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Undergraduate

Career Prep Timeline

Students should use this page as a checklist and guide to help them prepare for their post-graduation careers. Refer to this checklist when registering for courses and meeting with your faculty advisor.

Freshman year  |  Sophomore year  |  Junior year  |  Senior year


Freshman year

  • Get your bearings. Go to office hours and meet your English professors.

  • Create a resume. Meet with our career advisor, Caroline Gould

  • Join an RSO. RSOs (registered student organizations) are a great way to explore your interests. Build your resume by your honing leadership, collaboration, and interpersonal skills.

  • Begin keeping a portfolio of your work. Create a folder somewhere on your computer, or in Box or Google Drive where you put a copy of your written work. This includes papers you write for classes, as well as extracurricular writing you do for internships, RSOs, digital media projects, or literary journals.


Sophomore year

  • Do an internship. This may be a paid summer internship or one that you complete during the school year for course credit. Sign up for CareerConnect and keep an eye out for email announcements.

  • Get involved! Connect with other English majors by joining the English Society or Jabberwocky. Apply to be a tutor in the Writing Center. Participate in readings of creative writing by students or visiting writers.

  • Customize your English major by adding one or more specializations

  • Learn new technologies. Seek out courses and internships that will help you deepen both your critical and practical understanding of information technologies. Course options range from History of the Book to Video Game Studies or Intro to Web Design.

  • Take the career exploration "The Major and Beyond" (English 491 AC) during your sophomore or junior year. This 2-credit course will help you explore internship and career opportunities and hone your resume.


Junior year

  • Update your resume. Do a second internship.  

  • Attend career fairs and networking events.

  • Update your portfolio. Remember that things you do outside of class (a flyer or website designed for an RSO) can become part of your portfolio, as well as papers written for courses.

  • Take the career exploration "The Major and Beyond" (English 491 AC) during your sophomore or junior year. This 2-credit course will help you explore internship and career opportunities and hone your resume.


Senior year

  • Create a LinkedIn profile. Connect to your friends, mentors, and UMass groups (the UMass English Alumni group, for instance). Clean up your online presence.

  • Attend career fairs and networking events. Update your resume and CareerConnect profile. Begin looking at job ads and job search databases.

  • Begin applying for jobs. Read this job search handout. Some employers will make offers to students as early as fall, so it’s worth going to those fall job fairs and career events!