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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.

Recipients of Grinnell-Specific Awards

Baumann Essay Prize

In honor of longtime Grinnell history professor Frederick Bauman (1889–1967), the Frederick Baumann Essay Prize is a $2,500 prize awarded each spring to the student who writes the best essay—taking an interdisciplinary and historical approach—on the general topic of “ideas and society.”  Select prize-winning papers are available online at Digital Grinnell. As of summer 2016, this prize is no longer being awarded.

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.