❏ Attend Orientation, take UNV 100, and connect with New Student and Retention Programs to participate in first-year student programs
❏ Meet your advisor(s) and learn about the advising process. Talk to your advisor about any career goals you may have. If you are unsure about what to major in, consider Exploratory Studies, which will give you a look at many different major and help you find a major that is a good fit for you.
❏ Familiarize yourself with the university's General Education Curriculum requirements (the classes all students take, regardless of major), and explore different degree plans. Talk to your advisor about resources on campus that you can take advantage of, such as the Writing and Speaking Centers, academic coaching, free tutoring, etc.
❏ Learn how to navigate SOAR, plan your schedule, and enroll in classes. Make sure you understand the Academic Calendar and how (and when!) to drop or withdraw from classes if necessary.
❏ Take and complete recommended classes with a 2.0 or above grade point average. If your GPA is not where you want it to be, contact New Student and Retention Programs for additional help, and talk to your advisor about ways you can improve your study habits to better your grades.
❏ Talk with the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Undergraduate Scholarships to learn about managing your finances and to make sure you have applied for all the scholarships you are eligible for. Pay your bills on time to avoid costly fees. Let your advisor know if you are having financial difficulties, as they may be able to direct you to offices that can help.
❏ Explore student organizations through the Office of Leadership and Student Involvement (HUB 110). If time permits, join at least one organization—it'll look great on your resume, and you may even make new friends! If you're not sure what group(s) might be a good fit for you, talk to an LSI ambassador who can help you explore options.
❏ Begin building a resume, and go to Career Services to activate and develop your free Handshake account for access to the online job database. Familiarize yourself with Career Services' online resources. Not sure how to get started on a resume? Schedule an appointment with Career Services in McLemore Hall for help.
❏ Identify several majors that interest you, even if you have already decided on a major. It's good to have options if your primary major ends up not being a good fit for you. Talk to your advisor about how your year has gone, and identify challenges you've faced.
❏ TRANSFER STUDENTS: Learn degree requirements, how to use SOAR, and how to find and use campus resources. Gain an understanding of the differences in expectations between the university and your prior institution. Take a transfer success course (UNV 301) if appropriate. Talk to your advisor about your career goals and how Career Services can help. Establish a Handshake account.
❏ Solidify your choice of major. If you are not happy with your declared major, talk to your advisor about alternatives. You can also visit Career Services to find out how different majors can help you achieve your career goals.
❏ Update your resume and Handshake information, with help from Career Services if appropriate. Attend Career and Internship Expos, and talk to a career services counselor about networking and interview skills.
❏ Create a map to a degree that includes some form of experiential learning. Spending a semester or a summer overseas with our Study Abroad Program can be a life-changing experiences. take an internship in your field, or engage in an undergraduate research project. The Center for Pathway Experiences can help you find and secure an internship, which will give you practical experience for your resume. The Undergraduate Research website is a great place to find information on getting started with a research project, finding a faculty mentor, finding funding sources for your project, and competing for cash prizes in our annual Undergraduate Symposium on Research and Creative Activity.
❏ Consider an minor or a double major. Talk with your advisor about your options.
❏ If appropriate, take on a leadership role in a student organization you are involved in. Employers look for people who are comfortable in leadership roles, and your experiences while you're in college can be great resume builders and give you a way to talk to potential employers about your leadership skills. If your future career aspirations include a leadership role, consider the Leadership Experience Program.
❏ TRANSFER STUDENTS: Understand the differences in expectations between Southern Miss and your prior institution. Take a transfer success course (UNV 301) if appropriate. Talk to your advisor about your career goals and how Career Services can help. Establish a Handshake account.
❏ TRANSFER STUDENTS: Learn your degree requirements and map your path to graduation with your advisor. Make sure all your transfer credits are showing up on your transcript. If not, your advisor may need to file a substitution form which can take time to clear. Don't delay!
❏ Begin considering graduate school and/or career preparation and talk with your faculty advisor/mentor on how you are positioned. Make sure you understand the application process and the timeline for your discipline.
❏ Review your degree requirements to make sure you are on track for graduation. Talk with faculty in your program to make sure that the classes you need are going to be offered in the semester you need them. If you discover an issues, talk to your advisor and/or the director of your program immediately to identify potential solutions.
❏ Review the steps to apply for graduation and make sure your application is complete and you have all required signature before the posted deadline to avoid costly late fees.
❏ If you plan to go to graduate school, note the application deadlines for the universities you are submitting applications to, and start preparing materials early.
❏ Remember to give faculty members plenty of time to submit any letters of recommendation they are writing on your behalf; they generally have multiple letters to write and a good recommendation letter takes time. If you are unsure how to ask for a letter of recommendation and what materials your professors may need to review, talk to your advisor.
❏ Begin searching for jobs, working with Career Services and your faculty mentors. Go to Career Services to have your resume reviewed, and sign up for a practice interview. Make sure you attend all available Career and Internship Expos.
❏ Talk to your advisor early about any obstacles you see to your timely graduation. The earlier you bring issues to your advisor's attention, the more options s/he will have to assist you.
❏ Complete all graduation exit surveys for the University, including the First Destinations survey and any required by your program or school.
❏ As you embark on your career or postgraduate degree, remember to keep in touch! Your faculty will appreciate hearing about your successes and challenges as you begin the next phase of your life.