Your Four Year Plan for Success

Four year plan

A degree from the College of Arts and Sciences opens up countless career options. Employers are looking for strong academic preparation and hands-on experience. Connect with academic advisors and career coaches to make your plan for success!

  • Every semester
    Connect with faculty, academic advisors, and career coaches
  • 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 after graduation

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Every semester

Connect with faculty, academic advisors, and career coaches

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 academic 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 those disciplines are always available. You will work with your your advisor to develop a long-term academic plan that you will update regularly to stay on-track for graduation.

Check MyRED for the name and contact information for your assigned advisor. Find your advisor's office hours in the MyPLAN tab of my.unl.edu and sign up online for an appointment. CAS students interested in health or law also work with specialized pre-professional advisors in the Explore Center, 127 Love Library South.

Connect with 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. Use MyPLAN to schedule an appointment, available daily 8:30 a.m–4:30 p.m.

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

Register early during Priority Enrollment for the best selection of courses, days and times. Your enrollment 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 online 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 Center for Academic Success and Transition 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.
  • 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. Learn about ways to gain hands-on experience while at the university.
  • If you are Pre-Health or Pre-Law, visit with an Explore Center advisor to make a plan for prerequisite courses, involvement and experience, admissions tests, applications and more. 127 Love Library South.

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 a CAS student!
  • Use Handshake to connect with employers for internships and jobs.
  • Participate in an Education Abroad "Huskers Abroad 101 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.
  • Meet with a career coach 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) to meet your goals.
  • Draft or update your resume and have it reviewed by a CAS career coach. Continue to develop and customize it for each use and seek feedback from a variety of sources including faculty and employers.
  • Consider taking CASC 200: Career Development for Arts and Sciences Students to guide your next steps toward gaining experience and planning for 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 and apply for 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 gather 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 after graduation

  • Apply for graduation as soon as you are eligible, and complete the graduation survey about your plans
  • Identify references for jobs or graduate/professional school among faculty, advisors and employers. Seek their permission and share your plans.
  • 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 interview for employment or graduate school admission with a career coach.