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Explore Career Courses

The College-To-Career series of courses, offered by the Department of Counseling (CNS), are designed to provide Wake Forest students a unique opportunity in higher education. Students receive course credit to explore personal attributes that influence future academic and professional decisions and to consider the factors that create a meaningful, fulfilling life after Wake Forest. A series of College-to-Career courses are envisioned, with four currently available to students.

View the video to hear Wake Forest University students discuss their experience in the College to Career courses.

CNS 120. Personal Framework for Career Exploration

Students experience thought-provoking activities that help them understand their personal strengths, interests, and beliefs, which strengthen their ability to make sound decisions.  Students consider their values and the influences that have helped them attain their current goals. They explore and understand the majors that are offered at WFU and how majors relate to career options. Students also consider the elements of the lifestyle they wish to have in the future. Through reading Authentic Happiness by psychologist Martin Seligman, students consider what their definition of happiness may include. Students earn 1.5 credits for this half-semester course. The course is open to all students after their first semester of their first-year, and is encouraged for second-year students.

CNS 220. Options in the World of Work

Many young adults considering life after college ask themselves: “What kind of work is out there for me?” In CNS 220, students begin the crucial task of understanding the range of careers available and considering which careers will best align with their interests and needs. Students conduct a series of informational interviews with professionals, begin to build a professional network and explore the range of careers and career paths. In this half-semester, 1.5 credit course, students access the tools to explore and understand the world of work and take a closer examination of the options that are most intriguing. CNS 220 is open to all students, but it is suggested for sophomores or juniors who have completed CNS 120.

CNS 302. Career Planning

Career Planning covers the three components of the career planning process: (1) personal assessment of work-related values, interests and skills; (2) exploration of career options; and (3) resume writing, interviewing, and job search skills. Students earn 2 credits for this half-semester course.

CNS 320. Strategic Job Search

What is the unique set of skills, experience and professional style that each Wake Forest student offers an employer?  How can a WFU student best convey this crucial information to a prospective employer? What are the strategies a WFU student should use to access job openings and information?  In CNS 320, students learn and create professional documents that help them communicate to employers: resumes, cover letters and an online image. Students also develop and practice the personal skills to effectively communicate and sell themselves in person: interviewing, networking and understanding the motivation behind interview questions.  Students will learn time-tested skills and techniques that will help them be employable throughout their lives.  Students earn 1.5 credits for this half-semester course.

CNS 360. Professional and Life Skills (In Development)

Education for daily life and work after graduation begins in CNS 360. Students consider the concept of a holistic life which includes work, avocations and addressing personal needs.  Course work includes the practical aspects of an independent life: personal budgeting, choosing health and insurance benefits and considering basic financial planning. Students use this half-semester course to explore how “pro-humanitate” will inform their personal and professional life and the kinds of skills they will need in the workplace to demonstrate professional integrity and competency as well as an understanding of employer expectations. Students can earn 1.5 credits while developing knowledge and skills to effectively transition into the world of work.

For those students unable to take the College-To-Career courses, College-to-Career Instructor in the Department of Counseling, Heidi Robinson, recommends the following resources (which are from CNS 120 and CNS 220):

Making Career Decisions that Count: A practical guide - Darrell A. Luzzo and Lisa Severy
This practical book gives students a user-friendly overview as a starting point for the career exploration process.  Students can use activities to begin clarifying and assessing  personal attributes and how those align with career exploration.  Conversational and easily navigated individually or as part of the classroom experience.

This I Believe II: more personal philosophies of remarkable men and women – Jay Allison and Dan Gediman
This series of thought-provoking, challenging and sometimes, humorous essays offer students one way to understand the role personal principles play in the day-to-day experiences of people in all walks of life.  Each essay hinges on a personal experience that elicits an overarching belief.  There is an instructional section in the book that helps guide students if they wish to create their own.  Great read, inspiring and sometimes poignant.

Authentic Happiness - Martin Seligman
Seligman presents a fascinating counterbalance to traditional Western definitions of happiness.  Grounded in years of research, the book elicits strong reactions from students.  Authentic Happiness also provides exercises and evidence for increasing life satisfaction.

Man’s Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl
Considered a classic, Frankl’s book demands that the reader consider the role of meaning in life. Using just 150-pages, Frankl offers a humble explanation of his experience in Hitler’s death camps, and the way this fundamentally defined his belief that each human being must explore meaning in order to fully live.

Roadtrip Nation: A guide to discovering your path in life - Nathan Geghard, Joanne Gordon and Mike Marriner
Think you are the only undergraduate wrestling with a career path after graduation?  A group of young adults facing the end of college took  to the road to find first-hand career information. They tracked down and compiled informational interviews with a fascinating group of  industry leaders and entrepreneurs from entertainment, business, non-profit and politics. Reminds the  reader to courageously take the path ahead and even gives a guide for creating a road trip and conducting  informational interviews.

Luck is no accident: Making the most of happenstance in your life - John D. Krumboltz, Al S. Levin
This easy-to-read book walks the reader through stories and exercises that promote optimism and active career exploration. Engaging and encouraging.