Resources

Resources for Students

General Resources

PioneerLink

PioneerLink lists a variety of internships, on-campus career events, and jobs posted both directly to Grinnellstudents and a nationwide network of colleges and universities. Student User Instructions.pdf (PDF)PioneerLink Privacy Policy.pdf (PDF)

FOCUS

FOCUS is a self-paced, online career and education planning tool for use by college students. It will enable you to self-assess your career relevant personal qualities and explore career fields and major areas of study that are most compatible with your assessment results. Students who use FOCUS make better decisions about their goals and plans and learn how to self-manage their careers. Use FOCUS to help you - Choose or change your major and also to verify your preferences or early choice of a career field. Returning Users New Users Use "pioneers" for your access code.

CLS Library

The CLS Library includes titles on resume writing, interviewing, job searching, internships, and various careers available for check out. In addition, booklets pertaining to resume and cover letter writing, graduate school entrance exam preparation, and networking are available at no charge to students. The CLS Library is open Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. 

Selective Liberal Arts Consortium (SLAC)

The Center for Careers, Life, and Service is a member of the Selective Liberal Arts Consortium, which offers opportunities for top employers to interview bright, talented students from 12 of the nation's most selective and competitive liberal arts colleges.

The organizations that interview through SLAC come from all sectors, including for-profit, nonprofit, and government; positions include entry-level jobs and internships in a wide range of areas, such as:

  • Education
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Political organizing
  • Technology
  • Economic research
  • Consulting
  • Public policy
  • Law
  • Medical & scientific research

The Selective Liberal Arts Consortium provides students with off-campus and video interview opportunities for post-graduate and internship positions with top employers in many different fields.

SLAC Events

SLAC offers four recruiting events: two city-based Recruiting Days in New York, NY and Washington, D.C., and two Video Interview Days. These events are ideal for seniors seeking entry-level jobs, or juniors seeking internships. Each event provides face-to-face interviews with reputable employers, all in one day.

For both the city-based events and the video interviews, students review and apply for opportunities through SLAC’s online recruiting system. Employers then extend invitations to the applicants they wish to interview, and students schedule their interviews online.

Fall and Winter Recruiting Days

The Fall Recruiting Day takes place in New York, NY in September, and the Winter Recruiting Day is held in Washington, D.C. in January. Candidates selected for interviews arrange their own travel and accommodations. Each Recruiting Day starts with a morning Career Fair, which allows students an additional opportunity to chat with employers, ask questions about their organization, and generate new contacts.  The afternoon transitions to pre-selected face-to-face interviews.

Video Interview Days

Video Interview Days enable both employers and students to connect without having to travel off-campus or off-site. These events take place in November and February, and interviews are coordinated through each school’s career center using Go-to-Meeting or other online services.

Interested? Please carefully review the student expectations, get additional details about how to participate, then schedule an appointment in the CLS for more assistance.

Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN)

The Liberal Arts Career NetWORK  (LACN) has been in existence for over ten years growing in membership to 31 highly selective liberal arts colleges.  LACN’s mission is to collaboratively maximize technology in developing innovative resources and initiatives, positioning students and graduates for a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.  LACN offers:

  • LACN Jobs and Internship Postings Access jobs and internships that have been posted and shared with the LACN consortium.  You can also jump to the Nationwide Internship Consortium (NIC) database and access thousands more internships.
  • Spotlight on Careers Learn about career fields that are popular among liberal arts graduates.

Iowa College Recruiting Network (ICoRN)

This state-wide recruiting network of 29 Iowa private colleges and universities will provide you access to several leading employers across Iowa, throughout the Midwest, and around the country. ICoRN offers a convenient, centralized, and productive recruiting service for employers and students. The Recruiting Network hosts pre-selected interview events and online events for internships and post-graduate positions in management, accounting, consulting, marketing, health care, education, human services, information technology, administration, and more.

How to Participate: Complete registration and application instructions, along with the list of full-time and internship positions, is available on the ICoRN website's Events page.

CLS Handouts

Career Exploration

The Four-Year Plan
First Years
  • Visit the CLS to learn about our services
  • Start your resume; the CLS can help!
  • Assess your interests, abilities, personality, and values
  • Identify possible majors and career fields and professional associations
  • Meet individually with a CLS counselor to learn how to find out more about careers, make decisions, and set goals as well as exploring careers
  • Utilize the CLS resource library to aid in your career research
  • Consider contacting some alums or other employers to do a job shadow.
  • Take a variety of classes in areas that interest you to explore majors
  • Identify and join student organizations or volunteer activities that will provide leadership opportunities, and enable you to explore interests and build skills
  • Obtain relevant work experiences through GRINNELLINK internships, volunteering, part-time jobs and summer jobs
  • Develop good time management, goal setting, and study habits; establish a strong GPA
  • Attend the GRINNELLINK Reception each semester to meet alumni in various fields
Second Years
  • Continue first year activities
  • Develop relationships with contacts in your field of study
  • Attend CLS workshops to learn more about resume writing, interviewing, and internships
  • Conduct research and solicit information from professionals and upper-class students to finalize decision on your major
  • Meet individually with a CLS counselor to develop short and long term goals; Learn where recent graduates are working
  • Utilize the CLS resource library to aid in your career research
  • Develop and enhance your skills through student organizations, volunteer opportunities, part-time employment, and GRINNELLINK internships or Grant Program internships
  • Consider contacting some alums or other employers to do a job shadow.
  • Build skills in areas of importance to employers including oral and written communication, teamwork, leadership, problem solving, and computer skills
  • Update and revise your resume
  • Explore study abroad, Grinnell-in-Washington, and Grinnell-in-London programs
  • Maintain strong GPA
Third Years
  • Continue second year activities
  • Investigate scholarships or fellowships
  • Seek an internship to gain experience in your field
  • Utilize alumni and CLS resources to thoroughly research the employers you are considering
  • Obtain information on graduate programs and admission requirements. Prepare for and take required exams for graduate school
  • Continue building your network of faculty and professional contacts
  • Hold a leadership position in a campus organization and serve on committees
  • Polish your resume, cover letter and interview skills
  • Explore community service activities and leadership
  • Consider studying abroad
Seniors
  • Continue third year activities
  • Attend job search presentations
  • Evaluate your lifestyle interests and values to determine post-graduate plans
  • Buy an interview suit and leather padfolio
  • Apply for jobs through the Selective Liberal Arts Consortium (SLAC)
  • Participate in on-campus recruiting
  • Prepare for interviews by researching companies and opportunities
  • Attend job search workshops
  • Meet individually with a career counselor to help you identify skills you have to offer employers, plan for your job search
  • Investigate and apply for fellowships
  • Have your resume and cover letter critiqued and learn how to tailor your resume to every position
  • Meet with a career counselor on a regular basis to assess your job search strategies and to have your resume and cover letter critiqued
  • Participate in mock interviews through the CLS
  • Write letters of inquiry to alumni and prospective employers, send follow-up letters, and make phone calls
  • Use college breaks to conduct prospective company visits
  • Invest a little time each day in your job search. A productive job search may take as much time as a 3-credit hour course
Self-Assessment & Exploring Majors

Self-assessment is the process of exploring who you really are in terms of your interests, values, skills, and abilities. By using the self-assessment tools in this section, you can better identify your skills, strengths, and interests. Be sure to contact the CLS to set up an appointment to discuss your assessment results with a career counselor.

FOCUS Career Assessment

FOCUS is a self-paced, online career and education planning tool for use by college students. It will enable you to self-assess your career relevant personal qualities and explore career fields and major areas of study that are most compatible with your assessment results. Students who use FOCUS make better decisions about their goals and plans and learn how to self-manage their careers. Use FOCUS to help you choose or change your major and also to verify your preferences or early choice of a career field. Returning users, click HERE to log in. New users, click HERE to create an account. Use "pioneers" for your access code.

Myers-BriggsType Indicator (MBTI)

The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people's lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment. We offer the MBTI here in the CLS. Contact us for more info.

Additional Assessment Tools

(Please be advised that these are not considered to be formal assessments!)

Occupational Research
General Links
Employment Projections/Trends Information
Salary and Relocation Information

Graduate and Professional School

Getting Started

The CLS assists current students and recent alumni with the graduate and professional school planning, application, and selection process. Approximately one quarter of Grinnell graduates continue directly on to graduate or professional school; but approximately half of all Grinnell alumni eventually earn graduate or professional degrees. How do you decide if and when you should attend graduate or professional school? Which kind of program should you pursue? In short:

  • Speak with faculty members, mentors, alumni, and folks who have pursued similar career paths, consulting the appropriate pre-professional adviser, when necessary (see list below, under “Resources for Faculty and Staff”);
  • check out the 2014 Graduate & Professional School Guide for a detailed discussion of these questions and other matters; and
  • feel free at any time to make an appointment with an adviser at the CLS (269-4940) to discuss your plans. 

 

Planning and Applying
  • Each fall, the Center for Careers, Life, and Service sponsors a Graduate and Professional School Fair in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center.

  • If you're thinking about graduate or professional school but are still not sure what you want to do in terms of a career, explore What Can I Do with a Graduate Degree in. . . ?

  • The Peterson's Guides to Graduate Education can be helpful in choosing a particular course of study and identifying which institutions offer those programs. Printed versions, offering comprehensive information on graduate degree programs at nearly 2,400 institutions in the United States and abroad, are available in the Center for Careers, Life, and Service Library.

  • To search by area of study and/or region of the country, check out www.gradschools.com.

  • College Source Online provides the full text of college catalogs from 2-year, 4-year, and graduate schools.

  • Get the latest graduate school rankings, interactive tools, and up-to-date articles by area of study from U.S. News & World Report

  • For international study, www.studyabroad.com is a comprehensive site where you will find listings for thousands of study-abroad programs in more than 100 countries throughout the world.

  • The instructors in the campus Writing Lab, ARH 132, are glad to work with current students to help you improve your graduate school application essays (or internship essays, job application letters, scholarship application essays). Call 269-3117 or stop by the Lab to make an appointment.

Entrance Exams

Most disciplinary graduate programs require GRE (Graduate Record Exam) test scores as part of the admission materials. Professional schools (law schools, medical schools, veterinary schools, etc.) have their own exam requirements. Pay attention to graduate school exam test dates to make sure you don't miss deadlines for sending in your application. You should plan to take these tests in your junior year or first semester of your senior year if you plan to enroll in graduate school the semester after you graduate from Grinnell. Information on some of main exams is below; also see the the 2014 Graduate & Professional School Guide, page 10, for details on additional exams, including the Dental Admission Test (DAT), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), and Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). 

  • GRE (www.ets.org/gre): This computer-based test, the Graduate Record Examination, is required for entrance to most disciplinary graduate programs.
  • LSAT (www.lsac.org): The Law School Admission Test is a requirement for admission to law school.
  • MCAT (www.aamc.org): The Medical College Admission Test is taken by applicants to medical schools. Interested students should also fulfill requirements of the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).
  • The Praxis Series (www.ets.org/praxis) is an Educational Testing Service (ETS) program that provides tests and other services for states to use as part of their teacher certification process. Colleges and universities use these assessments to qualify individuals for entry into teacher education programs.
Fellowships, Scholarships, and Other Financial Aid Opportunities

A key to success in landing fellowships, scholarships, and other sorts of financial aid is searching for opportunities and applying early. See the the 2014 Graduate & Professional School Guide (PDF), page 11, for discussion of various funding opportunities that are affiliated with graduate and professional schools. Talk with your faculty mentors and representatives of the institutions where you are planning to apply. Numerous funding sources exist for students from particular populations or demographics who are planning to study in particular fields or at particular programs—so make sure to have your antennae out early. Also consult the following resources for external sources of funding that you may use to fund your graduate or professional school education:

  • International Education Financial Aid: An extensive, well-organized resource for international students wishing to study in a foreign country. Comprehensive listing of grants, scholarships, loan programs, and other information. Search by field of study and/or country of origin.
  • Gradschools.com: An extensive source of graduate school information that is easy to search by school or subject. Financial aid resources include references to other online resources (e.g., searchable scholarship, fellowship, and internship databases).
  • Social Science Research Council (SSRC): The SSRC fellowship and grant programs that are sponsored either independently by the SSRC or with other organizations. Includes opportunities for those interested in fellowships in the social sciences and humanities (and, in some programs, in natural science). Listings are organized by type of fellowship (e.g., pre-/post-dissertation, post-doctoral, other).
  • Cornell University Fellowships Database: This database offers an extensive list of fellowships. You can perform a general search, as well as click on a subject of interest or specific population. Results of your search are then listed alphabetically, and each link offers specific information about that fellowship when clicked. Alphabetical results can be slightly overwhelming, but the detailed information is worth the effort.
  • University of Illinois Graduate College Fellowship Opportunities: Another aggregate listing of fellowship opportunities, organized by category.

Employment

Top Job Search Links

Online sites can change without notice, so use caution accessing these resources. These links are for informational purpose only. We do not endorse, control, or maintain responsibility for the services and content of third-party career websites.

National Job Search Resources

Local & Iowa Job Search Resources
Resources for Recent Graduates/Entry Level Jobs
Temporary & Seasonal Job Resources
Resume, Application Letter, and Interview Resources
Career "How to" Videos

Watch these 3+ minute videos to learn tips and techniques to some of your most pressing career questions.

Diversity
General Diversity Links
African Americans
Asian Americans
Latino/a Americans
Native Americans
Disability Resources
Women's Resources
LGBTQ Resources
International Resources

International-Studies-public (PDF)

Scholarships Applicable to International Students.pdf (PDF) Look through this comprehensive list of resources to potentially help you fund your education!

Veteran's Resources
Resources by Industry
Biology, Chemistry, & Physics

Lab Skills-Biology (PDF)

Lab Skills-Biochem (PDF)

Lab Skills-Chemistry (PDF)

National Laboratories

University Job Postings

Business and Finance
Consulting

The Case Interview: Interviews in the field of management consulting frequently have a distinctive component called a "case question." Generally you will be asked to solve (think it through out-loud) the same kinds of business problems that an actual consultant would confront on the job. Case interviews can be tricky and intimidating if you are not well prepared.

Education

Iowa Teaching Positions:

Nationwide Teaching Positions: 

States (other than Iowa) - Teaching Positions: 

Private School Teaching Positions: 

More Great Links for New Teachers: 

Teaching Overseas: 

Jobs in Higher Education:  

Teaching Jobs that Do Not Require a Teaching License

Government
Green & Environmental

Organizations & Information

Health

Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) -- The Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) at Grinnell College coordinates activities involving the preparation for careers in the health professions, and its members serve as advisors for students who are planning a career in one of the health care fields.

Working with pre-meds on fellowships (PDF)

International
Mathematics & Computer Science
Non-Profit

Search Nonprofit Organizations by State/Region: 

Visual & Performing Arts

ARTSEARCH A very interesting site for Art students, with jobs and grant opportunities noted. Please note that in our contract with this company, "Online access may be made available to eligible students and employees through a password protected system maintained by the institution. ARTSEARCH password information MAY NOT be posted on websites available to the general public." PLEASE CONTACT THE CLS FOR LOG-IN AND PASSWORD INFORMATION AT: career[at]grinnell[dot]edu

Resources For Families

Overview

We want to assure you the Center for Careers, Life, and Service is available to all students, first-year through seniors, as well as alumni, and to stress how important career preparation is to the success of your student.

It is never too early for students to take the initiative in preparing themselves for their first professional position, applying to graduate/professional school, or seeking post-graduate service. We regularly publicize our services to students, but we want to make our services known to you as well.

Services Overview

Advising - Our staff can assist with self-assessment and career exploration in addition to enhancing job and graduate school search techniques. Career Counseling can help students define skills, values, and interests, while developing a plan for the future.

Internships - Internships help students gain the practical knowledge and skills that will be marketable upon graduation. Students plan their own internships, shaping them to fit their interests, skills, and academic background.

On-Campus Recruiting - Organizations, companies, and graduate schools visit the CLS each year to conduct preliminary interviews with prospective candidates.

A Job Shadow - Job shadows are a great way for students to get a glimpse into the life of a certain position or career field. Job shadows are set up between students and the person they are shadowing. CLS Staff counsel students on how to find and contact a shadowing employer. 

Workshop Series - Sessions are presented on resume/cover letter writing, networking, interview techniques, senior interviewing events, graduate school planning, professional etiquette, and job search strategies, to name a few.

Library and Printed Publications - The CLS Library includes titles on resume writing, interviewing, job searching, internships, and various careers available for check out.

Testing - To assist the career advising process, the CLS staff can incorporate a variety of instruments including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and StrengthsFinder.

Mock Interviews - Recorded practice interviews are available for those entering the job market, seeking internships, and applying to graduate school.

FOCUS 2 - A comprehensive career planning program that provides guidance and information to help people make important career and educational decisions. Research-based assessments of career-relevant interests, abilities, and job values help individuals consider career options that are a good match for them

Resume Reviews - Students meet one-on-one with a CLS Counselor to have resumes critiqued, as well as making sure it is ready to go to employers. The CLS staff can assist with the beginning stages of resumes right up to proof-reading the final draft. Application letters as well.

Post-Graduation Status Reports

The Center for Careers, Life, and Service, in collaboration with Institutional Research, conducts an annual survey of graduating seniors regarding their post graduation plans.  The data from those surveys have been compiled into the Post-Graduation Status Reports linked below.  Each report, downloadable in PDF format, gives a snapshot look at where seniors' plans take them following graduation from Grinnell College.

Information and Resources for Parents and Families

Career Development Plan.pdf (PDF)
A list of suggested activities for your student to consider as they move forward during their stay at Grinnell College.

Intern Bridge- Confessions of a Helicopter Parent (PDF)

Articles from the National Association of Colleges and Employers

These articles will help you guide your student in their career development:

A Parents' Guide to Career Development (PDF)

A Career Planning Course for Parents (PDF)

Career Action Plan (PDF)

How assessment can help you choose a major or career (PDF)

(Please note the above PDFs were created by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. If you experience any difficulty in trying to view these documents, please visit www.naceweb.org or contact the CLS at career[at]grinnell[dot]edu.)

Suggested Reading for Parents and Families

Empowering Parents of First-Year College Students: A Guide for Success
Richard Mullendore & Leslie Banahan
2007

A Family Guide to Academic Advising
Donald C. Smith & Virginia N. Gordon
2008

The Parent's Crash Course in Career Planning: Helping Your College Student Succeed
Sharon Jones & Marcia Harris
2007

Career Coaching Your Kids: Guiding Your Child Through the Process of Career Discovery
David Montross
Consulting Psychologist Press 2004

When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parent's Survival Guide
Carol Barkin
Avon Books 1999

Don't Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years
Helen E. Johnson
Griffin Trade Paperback 2000

Parents' Guide to College Life: 181 Straight Answers on Everything You Can Expect Over the Next Four Years
Robin Raskin
Princeton Review 2006

Letting Go: A Parent's Guide to Understanding the College Years
Karen Levin Coburn
Harper Perennial 2003

You're On Your Own (But I'm Here if You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years
Marjorie Savage
Fireside 2003

The Launching Years : Strategies for Parenting from Senior Year to College Life
Jennifer Wyatt & Laura Kastner
Three Rivers Press 2002

25 Ways to Make College Pay Off: Advice for Anxious Parents from a Professor Who's Seen It All
Bill Coplin
Amacom 2007

Resources for Faculty and Staff

Overview

Advising - Our Career Staff can assist with self-assessment and career exploration in addition to enhancing job and graduate school search techniques. Career Counseling can help students define skills, values, and interests, while developing a plan for the future.

Internships - Internships help students gain the practical knowledge and skills that will be marketable upon graduation. Students plan their own internships, shaping them to fit their interests, skills, and academic background.

On-Campus Recruiting - Organizations, companies, and graduate schools visit the CLS each year to conduct preliminary interviews with prospective candidates.

A Job Shadow - Job shadows are a great way for students to get a glimpse into the life of a certain position or career field. Job shadows are set up between students and the person they are shadowing. CLS Staff counsel students on how to find and contact a shadowing employer. 

Workshops - Sessions are presented on resume/cover letter writing, accessing alumni online, interview techniques, senior interviewing events, graduate school planning, investment banking and consulting, professional etiquette, and job search strategies, to name a few. Check the CLS calendar for the workshop schedule and descriptions. The CLS career counselors can also create specific workshops based on your needs.

Library and Printed Publications - The CLS Library includes titles on resume writing, interviewing, job searching, internships, and various careers available for check out. In addition, booklets pertaining to resume and cover letter writing and networking are available at no charge to students.

Testing - To assist the career advising process, the CLS staff can incorporate a variety of instruments including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Mock Interviews - Videotaped practice interviews are available for those entering the job market, seeking internships, and applying to graduate school.

FOCUS 2 - A comprehensive career planning program that provides guidance and information to help people make important career and educational decisions. Research-based assessments of career-relevant interests, abilities, and job values help individuals consider career options that are a good match for them.

Resume Reviews - Students meet one-on-one with a Career Counselor to have resumes critiqued, as well as making sure it is ready to go to employers. The CLS staff can assist with the beginning stages of resumes right up to proof-reading the final draft. Application letters as well.

Suggestions and Resources for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff members of Grinnell College play a large role in helping students clarify their values and interests, build confidence in their capabilities, and make connections outside of the Grinnell College community. The Center for Careers, Life, and Service provides resources and support to members of the faculty and staff who are advising students, coordinating internships, writing letters of recommendation, or otherwise engaging in career-related activities with students. Our career advising services can really complement academic advising. We are also a clearinghouse of opportunities. Send us relevant information on specific internships, fellowships and scholarships, research opportunities, jobs, and graduate and professional school via campus mail or email to CAREER[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

Don't Cancel Class! We can take the Center for Careers, Life, and Service on the road and into your classroom. Instead of canceling a class if you have to attend a conference, contact us and we'll come with customized workshop. We are here to collaborate with you. Let us know of any effort that you are undertaking that will help students take their major beyond the classroom (e.g. alumni and employer panels, undergraduate research, conferences, etc.). Call us at ext. 4940 or email us at CAREER[at]grinnell[dot]edu!

John Holland's Typology.pdf

Krumboltz’s Learning Theory of Career Counseling (LTCC) & Happenstance

Donald Super's Life-Span, Life-Space Approach

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Writing Letters of Recommendation

Employer User Instructions

Student User Instructions

Career Theory

So What Is Career Development?

CAREER has been defined as the "time extended working out of a purposeful life pattern through work undertaken by the person" (Reardon, Lenz, Sampson, and Peterson, as cited in Zunker, 2006, p. 9). This also includes "activities and positions involved in vocations, occupations, and jobs as well as to related activities with an individual's lifetime of work" (Zunker, 2006, p. 9).

At the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS), we recognize the advantages of working together with a knowledgeable and distinguished faculty and staff in order to effectively serve the students of Grinnell College. As the students here receive intensive personal guidance from their faculty mentors and an education rooted in active experience, the CLS seeks to create an honest, open, and student-focused partnership with the faculty and all college staff. In keeping with the spirit of Grinnell College's history of providing exceptional guidance while encouraging students to be self-directed, the staff in the CLS offers a number of group and individual services to provide sufficient career-related support for students, while also offering them a sufficient amount of challenge to enable them to grow personally and professionally. It is our hope that by working as one with the faculty and staff of Grinnell College that we can offer the best possible career services for our students so that they can excel in their lives after Grinnell, whether in future studies or occupations.

Career Development Overview

Career Development Theory
(taken from Career Counseling: A Holistic Approach by Vernon G. Zunker)

Career development essentially began in the late 1890's in the form of placement services in large cities due to the increased growth of industry. It soon began to find its way into elementary and secondary schools as vocational guidance before eventually arriving in institutions of higher education. Initially, career counseling was more vocational in nature, focusing on matching a person's abilities and assets with the duties and requirements of a specific job. Now, however, career counseling takes a much more holistic approach, by examining not only the traits of a person, but also their life as a whole, and how all facets of their life are interrelated-especially regarding their career choice. Career development theories tend to come from three basic perspectives: trait-oriented theories, social learning and cognitive theories, and developmental theories. Below are brief overviews of each, with links to summaries of a few key theorists in career development (click on their names to learn more).Trait-oriented theories essentially suggest that human traits such as aptitudes, interests, and personality can be matched with certain work environments for a means of evaluating potential work sites. Along with this, self-knowledge essential for evaluating career information, so the idea is that one observes work environments from several perspectives, including work requirements, personal-environment-fit, and potential reinforcers of one's personal needs. Perhaps the most widely used and well-know contributor isHolland.pdf, who is still a major influence on career development to this day.

Social learning and cognitive theories tend to place an emphasis on self knowledge as the foundation for making a career decision. These theories consider information-processing skills important and take into account the importance of human traits (ability, personality, values), using direct research to examine how these variables interrelate to influence growth and development. Other important factors include: social, cultural, economic conditions. Social learning and cognitive theories also introduce the concept of self-efficacy: the belief in one's ability to do something can have an impact on the success one has (high self-efficacy leads to success, while low self-efficacy leads to failure). In these theories, faulty beliefs are aggressively addressed, and learning programs help to increase a range of career choices, as learning to process information effectively is a major goal. One of the lead theorists in this area is Krumboltz.pdf at Stanford University.

Lastly, the developmental career theories suggest that individuals make changes during developmental stages and adapt to changing life roles based on the idea of their "self-concept", which is the driving force that establishes a career pattern. Individuals circumscribe or narrow career choice through sex awareness that is determined by one's social class, level of interests, and experiences with sex typing. Developmental theories also give a perspective of career development that is continuous and discontinuous and is indeed multidimensional. Clients are involved in several life roles simultaneously and success in one life role facilitates success in another. Some clients simply are not prepared to make an optimal career decision, so the goal is to assist each client to develop an accurate picture of self in multiple life roles. Perhaps one of the most cited developmental theorists is Super.pdf.

Finally, another approach we use to assist Grinnell College students is to help them explore their personality. By learning more about their tendencies, they will be able to better identify career areas that they may feel are a better "fit", and in this way find a direction for their life after Grinnell that is much more satisfying and rewarding. One way we aid them in this process is using FOCUS, a self-guided career exploration and assessment tool, where they can examine how their personality may fit with certain careers and majors. Part of FOCUS is based on the Myers.pdf. We hope that you have found the above information helpful in gaining a clearer understanding of our field (and our passion), and will take every opportunity to partner with the CLS and refer your students to our office so that they may make use of our programs and services!

For more information on Career Development and how it relates to college students, explore:

  • Chickering, A. W., & Reisser, L. (1993). Education and identity (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Mitchell, K. E., Levin, A. S., & Krumboltz, J. D. (1999). Planned happenstance: Constructing unexpected career opportunities. Journal of Counseling & Development, 77(2), 115-124.
  • Zunker, V. G. (2006). Career counseling: A holistic approach (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks-Cole.

John Holland's Typology.pdf

Krumboltz’s Learning Theory of Career Counseling (LTCC) & Happenstance

Donald Super's Life-Span, Life-Space Approach

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Writing Letters of Recommendation

Employer User Instructions

Student User Instructions

Pre-Professional Adviser List
Reference Letters

Ethical Guidelines and Reference Letters

Ethical & Legal Standards

An Introduction to Writing Reference Letters

Sample Faculty Reference Letter

Resources for Employers and Recruiters

Information for Employers and Recruiters Interested in Grinnell College Students

Grinnell College offers its students a contemporary liberal arts education. Its mission is to provide students with an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to critical analysis, problem solving and the leadership skills required to translate what is learned into effective action. Resources available to employers include on-campus interviewing; publication of employment opportunities; and direct referrals of qualified registrants, including alumni. 

Post a Job/Internship Employers may post a position free of charge. Please register and post the full opportunity description to PioneerLink. For posting instructions, review the Employer User Instructions.

Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN):  Reach Students at 31 Liberal Arts Colleges The Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN) provides a job and internship listing service that gives you the opportunity to reach over 60,000 students at 31 highly selective, small, private liberal arts colleges with just one posting, for free!

Principles for Professional Conduct The Grinnell College Center for Careers, Life, and Service adheres to the NACE Guidelines regarding college recruiting practices.

Recruiting Activities Policy We encourage all individuals who are interested in recruiting Grinnell students to review our Recruiting Activities Policy.  Any questions can be directed to career[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

Majors/Concentrations Available at Grinnell College See Academic Programs for a complete list.

Recruiting Grinnell College students

  • On-Campus Interviews We invite you to come to campus to interview students. Interviews normally take place from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the fall and spring semesters. 
  • Information Session One or more of your organization's representatives are encouraged to present information on campus to increase your visability.   Sessions typically take place in the CLS Presentation Room at 12:15 p.m or 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Information Table at the Joe Rosenfield Center '25 We also invite you to come to campus and do a tabling in our Joe Rosenfield Center '25, outside of the dining hall. This allows you to informally talk with students about you organization.

For more information or to schedule your visit to campus, contact our office by e-mail (career[at]grinnell[dot]edu) or phone us at 641-269-4940.

Post-Graduation Status Report Review data regarding the post-graduation plans of Grinnell College seniors in our Post-Graduation Status Report page.

Equal Employment Opportunity Grinnell College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to attracting and retaining highly qualified individuals who collectively reflect the diversity of the nation. No applicant shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, religion, creed, or disability.  Organizations visiting the Grinnell College campus are likewise expected to conform to equal opportunity regulations in their recruitment practices.  

Graduate and Professional School Fair

The Center for Careers, Life, and Service annually sponsors an invitation-only Graduate and Professional School Fair, typically in late September or early October. Each fall, representatives from over thirty graduate and professional programs attend our fair, which is held in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center at the heart of campus. Recent professional schools and programs in attendance include:

  • Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Emory University – Rollins School of Public Health
  • Indiana University – School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Iowa State University – College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Northwestern University – School of Education and Social Policy
  • St. Louis College of Pharmacy
  • Tulane University – Law School
  • University of Chicago – Urban Teacher Education Program
  • University of Iowa – College of Dentistry
  • University of Iowa – College of Medicine
  • University of Iowa – School of Library and Information Science
  • University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management
  • Washington University – Brown School of Social Work
  • Washington University – Olin Business School

If you would like to be considered for an invitation to the Fall 2014 Graduate and Professional School Fair, contact Diane Hawkins, Recruitment and Program Coordinator (641-269-4895 or hawkins[at]grinnell[dot]edu). Invitations for the Fall 2014 Fair will be issued in June or July 2014.

Internship Supervisors

Each summer, as part of the Grinnell College Internship Program, Grinnell students engage in important internship experiences around the country and world and in a variety of work settings. This Program is designed to support students in their pursuit to gain career-related experience as part of their liberal arts education. In order to ensure this experience is beneficial and meaningful for the student, site supervisor, and organization, please find helpful tips, resources, and guidelines in our Internship Program Supervisor Resource.

 

Center for Careers, Life, and Service 1127 Park Street Grinnell, IA 50112-1690
641-269-4940 (phone)
641-269-4508 (fax)
Email: career[at]grinnell[dot]edu

Office Hours Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.