Your Four Year Plan for Success

Academics + Experience = Opportunities

You can do anything with a degree from CAS. Employers are looking for strong academic preparation and real-world experience. This success plan will help you focus on both at the same time, so you'll have the best opportunities after graduation.

  • Every semester: Connect with Faculty and Advisors
  • First Year: Get Settled and Identify your Resources
  • Second Year: Explore Careers and Prepare to Gain Experience
  • Third Year: Gain Experience and Build your Network
  • Fourth Year: Make a Plan for Life After Graduation

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Every Semester

Connect with Faculty and Advisors

Visit each instructor’s office hours at least once.  Introduce yourself and ask a few questions about succeeding in the course. These interactions could lead to a long term relationship resulting in research opportunities and a reference for future employment or advanced education.

Meet with your advisor. Every CAS student is assigned a professional academic advisor who is committed to your personal, academic and professional success. Your assigned advisor is based on your primary major, but most students have more than just a single major, so additional advisors, as well as faculty experts in the disciplines are always available. Check MyRED for the name and contact information for your assigned advisor.  Find your advisor's office hours in the MyPLAN tab of and sign up on-line for an appointment.

Utilize the Career Coaches. Explore your interests, abilities, and career values. Identify and prepare to apply for internships, research, education abroad, service, and leadership opportunities. Research career options or graduate programs that connect to your academic program and your long-term goals. Develop your resume and practice interview skills. Walk-ins and appointments are available daily in the Academic and Career Advising Center, 107 Oldfather Hall.

Use the Academic Calendar. Stay on top of deadlines for changing your courses or your grade options with the academic calendar.

Register early during Priority Registration for the best selection of courses, days and times. Your registration date and time depends on your class standing and can be found in MyRED.

First Year

Get Settled and Identify your Resources

  • Activate your Handshake account, the university's online job search system. Part-time jobs on and off campus are listed here, as well as internships and full-time jobs for later.
  • Learn how to use on-line tools like MyRED, MyPLAN, Degree Audit and the Undergraduate Catalog.
  • Use academic resources like the Writing Center, Math Resource Center, Language Lab and more.
  • Attend workshops by the First Year Experience and Transitions Program on study skills, time management, note and test-taking strategies and more.
  • Join at least two student organizations including one related to your academic or career interests.  There are nearly 500 to choose from at UNL.
  • Meet with a career coach to explore your interests, abilities, and values. Have a conversation about where you want to go, who you want to become, and how you can get there. Take a Career Assessment or learn about ways to gain real-world experience while at the university.
  • If you are Pre-Health or Pre-Law, visit with an Explore Center advisor to make a plan for pre-requisite courses, involvement and experience, admissions tests, applications and more.

Second Year

Explore Careers and Prepare to Gain Experience

  • Explore available options for minors or even a second major. Flexibility is one of the best things about being an Arts and Sciences student!
  • Use your Handshake account to connect with employers for internships and jobs.
  • Meet with a Career Coach in the Academic and Career Advising Center to discuss your career interests and goals and identify ways to gain experience that will best prepare you (internships, research, education abroad, leadership and service.)
  • Draft or update a resume and have it reviewed by a Career Coach in the Academic and Career Advising Center or at University Career Services.  Continue to develop and customize it for each use and seek feedback from a variety of sources including faculty and employers.
  • Participate in an Education Abroad “GO Session” to learn about programs, processes, planning, and the Early Abroad Scholarship. 
  • Identify opportunities to engage in research within your academic program including the Undergraduate Creative and Research Experience (UCARE) program.
  • Stay involved with student organizations and seek opportunities to hold a leadership position.
  • Consider taking CASC 200: Career Development for Arts and Sciences Students to guide your next steps to gaining experience and planning for life after graduation.

Third Year

Gain Experience and Build your Network

  • Set up a LinkedIn account and start building your network with classmates, co-workers, friends, family, and alumni.
  • If you are currently working, ask yourself if the position is related to your career goals and if not, challenge yourself to seek new opportunities.
  • Use Handshake to search for, apply for, and arrange internships.
  • Plan and document your internship. If you are not earning academic credit, enroll in CASC 095: Internship in Arts and Sciences, a free, zero-credit course to include the internship on your transcript.
  • Attend Career Fairs and programs to gain career information and connect with employers.
  • Investigate graduate/professional school programs and develop a timeline for admission tests and applications.
  • Meet with a career coach to discuss your long-term goals, update your resume, and plan your next steps.
  • Confirm your graduation requirements with your advisor before registering for classes in your last two semesters.

Fourth Year

Make a Plan for Life After Graduation

  • Identify references for jobs or graduate school among faculty, advisors and employers.
  • Begin a professional job search early.  If you are graduating in May, start in the fall. Meet with a career coach to discuss strategies and resources.
  • Connect with employers by attending Career Fairs and programs and using Handshake to find jobs.
  • Apply for graduate or professional programs well in advance of established deadlines.
  • Participate in a mock employment or admissions interview with a career coach in the Academic and Career Advising Center.
  • Apply for graduation early in the semester you plan to finish.