Developing Your Career: Exploring Opportunities in Third Year

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Third year is the time to start building connections in the community.

Build connections

Whether you’re a transfer student, or you joined us in first-year, you’ve been at UBC for a year or more now! How are you settling into your specialization? If you haven’t already, now is a great time to begin to develop good relationships with some of your peers, professors, or other members of the UBC community. These people are great resources to tap into as you deepen your engagement with your specialization and consider where it might lead you during the rest of your degree and into the future.

Stay open-minded about possibilities

You might be starting to field the wicked question “what will you do when you graduate?” from friends, family members, and others in your life. It’s a wicked one for a reason - the answer depends on a lot of unknown factors. For this reason, maintaining positivity about what is possible and trying to operate with your eyes open to opportunities that come your way is essential to the career-planning process. It is also critical to reflect on who you are and what will help you achieve career satisfaction.

Try to remember...

  • It’s not important to know exactly what you want to do with your career. It’s more important that you are developing key competencies (e.g. skills/experience) through personal and professional development.
  • These competencies will help prepare you for the working world.
  • Learning how to communicate your skills and experience to employers so that you can gain new experiences will teach you more about yourself, what you are capable of, and what you care about.

Next Steps

Gather information

List out 10 jobs...
...that you'd try for a week if you didn’t have to worry about committing to them. What patterns do you notice in the list you have made? Don't know where to start? Explore career possibilities in your specialization




Find current job postings for entry-level positions in fields that are interesting to you.
Doing some research about companies, organizations, or industries you're attracted to will help you gather experiences that your top employers will value. Find job postings.


Identify individuals doing work that you think could be interesting.
Try to learn what types of experiences they pursued as an undergrad student that helped them get to where they are now. Consider whether you'd value similar experiences.

Surround yourself with good people

Attend one of UBC's many career fairs or career panels
You'll have the chance to explore what companies are out there in a safe space for students. These representatives are excited to connect with you!
Identify someone that can be your formal or informal mentor
Other people can inspire us to reach our goals and introduce us to new opportunities. Whether you meet with someone once, monthly, or only follow them online, you're sure to learn something valuable.

Develop essential skills

Learn how to write a great cover letter, resume, and curriculum vitae

Explore on- and off-campus job/volunteer opportunities
Taking up extra-curricular activities is a great way to enhance your skills, apply your academic knowledge and expand your network. As you collect experiences, be curious about what you are learning about yourself. New experiences will open up doors that you don’t currently know exist!


Allison is a Career Educator at the UBC Centre for Student Involvement & Careers and is an expert in career development. Connect with additional resources and workshop schedules from the Centre for Student Involvement & Careers online. 


Gain career experience