First Year

The Check List
It’s time to explore and understand what matters most to you, and to learn as much as possible about the potential majors and careers available in your fields of interest. Check out our action items that are critical for you to complete in your first year at Wake. Below you can find detailed descriptions of these steps with corresponding links to relevant resources.

Complete your Handshake profile
Start your college career off right by completing your profile for Handshake. Click the link to complete your profile and find tips on making your career-related searches easier. Handshake is Wake Forest’s job and internship website. Completing your profile will give you access to apply to internship and will help us keep track of your interests so you can be up-to-date on relevant career events and opportunities.

Choose your Major and Career Direction
Trying to decide on your major or career path? Start by taking our recommended assessments which can help you discover majors and careers that could best fit you. Even if you know your path, our assessments can help confirm your decision. To learn more about all types of jobs and careers, check out and meet with a Career Counselor to discuss your situation and develop a plan.

Search for Internships
Internships are the best way to learn about possible career paths (and they also look great on your resume)! Check out your internship opportunities now make sure you have plenty of time to apply. Opportunities are posted throughout the year on Handshake and internship databases like UCAN and

Plan an International Experience
Volunteering or studying abroad can be a great way to explore your interests, learn about different cultures, and build new skill sets in addition to internship experiences and on-campus involvement.  Consider joining a WFU Volunteer Service Corps trip, applying for a Richter research scholarship through the WF Scholars Program, or accessing a social networking site such as Idealist, to learn about international volunteer opportunities. Begin planning now when you will study abroad, either for a semester or summer term.

Build a Strong Resume
Turn your high school resume into a college resume. Use our resume templates and visit the OPCD office to have your resume reviewed. Create LinkedIn profile and join the Wake Forest Career Connectors for access to thousands of WF alums, students, and faculty. Build a strong resume by getting involved —join a club, volunteer in the community or start your own group! Check out our Skill-Building Directory for more ideas on how to get involved on campus and continue building your skill sets.

Prepare for Interviews
To get the real scoop on a career path that interests you, set up an informational interview with a recent Wake grad or another contact. When you need to prepare for an interview, try Interview Stream to practice in your dorm room on your own time. Remember, a first impression is a lasting one.

Register for Career Courses
Register for Career Courses EDU 120 and EDU 220 to learn even more about yourself and the career options that align with your interests, values, and strengths.

Meet with Advisors
Thinking about Health Professions or pre-law? Meet with the appropriate advisor and learn more about program deadlines.

In order to develop clarity, competence, and confidence in your career goals, reflecting on your experiences periodically and regularly will ensure that you make sound decisions about your academic, extracurricular, career and life choices. Review and answer these questions on the attached Word document at the end of each semester and at the end of your first-year summer.