Cornell University

Office of Career Services

201 Ives Hall, 607-255-7816

Career Timetable

What should I be doing and when?

A student stands next to a Cornell Career Services poster

The simple answer is, "It depends."  Career development is an ongoing process, involving three basic steps—Understand Yourself, Explore Options, and Take Action.

Each person must go through these steps at his or her own pace, and in fact will need to repeat the process numerous times throughout a lifetime.   Some students arrive at Cornell very focused and ready to put a plan into action for obtaining a career-related summer job, for instance.  Others are either uncertain about their career interests well into senior year or perhaps they’ve changed their mind and need to start with the first step.

The chart below suggests some activities that students might engage in over the course of their time at Cornell. Don't worry if you’re a first-year student and feel ready to proceed with some of the activities indicated for junior or senior years, or if you're a senior and you're just getting started with some of the "freshmen" activities.  It's never too late—or too early—to get started.  Come in to see us, and we’ll help you do just that!


Activity Fr. So. Jr. Sr.
Career Forums
informal career discussions with alumni on campus

ILR Corporate Career Fair
talk with employers about careers and opportunities

Prepare résumé and have it reviewed
workshops sponsored by ILR OCS and other career offices; résumé review in 201 Ives

Interviewing workshops
sponsored by ILR OCS and other career offices

Freshman Extern Program (FEX)
one-day shadowing opportunity sponsored by ILR OCS

Library resources: Cornell Career Services, ILR OCS, Catherwood Library, Management Library
Extracurricular activities on campus
ILR's Union Days
three-day program to connect students with unions

Social Justice Career Fair
part of Union Days; talk with representatives from unions and other nonprofits about job opportunities

Summer jobs      
Practice interviews on videotape
sponsored by ILR OCS

FRESH programs
sponsored by Cornell Career Services

Cornell Career Fair
employers seek students from majors across the university; sponsored by Cornell Career Services
sponsored by Cornell Career Services
Winter Inter-Session Program (WISP)
short-term internships; sponsored by ILR OCS
Summer internship workshops
sponsored by ILR OCS and other career offices
Investigate the Credit Internship program    
Sophomore Futures Fair      
Summer internship    
Elective courses to test your interests    
Enroll in ILR 362 - Career Development: Theory and Practice    
Complete a Credit Internship    
Leadership positions in extracurricular activities    
Summer internship on-campus recruiting      
Study Abroad    
Take appropriate test(s) for graduate study    
Collect graduate/law school catalogs and begin preparing applications      
Job search workshops
sponsored by ILR OCS and other career offices
Research job listings
on Cornell CareerNet and other web sites
On-campus recruiting for full-time positions
ILR and/or Barnes Hall
Complete applications for graduate study