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The Aspire Program

The Aspire 4-Year Plan

What does a typical student plan look like through The Aspire Program™?

Year One:

  • Develop your iAspire Plan.
  • Consult with your registration specialist and academic advisor(s) to shape your academic plan in relation to your goals and interests.
  • Participate in Aspire’s first-year programs, including The Aspire Conference, to meet faculty, peer mentors, and key alumni, and get to know your Aspire career specialist.
  • Build or update your Handshake profile and resume in consultation with your Career Specialist and career ambassadors.
  • Participate in at least one additional developmental opportunity related to The Aspire Program key goals. Students have access to curricular and co-curricular options to explore careers/areas of study and test curiosities.
  • Try something new — take at least one course or participate in other new activities; then, reflect on your learning to determine whether to keep engaging in those experiences or try other new options.
  • Consider taking the Career Planning and Preparation course or another great course that expands your perspective or helps you explore options for a major or minor.

Year Two:

  • Participate in sophomore leadership and interest discernment activities.
  • Develop a list of professional directions (as best you know them) and the relevant skills that may be required to pursue those options.
  • Identify an emerging team of mentors and engage with your Aspire Career Specialist to determine the support you need to secure a meaningful experiential learning opportunity.
  • Participate in at least one additional developmental opportunity related to The Aspire Program key goals to hone your career readiness, entrepreneurship, creativity, and leadership skills.

Years Three and Four:

Continue to build your skills and understanding of the world of work through the following activities:

  • Secure at least one additional experiential learning opportunity related to your desired career options. This should provide an extended immersion experience. Examples include an internship, research opportunity, study abroad, job, or other experience that extends an entire summer or semester.
  • Participate in The Aspire Conference, the intergenerational professional development conference for personal development, and offer insights to underclassmen and peers. Development experiences for upperclassmen will focus on polishing and articulating skills, as well as transition skills.
  • Contact at least three professionals in your fields of interest to receive direct feedback on your preparedness for life after Carthage.
  • Consider taking the Life After Carthage course, usually offered in J-Term.
  • Engage in mock interviews to prep for job/internship searches or graduate/professional school interviews.

Year Four and Beyond:

Prepare for your graduation and life after Carthage with the following activities:

  • Actively apply for employment, graduate/professional school, fellowships, or other opportunities.
  • Continue to update your iAspire Plan and draft post-graduate professional development needs.
  • Continue to follow up with your Aspire Career Specialist and mentor network after you graduate to update your plans.
  • Celebrate success and build resilience as you apply what you’ve learned to the challenges and opportunities of transitioning into Life After Carthage. Maintain contact with your Career Specialist and others in your support network; alumni retain access to The Aspire Center services and resources after graduation for help when you need it.
  • After you graduate, consider mentoring current students through The Aspire Network and continue to develop and maintain relationships with your support network.

All students will consult with their Aspire Career Specialists to develop and update their personalized iAspire plans throughout their time at Carthage. Transfer, international, and adult students are likely to have particular special considerations, such as accelerated timelines and/or outside commitments that may require creative approaches to facilitate desired plans.

“The classroom experiences I have had at Carthage enabled me to nail
each part of the hiring process and really impress my interviewers.
I think my liberal arts education set me apart from students at other schools who have lots of technical expertise, but less exposure to communication and critical thinking, which are crucial in any position.”
— Kevin Krause ’18