Exploration Activities

Create an Academic and Professional Plan

Create an academic and professional plan. Be sure to include the following content at a minimum:

  • Career goals
  • Timeline for career goals
  • List of courses to take and degrees needed to obtain career goals
  • List of extra-curricular activities that will contribute to the goals
  • List of possible job opportunities needed to reach the goals
  • List of professional organizations and honor societies to join
  • Volunteer and community service possibilities
  • Any other relevant information that includes:
    • Any experiences that employers look for
    •  Any other activities that will aid in entrance into careers or post-secondary training or education
    • Any other additional plans that will affect the academic and professional plan

Applying Assessment Information

After taking a variety of assessment tools, it is important to analyze and apply what you have learned. As you review the information provided through the assessments, it is important to consider the following:

  • How well does this career fit with my interests?
  • How well does this career fit my personality traits?
  • Do I have the necessary skills and abilities to work successfully in this career?
  • Do I have the aptitude to attain specific skills and abilities needed in this career?

Career Exploration Journaling

Keeping a written record of careers that you might be interested in pursuing, and the information you have gathered about those careers can help you to keep track of your career exploration activities. Information that might be relevant to your career exploration could include: job title, assigned work tasks, required skills and abilities, prospective employment opportunities and general employment outlook, salary, and the educational background required for employment.

Interest, Skill, and Career Inventories

There are hundreds of inventories, quizzes, and questionnaires available online to help you assess your skills and interests and investigate career options.

Career Fairs

Career fairs can provide an excellent opportunity for students who are interested in career exploration opportunities. Career fairs provide students with access to industry representatives from a wide variety of professions.

In addition to on-site career fairs, many schools are now conducting virtual career fairs. While there are a few fee-based organizations on the web that will organize and conduct these for you, a simple website with links to employers is a good start. A free tool such as Skype allows employers to meet face-to-face with one student or a group in an auditorium, but even a text-based live chat is useful. Email and online document sharing make resumé submission and critique sessions simple.

Career Exploration and Preparation Short Courses

Attending a career exploration or career preparation short course can help students learn valuable job-seeking skills such as resumé writing and interviewing skills.

Research Entry-level Requirements

Using online job search web pages or newspapers and other print resources, research the entry-level requirements for attaining different positions in career fields that interest you.

Resumé Writing Practice

In response to a job posting, you may be asked to complete an online application or you may be required to submit a copy of a resumé that you have already created electronically. Some employers will specify the sections of a resumé that they wish to see; others will not. The following resources offer information on traditional resumé format and expected content.

High School Resume: How To Write Your First Resume (Plus Template): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT40Au0RFa8&t=

How to Write a Resume That Will Get You Hired: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj9d64QcQPQ

Mock Interviewing

Mock interviews offer you the opportunity to practice your interviewing skills. The interviewer is often a volunteer from the industry in which you wish to work or from a local employment center. You will be expected to prepare for a mock interview in as rigorous a manner as you would for a real interview. Sometimes the sessions are captured on video so that you and the interviewer can review your performance and look for areas that need improvement before you are called by a potential employer.

6 Tips for Your First Job Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTHAZhxT4gg

Job interview tips for teens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mm6Bgq7ZWI

Informational Interview

The purpose of this type of interview is to gather information about a company, its corporate culture, the types of job duties of employees, and the qualifications for employment. This is not an interview for a job. Instead, it is an opportunity to determine whether you might be interested in working in the particular industry or at that company. Prepare a list of questions to ask your contact there. Conduct an informational interview with an employer at their workplace or by telephone before you complete your training program. An informational interview can sometimes lead to an ongoing mentoring relationship.

3 Questions to Ask in an Informational Interview (How to Have a Great Informational Interview): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr8n-VKFUwQ

Job Application Practice

How to Complete a Job Application: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2GMEIlo5CY

How to Fill Out A Job Application | Get Your Dream Job: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-yNVldIE7A

Avoid 3 Deadly Traps when Filling Out Job Applications: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4vYkH9wlAQ

Explore Co-operative and Apprenticeship Opportunities

Both Co-ops and Apprenticeships give students the opportunity to continue advancing their level of academic skills while they gain valuable workplace experience in a career field of interest. Explore the following example programs.

A Better Career – Co-op And Internship Student Experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq0LRCKQEZE

DTE Energy Co-op Program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy-2K-7T02o&t=

Kearl New Grad and Co-op Positions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMe9KtQxZ_k&t=

Workplace Tours and Job Shadowing

Workplace tours and job shadowing both offer students the opportunity for a short-term (one day or less) observation of the tasks done by industry employees and the environment in which those tasks are completed.

What is JOB SHADOW? What does JOB SHADOW mean? JOB SHADOW meaning, definition & explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTM3Drz-LJY&t=

Virtual Job Shadowing (interviews with industry employees): http://www.jobshadow.com/

Faith Technologies’ Job Shadow Program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW8pKaGYJ_w

Career Guest Speakers

Inviting industry representatives to speak to a class gives them time to present an overview of their company and the types of jobs and work environments available to qualified applicants.

Virtual Guest Speakers

When an industry representative cannot come to the classroom to speak, a live videocast via webinar software or Skype would accomplish the same objectives. Although not interactive, videos also provide a behind-the-scenes look at the exciting and rewarding career opportunities available in the energy industry today.

I Go Into Energy Videos from CEWD: https://cewd.org/i-got-into-energy-social-media/

Explore College Programs in Energy

In your region, training at a community college or university may be your best option. Some example programs are listed below. An AAS degree is generally two-year program which awards an Associate in Applied Science degree. Training programs may offer shorter course sequences leading to a certificate rather than a degree.

Bachelor of Applied Science in Energy Management at Bismarck State University: http://energy.bismarckstate.edu/programs/enrg/

IEEE Power and Energy Society: https://www.ee-scholarship.org/university-student-resources/undergraduate-degree-programs

Top 10 Colleges with Solar and Renewable Energy Programs: https://solarmetric.com/learn/top-10-colleges-with-solar-and-renewable-energy-programs

This group of energy industry partners makes it easy for students to take individual online courses through accredited colleges and universities on specific industry topics or to enroll in AAS programs in Electric Power Technology or Nuclear Technology and BS programs in Electrical Engineering or Nuclear Engineering. They also offer a series of renewable energy and smart grid courses: https://epceonline.org/energy-education