• Student Outside Bush Memorial Library

    Career Preparation

    At Hamline, we have a plan for you. Hamline is unique from other liberal arts institutions in its focus on endowing students with the practical skills sought out by employers. The Hamline Plan, the university’s nationally recognized general education program, provides students with a set of flexible skills and experiences that prepare them for graduate school and the world of work. The plan follows 10 educational goals:  

    1. Understand the liberal arts

    2. Communicate effectively in writing

    3. Communicate effectively in speaking

    4. Achieve technological fluency

    5. Reason logically

    6. Understand various disciplines and how they interact

    7. Become aware of cultural, gender, minority, and age issues

    8. Work independently

    9. Understand the world of work

    10. Establish depth in one area

    Students fulfill plan requirements by taking a variety of courses across disciplines and declaring a major -- a subject area of focus. Many students pursue more than one major or complete a minor or a certificate. The plan ensures that you will have opportunities to conduct independent and collaborative research, study abroad, and participate in service learning and internships. The result is a rich and varied undergraduate experience that prepares you for life ahead.

    Make Contacts

    So you want to be a rock star -- is this a growing field? What is the average salary? What are the benefits? What type of experience will you need? Students explore these and other questions about their potential career choices through the Career Development Center’s (CDC) Bridges Scholars program, a for-credit course all about the world of work. “It allows students time for personal reflection about what really matters to them,” says director Sherrie Fernandez-Williams.

    Students participate in reflective exercises, for example a “dream exercise” in which they quickly ramble off their dreams (“I want to go surfing,” “I want to build a house”), while classmates record what they say and provide interpretation with respect to careers. “It’s like speed dating, only career exploration,” says Fernandez-Williams. They also engage in exercises that reveal what they value most such as prestige or having financial security. Informational interviews with professionals provide a healthy dose of reality and an opportunity to practice networking. Students find contacts through the CDC’s extensive database of employers and also reach out to alumni. “It helps to get information from people who are actually doing the work,” says Fernandez-Williams. “Students can see what a typical day is like -- not just read about it in a book.”

    The course also stresses practical skills such as interviewing, writing resumes and cover letters, and even etiquette -- how to eat properly at a business lunch and how to make conversation across the table. The most important skill it offers, however, is the ability to notice. “Students are often just going through the motions -- taking classes, fulfilling requirements -- and they are so good at everything,” says Fernandez-Williams. Bridges teaches them how to reflect. How to notice the difference when they’re doing calculus versus English and how to hear that internal voice that says, ‘I’m feeling excited here.’ That’s the biggest thing we can teach them.”

    Career Development Center

    Hamline's Career Development Center (CDC) assists students and alumni as they explore, prepare for, and make successful transitions to life after college. They empower individuals to take an active role in finding and pursuing their personal and professional passions. Signature programs include:

    Career counselors are available to students for individual meetings, and can provide assistance through both physical and online resources designed to help Pipers on their chosen paths.