My Career Plan: Provides Success For Student

April 1, 2013

California State University, Northridge 19-year-old sophomore, Lindsay Anderson, is the first student to complete My Career Plan, a Career Center and Building Connections for Success (BCFS) program resource for freshman and sophomores.

My Career Plan is a major and career planning resource that helps students to clarify their academic and career goals.  Freshmen can begin working on My Career Plan their first semester and continue working through it during their first two years at CSUN.  It takes students on an exploration and planning journey.  Students complete activities and exercises to reflect on their experiences and learning along the way.

“If you are undecided or even decided on a major, you should complete My Career Plan,” advises Anderson. “It opens your eyes to new paths and connections. You only need to complete one activity a semester.  It is beneficial, convenient and easy.

My Career Plan allows students to document and reflect on their strengths, values and interests.  They can engage in major and career-related research and experiential activities along the way in order for them to physically see the progression of their research.

“My future is not all planned out, but I have established a foundation for my educational and career goals,” said Anderson, in regards to her dedication and motivation to completing My Career Plan and her studies.

For one of the two Career Center sessions that Anderson participated in as a freshman as part of her University 100 class experience, she completed StrengthsQuest, a strengths-based assessment, which confirmed for her that she possessed an empathetic and caring nature.

In addition to other support services, students in the BCFS program participate in two sessions with the Career Center as part of their University 100 experience. Of 569 first-year students who participated in a strengths-based session during Fall 2011 and completed a survey, 85% agreed that as a result of the session, they better understand that using their talents and strengths will influence their achievements (Career Center’s Strengths Survey, Fall 2011).

After participating in the Career Center sessions and taking StrengthsQuest, Anderson researched and reflected on career choices that spotlighted her strengths, interests and values.

“I chose nursing because it is my passion,” said Anderson. “I want a career where I can make someone happy and put a smile on the individual’s face.”

My Career Plan took Anderson approximately four semesters to complete. She credits it for being one of the many tools that will prepare her one step further for her future.  Currently, she is focused on her studies and is pursuing her goal of becoming a nurse.

“I do not want to be someone who wakes up unhappy to leave for work,” said Anderson. “I want to be an educated individual who loves her job.”

Throughout her life, Anderson knew that she wanted to obtain a career in the health fitness or medicine fields.  My Career Plan helped her research and reflect on her strengths and values that coincide with a career in nursing.

When working on completing My Career Plan, Anderson attended the CSUN Majors Fair.  She met with representatives from public health administration and a public health educator.  In addition, after some reflection, she realized that she did not want to pursue a career focused on management, but rather enjoys learning about the teaching side of public health.

“Life’s stumbling moments provide my mind with a clear focus,” confessed Anderson. “I know I want to stay in school and earn a higher education because it will help me attain my future goals.”

My Career Plan is one resource Anderson has utilized while at CSUN.  She said that she enjoys networking with other CSUN faculty, staff and students.  She encourages students to network with CSUN educators and advises students to attend class with “open ears” and questions because it will encourage the flow of communication and create bonds.

“I want to be independent, not dependent,” said Anderson for her dedication to her studies. “I want to be an adult who can pass on information and help someone in need.  My goal to become a nurse is what keeps me in school.  I do not want to be stuck.”

Students can work on their My Career Plans with Career Peer Mentors in the Career Center. Besides other times, they can do this during weekly gatherings in the Career Center called Career Popcorn Hours, which are hosted by the Career Peer Mentors and are taking place on Tuesdays from 1:30pm-3:30pm this Spring 2013. For more information about My Career Plan, please contact the Career Center at (818) 677-2878 or Monique Corral, Career Advisor, Building Connections for Success at monique.corral@csun.edu.