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. 

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