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University of Rochester Career Notebook Entry Discussion Paper

One of the goals of this course is to help you explore and articulate who you are and who you aspire to be professionally. In your first notebook entry, you will examine your academic and professional interests, as well as brainstorm and research various career possibilities you would like to learn more about.

Life design is about getting curious. At this point, your thinking should be exploratory—keep an open mind and embrace your curiosities! It’s okay to feel confused; remember that careers are nonlinear and there are multiple professional identities you can explore.

Requirements for your notebook entry:

  1. Research: First, visit the “Helpful Online Resources” folder on our blackboard page. You may also use other reputable sources or articles you find, as well as cite any conversations you’ve had with professionals or faculty.
  2. Generate a list of as many interesting career possibilities as you can. Be specific, but don’t censor yourself, and don’t worry if you don’t have the skills/experience yet or if you’re not sure it’s a good match. Just write it down!
  3. Choose 2-3 of the above career possibilities to consider further:
    1. What are examples of some immediate (in the next 12 months) “next-step” experiences, such as internships, research, entry-level jobs, or graduate degrees that would allow you to explore and pursue these possibilities? (You might find it helpful to look at the various posting sites in the Helpful Online Resources.)
    2. Find a specific posting, employer, etc. that represents each “next step” experience (ex: If you think an on-campus research position would help you apply to graduate school, write about one such position).
    3. Briefly summarize each “next step” and why you think it would be a good match. Be sure to cite all sources using the “signal and pathway” method discussed in class.

4.Reflect on what you have learned through—and about—this exploratory process. Please also summarize your Odyssey Plans and share any themes that came up in completing this activity. 


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