EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING CHECKLIST
Experiential learning, or “learning by doing,” is a powerful way for you to better understand yourself and explore the world. The Piper Center is eager to work with you in your process of discovery, exploration, experimentation and implementation. Visit us both on our website and in person and use this checklist to guide your planning.
- Explore your academic interests by being intentional in choosing classes to fulfill general education requirements.
- Browse course descriptions in the online Academic Catalog and talk to professors in various departments about majors and opportunities.
- Attend a Choosing a Major workshop through the Piper Center to learn strategies for exploring various majors.
- Check out the Piper Center ’s Majors and Careers web links. While you’re there, check out other resources that are relevant to you.
- Research majors or career interest areas using the Piper Center resource library; Piper Center peer advisors are available from 9-5 Monday-Friday to you get started.
- Join a student organization that relates to your interests.
- Meet with a Piper Center advisor to talk about ideas for your future. Make sure to discuss plans for a productive summer that might include employment, an internship, informational interviews, volunteering and more.
Investigate And Explore
- Attend an Identifying Vocational Interests workshop to learn how your interests, personality, values and strengths are related to your academic goals and career options.
- Discover how your interests and skills apply to the world of work; use the Assessing and Exploring Careers web links on the Piper Center ’s student page.
- Meet one-on-one with a Piper Center advisor to create an Experiential Learning Plan that complements your academic program.
- Expand your experience by participating in civic engagement initiatives in Northfield, the surrounding area or the broader global community.
- Find a work study opportunity that relates to your interests and goals.
- Conduct informational interviews with alumni, relatives, family friends, etc. to learn about career areas that interest you. You can use the Online Alumni Directory to locate and contact former Oles who work in your field of interest.
- Engage in job shadowing opportunities.
- Attend career panels and forums related to your major or interests.
- Plan for an international or domestic off-campus program that will complement your academic program.
- Enhance your experience by selecting a summer job, internship, research, or volunteer opportunity related to your interests.
Experiment & Evaluate
- Explore internship opportunities using Ole Career Center and other links on the Piper Center website.
- Complete an internship, possibly for academic credit. Evaluate the internship by reflecting on the skills you’ve acquired and how the internship has impacted your plans.
- Test your entrepreneurial skills by applying for a Finstad grant to start a nonprofit or for-profit venture.
- Engage in independent study or research to enhance your experience in your field (highly recommended if you are planning on graduate study).
- Seek leadership opportunities within student organizations, clubs and/or student government.
- Research multiple career options to find the best fit by engaging in focused informational interviewing. Develop a network of alumni contacts in a field of interest to you by using the Online Alumni Directory.
- Identify education and/or additional skills necessary to your field of interest; begin to research graduate school options
- Practice articulating what you’re studying and why, and the skills you’ve developed through your academic and experiential learning.
- Find a summer job, internship, research or volunteer experience directly related to your career goals.
- Define your post-graduation goals and create an action plan for your senior year.
- Attend Piper Center workshops relevant to your future plans.
- Create a resume and cover letter and have them critiqued by a Piper Center peer advisor or professional staff member.
- Write a personal statement and a curriculum vita for graduate school applications.
- Create your personal calendar of job, volunteer, and graduate school fairs and recruiting events.
- Research employment, post-graduate volunteer, or grad school options and start applying.
- Utilize your network in seeking opportunities.
- Understand what employers and graduate/professional schools seek in an applicant. Be able to convey how your knowledge, skills and experiences will be an asset to the organizations to which you apply.
- Conduct a practice interview with a Piper Center staff member to enhance your self-presentation skills.
- Remain open to possibilities; be proactive and continue to assess your options.
No matter where you are in the process of discovering your vocation and identifying your place in the world, be intentional and strategic about choosing experiential learning opportunities. Choose experiences related to your academic interests – engage in activities that will build your skill set and assist in your vocational exploration. The four programs of the Piper Center provide a wide variety of experiential learning opportunities. Use our resources to enrich your education.