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Professional Development Plan for Students

This guide gives you a road map for making the transition from business student to business professional.  Consult it often and work through the plan systematically. Remember that it is never too early to get started on professional development.

Your Freshman Year

As a first-year student, focus on creating good study habits, getting involved in campus events and organizations, and start learning about industries, companies and networking. These steps will help you achieve these objectives. Remember, it is never too early to get started on professional development.

Take core and general classes to help you explore your areas of interest. Consider choosing a double major or minor outside of your business major to broaden your experience. Use your first year to explore your major options.

Create good study habits. Begin by attending all of your classes, reading the material to be covered in class that day and taking notes.  Determine the time of day you learn best (morning or evening) and let your friends know that this time is important. Search for a good place to study (the library, a quiet carousel in the Business Building) and
make yourself follow through.  If you are taking 12 credit hours, plan to spend at least twice that amount of time for reading and homework.  The first year of college requires independent learning.  You will need to schedule time to
go to the library, computer and writing labs, meet with professors and study.

Introduce yourself to your faculty members. Ask questions, and visit their office during office hours. Developing rapport with your faculty members can make learning easier and encourage you to attend classes regularly.  Advisors, faculty and staff can provide you with insights and understanding that could affect your choice of a major or pursuit of a career. They may also become a key part of your professional network.

Begin thinking about and acquiring practical work experience. The more professional experience you can acquire, the better your chances of being hired in your chosen field. Experience can be gained through summer jobs, campus employment, internships, co-operative experiences and volunteer activities.

Research the link between specific careers and majors. Some job positions require specific degrees. If you want to be an accountant, you need to major in accounting. If you want to be an investment analyst, you need to major in finance.  If you are interested in one of these positions, majoring in the correct area is important to you success.  But other positions may not require such specific training and you can major in many business disciplines and still be eligible for them.  Set an appointment with a career counselor in the Center for Student Professional Development (BB 2.01.08) to learn more about how careers and majors are related.

Learn how to use on-campus resources to find and apply for an internship or co-op. Learn how to use Handshake, the college’s online recruitment system, to search for desirable positions. For instructions or assistance with either of these resources, come by the Center for Student Professional Development (BB 2.01.08) or log on to Handshake.

Get involved! Start your personal and professional development by becoming an active member of the UTSA community. Choose from more than 20 business affiliated student organizations or from over 200 student organizations on-campus. At the beginning of each semester, University-wide and College of Business Involvement Fairs are held to help you select organizations that are best for your personality, career ambitions and social interests. Community service, on-campus jobs, and clubs and organizations can help you to build your Roadrunner network, contribute to the community, and develop the leadership, communication and teamwork skills that employers seek.

Begin networking through student clubs and College of Business events. Learn about opportunities by meeting alumni and corporate friends of UTSA as a member of a student group. It's never too early to start building your business network.

Begin preparing your résumé and cover letter. Attend Résumé Writing Workshops and meet with a Career Counselor to get started. With a polished résumé you'll be prepared for opportunities when they come along. Stop by the Center for Student Professional Development to take advantage of our library and printed resources or to set an appointment with a career counselor to get started.

Go to job fairs and other career events. Attending these events can introduce you to companies who recruit UTSA College of Business students. All students are encouraged to research employers of interest and speak with company representatives. By simply speaking with recruiters and other members of corporate teams, you can learn more about the kind of skills an employer is looking for. This information can make you more competitive when seeking internships and co-ops as well as full-time opportunities in the future.


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