Exploring Careers and Majors

Exploring Majors and Careers


Whether you are interested in a lot of things, or aren't quite sure where to focus your energy, taking a close look at your skills, interests and values can help you begin connecting to the world of work and the impact you want to make. Here are some tools to get you started:

  • PathwayU: This new career tool provides scientific insight on your interests, values, personality, and workplace preferences, which allow you to identify career paths that fit your unique set of characteristics.
  • Career Guides by Major: See what other GVSU students are doing with their major by exploring our Career Guides.
  • What Can I Do With My Major: Whether you’re exploring majors or searching for information about your chosen field, this website will help you connect majors to careers.
  • O'Net: Explore industries, career clusters or individual jobs. You'll find info on required skills, abilities, education, as well as job outlook and salary expectations.
  • Candid Career: Check out video interviews with professionals to learn more about different fields and industries.

Talking to people about what they do and how they got there is a great way to learn about different industries, jobs, and professions. By attending events and connecting with others, you'll continue to learn about the world of work and the impact you want to make within it. Here are some ways to get started:

  • Attend career events: The Career Center hosts many events that can help you get connected with alumni, peers, and other professionals in a casual, informational gathering setting. 
  • Informational Interviews: These allow you to be the interviewer and gather information from someone doing something that sounds appealing to you.
  • Join a student organization: There are many student organizations on campus that can connect you with peers who have similar interests as you.
Test it out

Sometimes you don't know if you like something until you give it a try! Here are some ways to test out if a career area is for you:

  • Volunteer: Volunteering can give you exposure to the type of environment you may want to work, and connections to professionals in that field.
  • Student Employment: Whether an on-campus job, or other part-time position, working in any capacity will help you identify workplace values and help you continue to build your skills.
  • Internships: These short-term experiences can immerse you into a particular industry or job role.
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Take 4 quick career assessments to find out how your interests, values, personality, and workplace preferences align to different career paths and degrees that fit your unique self


See what alumni are doing

LinkedIn is an online professional networking site that allows you to see the career paths of others. You can search the profiles of GVSU alumni based on where they work, what they studied, and what they are doing now. This is a great way to learn about the types of work, skills, and experiences that have helped others find or create opportunities. Don't have a LinkedIn profile? Read these tips to learn more!

Attend Events to Learn More

Career Community- Exploring

There are no upcoming Career Community- Exploring at this time

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Meet Your Exploring Career Advisor

Dayna Phillips

Dayna Phillips

Office Address: 200 Student Services
Phone: (616) 331-3311
Email: [email protected]

Dayna works with students exploring majors and career options, and those interested in career testing.

be career ready!

Regardless of what you do and where you land, employers across industries and disciplines all agree that it is important for learners to be career ready. Below are 8 key competencies that can help you get to where you want to go. For further information on these, please visit the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Career Readiness Competencies

Proactively develop oneself and one’s career through continual personal and professional learning, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses, navigation of career opportunities, and networking to build relationships within and without one’s organization.


  • Show an awareness of own strengths and areas for development.
  • Identify areas for continual growth while pursuing and applying feedback.
  • Develop plans and goals for one’s future career.
  • Professionally advocate for oneself and others.
  • Display curiosity; seek out opportunities to learn.
  • Assume duties or positions that will help one progress professionally.
  • Establish, maintain, and/or leverage relationships with people who can help one professionally.
  • Seek and embrace development opportunities.
  • Voluntarily participate in further education, training, or other events to support one’s career.

Clearly and effectively exchange information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with persons inside and outside of an organization.


  • Understand the importance of and demonstrate verbal, written, and non-verbal/body language, abilities.
  • Employ active listening, persuasion, and influencing skills.
  • Communicate in a clear and organized manner so that others can effectively understand.
  • Frame communication with respect to diversity of learning styles, varied individual communication abilities, and cultural differences.
  • Ask appropriate questions for specific information from supervisors, specialists, and others.
  • Promptly inform relevant others when needing guidance with assigned tasks.

Identify and respond to needs based upon an understanding of situational context and logical analysis of relevant information.


  • Make decisions and solve problems using sound, inclusive reasoning and judgment.
  • Gather and analyze information from a diverse set of sources and individuals to fully understand a problem.
  • Proactively anticipate needs and prioritize action steps.
  • Accurately summarize and interpret data with an awareness of personal biases that may impact outcomes.
  • Effectively communicate actions and rationale, recognizing the diverse perspectives and lived experiences of stakeholders.
  • Multi-task well in a fast-paced environment.

Demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different local and global cultures. Engage in anti-racist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism.


  • Solicit and use feedback from multiple cultural perspectives to make inclusive and equity-minded decisions.
  • Actively contribute to inclusive and equitable practices that influence individual and systemic change.
  • Advocate for inclusion, equitable practices, justice, and empowerment for historically marginalized communities.
  • Seek global cross-cultural interactions and experiences that enhance one’s understanding of people from different demographic groups and that leads to personal growth.
  • Keep an open mind to diverse ideas and new ways of thinking.
  • Identify resources and eliminate barriers resulting from individual and systemic racism, inequities, and biases.
  • Demonstrate flexibility by adapting to diverse environments.
  • Address systems of privilege that limit opportunities for members of historically marginalized communities.

Recognize and capitalize on personal and team strengths to achieve organizational goals.


  • Inspire, persuade, and motivate self and others under a shared vision.
  • Seek out and leverage diverse resources and feedback from others to inform direction.
  • Use innovative thinking to go beyond traditional methods.
  • Serve as a role model to others by approaching tasks with confidence and a positive attitude.
  • Motivate and inspire others by encouraging them and by building mutual trust.
  • Plan, initiate, manage, complete and evaluate projects.

Knowing work environments differ greatly, understand and demonstrate effective work habits, and act in the interest of the larger community and workplace.


  • Act equitably with integrity and accountability to self, others, and the organization.
  • Maintain a positive personal brand in alignment with organization and personal career values.
  • Be present and prepared.
  • Demonstrate dependability (e.g., report consistently for work or meetings).
  • Prioritize and complete tasks to accomplish organizational goals.
  • Consistently meet or exceed goals and expectations.
  • Have an attention to detail, resulting in few if any errors in their work.
  • Show a high level of dedication toward doing a good job.

Build and maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively toward common goals, while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities.


  • Listen carefully to others, taking time to understand and ask appropriate questions without interrupting.
  • Effectively manage conflict, interact with and respect diverse personalities, and meet ambiguity with resilience.
  • Be accountable for individual and team responsibilities and deliverables.
  • Employ personal strengths, knowledge, and talents to complement those of others.
  • Exercise the ability to compromise and be agile.
  • Collaborate with others to achieve common goals.
  • Build strong, positive working relationships with supervisor and team members/coworkers.

Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.


  • Navigate change and be open to learning new technologies.
  • Use technology to improve efficiency and productivity of their work.
  • Identify appropriate technology for completing specific tasks.
  • Manage technology to integrate information to support relevant, effective, and timely decision-making.
  • Quickly adapt to new or unfamiliar technologies.
  • Manipulate information, construct ideas, and use technology to achieve strategic goals.

Page last modified May 31, 2022