STEPS Career Development Plan

STEPS = Steps To Explore Prepare Succeed

The Career Education Center created the STEPS Career Development Plan to provide an action plan for your student to follow during her undergraduate years. STEPS — which stands for Steps To Explore Prepare Succeed — will help your student acquire knowledge of herself, career paths, and academic and career opportunities. Career decision-making is a process, and while activities are suggested over a four-year timeline your student can set her own pace in pursuing career development and use the timeline accordingly. If she gets started in her first year, works with a career coach, and takes advantage of the CEC's programs and resources, she will be better prepared to make informed and meaningful career decisions, both at graduation and throughout her career.

What follows here is the STEPS Plan just as it is presented to your student on the Undergraduate section of this site.


You can download a printable copy of the STEPS Career Development Plan here. You can also store it electronically and check off your progress as you go.

Here is the same plan in interactive form with links to key additional information and resources:

STEP 1 - ASSESSMENT: First Years

Get to know yourself - Begin to identify your values, interests, skills, personal traits and career satisfiers in order to identify the ingredients of a good career "fit":

  • Meet with a career coach for help with self-assessment and early planning
  • Complete online assessment tool, TypeFocus
  • Begin to identify majors that fit your interests and abilities
  • Create a draft resume and have a CEC career coach review it

STEP 2 - EXPLORATION: Sophomores

Explore and research career possibilities - Learn the connections between courses, concentrations and careers, and discover the benefits of experiential learning. Learn how to:

  • Conduct career research and gather information from the Simmons Library and other valuable online resources
  • Gather information on different fields, industries and companies
  • Decide on a major and learn what career paths a major can offer
  • Conduct informational interviews with people in fields that interest you
  • Explore opportunities to gain relevant work experience, such as internships, summer jobs, or volunteer work


Develop your resume and cover letter writing skills. Refine your career goals and strategy -
Through informational interviewing, internships, and relevant part-time and summer jobs, "test the waters" and determine a potential career direction:

  • Revise and finalize an effective resume
  • Develop your cover letter
  • Research graduate schools and visit campuses
  • Learn to present your goals and skills in a two minute "infomercial"
  • Conduct informational interviews and build your network
  • Obtain an internship


Develop and implement your job search or graduate school strategy - Develop the skills you need to accomplish your goals:

  • Sharpen your job search skills and develop a list of potential employers
  • Prepare for interviews and practice interviewing skills with a mock interview
  • Network with friends, parents, faculty, alumnae/i and others
  • Gather graduate school application materials and write a personal statement
  • Attend events such as career fairs, company presentations and career-related forums with alumnae/i


Make an informed and meaningful career decision - Gain insight into necessary professional development skills to be successful:

  • Analyze job offers/graduate school admissions and weigh your options
  • Meet with a career coach to walk through your decision-making
  • Consider the practical aspects of life after Simmons, and attend seminars to help make this transition
  • Join the Simmons alumnae/i network, Alumnet and LinkedIn, a social networking site for professionals
  • Learn and practice the basics of negotiating