When we talk about career development, we often refer to this model called the 5 E’s of career development. What you notice is that it’s not linear – it’s circular. Career development is not a linear process. Often, students are at varying parts of the process, or need to go backwards or forwards as they develop.

At the top of the circle is Evaluation. Students in this phase are looking to get a better sense of themselves, and what we call VIPS –values, interests, personality, and skills. We help students get a clearer picture of these through individual counseling, and also through assessments like the MBTI or SII – these are tools we use to help students identify and understand their VIPS as they relate to careers.

Next is Exploration. This a big piece of the puzzle for many students. Young people grow up with a very narrow view of the world of work. We know about the big ones – doctor, lawyer, banker, etc. But even those titles come with large degrees of variation. Often students have an easier time articulating what they don’t want to do versus knowing what careers do interest them. We put in a lot of effort helping student learn about various careers. We teach 4 sections of a one-credit career exploration class, which helps students learn about career paths and fields. We also create Industry Nights and Career Panels which bring professionals to campus to talk with students about what they do. We really encourage underclassmen to attend these events as they can be very formative.

Next is Experience. I can’t overstate the importance of students gaining relatable experience during their time at UNC. While good grades are important, employers also value students who have demonstrated success outside of the classroom as well. Things like internships, study abroad, leadership, and volunteer activities are all valuable experiences that employers have come to expect from candidates. Education Evaluation Exploration Experience Employment

Employment – Obviously a pretty big piece of the puzzle. We conduct workshops on resumes, interviewing, job/internship searching, in addition to having our Careerolina database with thousands of positions posted. We host 12 career fairs a year, which bring hundreds of employers to campus –the biggest being the Fall Job and Internship Expo!

In the middle of this model is Education -this is what holds it all together. We need to be continual, life ling learners in order to be successful. As we learn, we know more about ourselves, our options, or network, and we gain experience.

Career planning is a process, and University Career Services is here to help you throughout your journey!