Skip to Main Content

First Year
4-year Roadmap

Center for Career & Vocation

First Year | Exploration & Awareness

As a first-year student, the goal is to start identifying your interests, skills, passions, and strengths. Now is the perfect time to gain self-awareness, explore opportunities, and discover God’s calling for you. Below is a checklist of steps to take towards launching your 4 Year Career Roadmap.

  • Complete a self-assessment tool and explore results with a career coach.
  • Explore Focus 2 results in INT 100 or with a career coach.
  • Connect your interests to a major, and consider your desired lifestyle.
  • Begin career exploration with “What Can I do with this Major?”
  • Talk with professors and personal contacts in your interested career field.
  • Log in to Handshake and create a profile to search for future jobs and internships.
  • Follow us on social media.
  • Attend workshops such as Student Success Workshops

Romans 12:2 — Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Career Readiness Competencies to Work On:

Career Management | Oral + Written Communication | Critical Thinking

Learn More about Career Readiness


Self-Awareness is about doing a realistic appraisal of yourself and is the starting point for career planning. During this step, you will:

  • Identify your interests, skills, values, strengths, and personality types.
  • Determine how these important factors influence your career decision(s) and satisfaction.
  • Learn the areas in which you need to improve, gain knowledge, or experience.

Best selling author and psychologist, Daniel Goleman, states in his research on Emotional Intelligence that Self-Awareness concerns knowing one’s internal states, preferences, resources, and intuitions. The Self-Awareness contains three competencies:

  • Emotional Awareness: Recognizing one’s emotions and their effects.
  • Accurate Self-Assessment: Knowing one’s strengths and limits.
  • Self-Confidence: A strong sense of one’s self-worth and capabilities.

Understanding who you are can better help you discover your vocation in where and how you want to serve in your work. Below you will find self-assessment tools to help you identify your interests, skills, strengths, values, and to connect them to careers.

Assessment Tools

Strengths Finder

Strengths Finder

Discover top five strengths and how to work from a place of strength to thrive. Contact a career coach to gain an access code for $10.

Learn More

Keirsey Temperament

Keirsey Temperament

Discover your personality type and gain clarity about who you are, what you do, who you love, and what difference you make. FREE.

Learn More

16 Personalities

16 Personalities

Understand natural preferences in what energizes you and tactics in how you approach work, planning, and decision making.

Learn More

Focus 2

Focus 2

Explore personal interests, skills, and values with majors and careers. Discover your career readiness. Free for all undergrad students.

Learn More



Personality assessment tool that helps you discover personal motivation, response to conflict, stressors, and problem solving. Purchase code in the bookstore.


Explore areas of interest and study to research majors, courses you would like to take, and professional paths. Visit the Career Center website and explore "What can I do with this major?", research career options, declare your major, meet with your Academic Advisor, login to Handshake to start getting familiar with how you will upload your resume, search for a job or internship, and view upcoming events.

Major Exploration

Most students change their major at least once before graduation. During the first two years, many students are still learning about their interests and strengths.

Studies have shown that students who declare a major by their second year in college have an increased probability of graduation.

Explore Undergraduate majors that are offered at Concordia University Irvine. Look at:

  • Student testimonials
  • Curriculum
  • Alumni success
  • Opportunities
  • Faculty

What can I do with this major?

Use “What can I do with this major?” to explore different majors that interest you and look at the following:

  • Common career areas
  • Typical employers
  • Career strategies
  • Links to additions information on Professional Associations, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Related Resources, and Employment Opportunities


Set up a meeting with a Career Coach to explore options.

Inform an Academic Advisor if you wish to change your major, minor, and/or program, and complete the “Change of Major” form.

Career Exploration

Gather accurate information about careers to become an “information expert” in the fields you are considering.

Research tools

There are thousands of resources available out on the web, so it can be challenging to know which sites are legitimate. The following links are resources that set the standard for providing comprehensive information about occupations:

Questions to consider:

  • How much training or education is required to enter and advance in this career?
  • Do jobs in this career area exist where I live? If not, where do they exist, and do I want to move there?
  • What are the skills, values, and personal traits of the people who are successful in this career?
  • What are the daily responsibilities and tasks involved in this work?
  • Will the salary and benefits meet my needs?
  • What is the job market outlook?

Second Year

Involvement & Experience

View Second Year

Back to top