/18, 

Upcoming Events for Educators:

Career Coffee Chat Series for Faculty & Staff (click here for topics, schedule, zoom links)  Each session in this series is hosted by one of our career counselors and will focus on a specific career topic or demonstration for 30 minutes and then a Q&A session. Bring your cup of coffee, questions, and join us for a chat. Series starts Friday, 9/28!

Upcoming Virtual Career Fairs for Students:

Student registration through SJSU Handshake

  • Part-Time Job Fair, 9/1 –  registration: OPEN
  • STEM UG Students Job/Internship Fair, 9/22 –  registration opens 9/9.
  • STEM Graduate Students Job/Internship Fair, 9/24 –  by invitation only.
  • Business, Financial Services & Logistics Job/Internship Fair, 9/29 – registration opens 9/16
  • Health & Human Services Virtual Job/Internship Fair, 10/8 – registration opens 9/25

Workforce & Economic Trends: