Golden Eagle Experience

Career Development for First-Year Students

It may feel silly to think about developing career skills during your first year in college, but it is important! Employers love to see that you have done the work to prepare for your future career, and it can even impact their hiring decision.

According to NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers), career readiness is “a foundation from which to demonstrate requisite core competencies that broadly prepare students for success in the workplace and lifelong career management” and is “key to ensuring successful entrance into the workforce” (2023). Being career ready means demonstrating the following competencies: career and self-development, communication, critical thinking, equity and inclusion, leadership, professionalism, teamwork, and technology (NACE, 2023).

Luckily for you, Tennessee Tech’s Center for Career Development has programs and a variety of opportunities specifically designed for first-year students to help you grow in your career readiness.

  • Gold Career Readiness Program. The Gold Career Readiness Program is specifically designed for freshmen and sophomores to help you explore your interests and build crucial foundational skills. By participating in the Gold Career Readiness program, you’ll learn how to articulate your skills and achievements on a resume, as well interviewing strategies. Once you successfully complete all of the requirements, you’ll earn a Career Readiness Certificate and be ready to move onto the Purple program (designed for juniors and seniors), which will help you gain experience and prepare you for transitioning from college to the workforce. Participating in the Career Readiness program will definitely put you on the path to success in meeting your future career goals. If you missed the Gold program this semester, no worries! It’s offered every semester – so make sure to take advantage of it this coming spring!

  • Job & Internship Fairs. There are many different job and internship fairs held throughout the school year – some are general and open to all students while others are geared toward specific majors. Even if you may not be looking for a job or internship at this point in your college experience, it’s always a good idea to go check it out. Our career fairs always have specific employers that are marked as “freshmen friendly.” It’s a great way to network with potential employers, learn about what experiences you may be lacking, and learn how to navigate a career fair so it takes the nerves away when you are seeking opportunities. Keep your eyes out for more information on upcoming fairs, and always be sure to dress for success and bring your best resume to a job fair!

  • Informal Networking. Besides the Career Readiness program and traditional career fairs, the Center for Career Development also hosts several informal networking events (such as Careers n’ Coffee) throughout the year where you can meet with future employers in a more relaxed setting. Checkout the full schedule, and be sure to stop by – you never know what lasting connections you might make or where they might lead!

Center for Career Development