Career Services at Aquinas College

Career Planning & Development

It is likely that one of your main reasons for coming to Aquinas College is to help you identify and prepare for potential careers. Aquinas' Career Services has a multitude of tools and resources to assist you with this process, but is up to you to take advantage of these. Four Steps to a Successful Career (pdf) is a four-year strategy to help students fully utilize Career Services.
The following are examples of some of the things that our career counselors can help you with:

  • Career decision making
  • Goal setting
  • Resume and cover letter development
  • Job search strategies
  • Effective interviewing techniques & videotaped interviews
  • Portfolio development

*If you come in for a resume/cover letter review and videotaped interview, you will receive a free Aquinas Padfolio

Assessment Tools
Career Services can help you identify your unique skills, abilities, interests and values in order to make choices about career paths and to establish career goals. Self-assessment tools; including the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), COPS (Career Occupational Preference System) are available to guide you through the self-assessment process and prepare you for career exploration. These tools are used in CD 200 and CD 210 and available through individual appointments. Contact the Advantage Center to discuss this with a career counselor. 

Focus Assessment
FOCUS is a self-paced, online career and education planning tool for use by college students. It will enable you to self-assess your career relevant personal qualities and explore career fields and major areas of study that are most compatible with your assessment results. Students who use FOCUS make better decisions about their goals and plans and learn how to self-manage their careers.

Use FOCUS to help you - Choose or change your major and also to verify your preferences or early choice of a career field.
Once you have completed any of the Focus2 assessments we encourage you to make an appointment with a career counselor to discuss your results. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (616) 632-2126.

  • For more information on what the FOCUS assessment can do for you, download this presentation (pdf).
  • To get started on FOCUS, log in to the account you already created or create a new account. Your access code to create a new account is: Saints.

The Career Resource Library and How-to Guides are available to help you build the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to conduct a successful job search campaign or explore different career paths. The Career Services Resource Library is available to students during regular business hours. The library contains books, and periodicals to assist with your career exploration, job search strategies, graduate school research and more. Information on specific employers and graduate schools are also on file. Our How-to Guides feature topics such as interviewing, resume and cover letter development and networking.

What Can I Do With This Major?
This web site helps you connect majors with careers. For each major that interests you, choose "Information" to download an outline of common career areas, typical employers, and strategies designed to maximize career opportunities. Choose "Links" to find a list of web sites that provide information about listed majors and related careers. Keep in mind that the information sheets and web sites are representative of typical career paths associated with each major and not a comprehensive list. You may want to explore information and websites from multiple majors to help you learn about a wide range of career opportunities.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
The Occupational Outlook Handbook provides research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to help people learn about various careers. This resource provides information on hundreds of occupations including job duties, education and training requirements, median pay, projected job growth, and more.

Research information on various occupations through this free database. For each occupation learn about the related skills, interests, values, job requirements, the level of experience needed, and occupational outlook.

Click here to explore what academic majors Aquinas offers

 CD 200: Career and Self Awareness (Required)
Course Description
The CD 200 class will assist you in identifying skills, interests, abilities, goals, and values as they relate to careers. With this information, students explore career fields related to the discipline that they are interested in and assess if these fields are personally a good fit. You will write a resume, cover letter, and learn interviewing techniques. This course is required for graduation.
Course Objectives:

  • Use a variety of tools including Internet sites, Sigi Plus, printed materials, mentors, and assessment instruments.
  • Use eRecruiting to develop a professional resume and decide on an effective format for a resume and cover letter.
  • Identify possible academic majors based on career research outcomes.
  • Become more aware of personality traits and styles, specific strengths, skills, and abilities and how they fit in career development and implement those into personal, academic, and career goals.
  • Identify values and examine career implications for maintaining a balanced and values-affirming lifestyle.
  • Understand the changing future of work is influenced by shifts in the economy and society.
  • Gain an awareness of Chickering, Holland, and Super’s theories and the 6 Steps in Effective Decision-Making - as they relate to the career development process and how that process can be used throughout life.
  • Understand the importance of an employability portfolio as well as effective interviewing techniques.
  • Identify if graduate school is an option and understand the importance of researching the appropriate graduate school.
  • Identify experiential learning opportunities that fit with your new career goals.

CD 210: Career and Life Planning
Course Description
This class is specifically designed for continuing education students who want a theoretical and practical study of the career planning process applied to their interests, abilities, goals, academic discipline, and fields of interest. The focus is on self-assessment, development of career and life plan, and projects and techniques relating to personal career search and career management. This course is offered during the second quad only.
Experiential Learning
Strongly encouraged and may be required through your major discipline.
Some Options for Experiential Learning Include:

CD 401: Decision Making and Implementation
Course Description
The CD 401 course is an exciting eight-week course designed to assist students in making the transition from college to the world of work, service, self-employment, and/or graduate school. The information and activities are designed to help you explore and prepare for the realities of a career and life after graduation from college.
Students will prepare an individualized career action plan, which will guide them through the steps necessary to implement the next phase in their career. This action plan will include setting goals, finalizing career options, researching employment opportunities, networking, resume and cover letter writing, portfolio development, salary negotiating, budgeting, and interviewing.
Course Objectives
Upon successful completion of CD 401, the student will be able to:

  • Make the transition from college to the world-of-work, service, self-employment, and/or graduate school.
  • Understand the function and services provided by the Aquinas College Career and Counseling Services Office.
  • Continue to develop and implement a specific career plan for immediate and future use.
  • Develop an understanding of how to market skills to employers, graduate schools, service programs, or customers/clients.
  • Network and use this tool in their career.
  • Conduct themselves professionally in their career and during specific social functions, which will occur throughout their career.
  • Incorporate, as they see beneficial for themselves, financial management issues such as personal budgeting, financial planning, and retirement planning.