Home » Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement


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.

Spring Break Externship Program

How does this program work?

CLS matches first- and second-year students with alumni job shadow supervisors. Students stay three to five days with the alumnus/a and observe him/her at work as a method to not only further understand that career field but how that career fits into one’s life. This program is intended to be a jump off point for students to start exploring their career options and talking with professionals in order to:


Members of the CLS staff work individually with students, drawing upon assessment instruments such as FOCUS2, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and StrengthsQuest to help them achieve a sense of self-awareness and plan strategies toward personal and professional fulfillment.

Career and Industry Exploration

Students at all stages of their collegiate careers can benefit from career exploration; you can benefit even if you feel you’re certain of your major or career path. Core elements of career exploration include examining and reflecting on yourself, understanding the world of work, and taking advantage of opportunities for gaining experience both on and off campus.


Whether you’re interested in identifying your strengths, launching your career, serving the community, or pursuing post-graduate study, Grinnell’s Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS) is here to help. You can meet with CLS staff to discuss career planning; identify service opportunities; find internships and job-shadows; apply for graduate school or post-graduate fellowships; and hone resumes, applications, and cover letters.


CLS Interns greet and assist students with office resources, provide résumé and cover letter reviews for students, participate in special office events, including Grinnellink receptions, staff CLS Express outreach tables,

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.