Hiatt Center dean offers career development concepts, strategies for first-years

Students urged to be contemplative and use abundant university resources

The Chinese philosopher Lao-tze said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  For the first-year students arriving on campus, that first step happens today and their journey will take them far beyond Brandeis, beyond the four years they will spend here.

Students often ask how to find the path that is right for them.  Since each journey is unique, the meaningful answer is to be thoughtful and reflective about your choices and “take a step.” 

Be introspective: What are you thinking and feeling as you make this adjustment to college life? How do you observe yourself as you interact with others? Try to get to know yourself better.

The following suggestions are meant to help students in self-reflection:.

  • Write in a journal or audio/video record thoughts, impressions, wishes, goals and passions as you take courses, meet new friends and engage in clubs, sports and other activities.
  • Engage in singular or group activities that will stimulate introspection and help you feel good about yourself. Staying healthy, getting plenty of sleep and making good grades will contribute to an overall feel-good attitude.

  • Take an online self-reflection assessment. TypeFocus, helps define and understand their personality strengths, skills, values and interests. It will even link them to career titles that match their personality types. A career counselor at Hiatt will explain and review results with students so that they can derive maximum benefit.

  • Participate in informal group and individual self-reflection exercises.  Some small self-reflection group activities will be offered throughout the year at Hiatt Career Center and in residence halls. Students should check the Hiatt calendar in Hiatt NACElink for details.

Brandeis encourages a life-long effort to build career development skills.  Students are introduced to the Hiatt Career Center during orientation. Starting in the first year, the foundation of the Hiatt Career Center’s work with students is based upon a career development plan of Reflect-Explore-Connect.

These three activities support:

  • Discovering a deep self-awareness and understanding of the career fields and work environments that match your strengths and help you forge an intellectually and professionally satisfying work life.

  • Experimenting with your ideas about the world of work, meeting people with interesting careers, researching graduate education options, and testing out and gaining experience in organizations and offices.

  • Connecting with and competing for opportunities about which they are well-prepared and passionate. 

The Hiatt Career Center also assists first year students with other strategies for exploring and pursuing potential career paths. These include:

  • Creating a resume;

  • Participating in Hiatt’s Shadow program in which students are matched with an alum to observe and reflect on a particular career;
  • Finding a summer job or other meaningful activity such as volunteering.
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