There are a lot of services available to students in the Career and Academic Advising Center. If you’re at square one and aren’t sure what career you want, career counseling is great for gaining more direction. 

The career counselors take cues from a book called “The Zookeeper’s Secret: Finding Your Calling in Life” by Jeffrey A. Thompson and Stuart Bunderson. The book covers three different areas: passion, purpose and place. 

“We define passion as, these are my innate spiritual gifts, talents, character strengths, values. These are the things that make me who I am and they tell me what I’m gonna do,” said Breanna Carlos, a career counselor. 

Purpose is about why you’re doing what you’re doing. 

“This comes from a place of fulfilling some kind of need in the world. Who is the population you’re gonna help? What is the reason you’re doing what you’re doing?” Carlos said. 

The place you’re in could mean a geographical location, it could mean a specific city or a type of industry. 

There are also career assessments available to students. One is TypeFocus, which helps students learn about their personality and how they work, as well as their interests. 

Another option is WOWI, which stands for World of Work Inventory. This is similar to TypeFocus, but also tests your aptitude. It gives you a list of careers that could be a good match for you. 

Carlos said career counselors have a big focus on values as well. 

“When we can match where their values are with a certain industry or type of job, then that’s where we find people more of a meaningful connection to what they’re doing. 

They also use the Career Exploration Model. It connects the passion, purpose and place to possibilities. As awareness of your identity expands, you can increase your awareness of the world of work. By networking, job shadowing and interviewing, you can narrow down a career. 

A diagram of the career exploration model with awareness leading to identity and world of work, which leads to career

Once you’ve found your career goal, you can meet with an academic advisor to figure out which classes you need. 

“I always tell students to plan early, so to do a grad plan and meet with advising every single semester,” said Carrie Valora, a career and academic advising coordinator. 

That may seem like a lot, but Valora said it’s important because course codes change, catalog years change and it’s best to be sure you’re taking the right classes. 

If your classes become overwhelming, you can meet with an academic advisor to help you improve your study habits. 

Sean Tippetts, an academic advisor, said good time management is essential to academic success. 

“A degree is a very noble goal, but it does require sufficient time, organizing that time, and then a willingness to sacrifice other things. Every student with whom I have worked who is willing to put that formula into effect, has been successful. Every single one of them, without fail,” Tippetts said. 

You can set up an appointment with an advisor here