Launching into Career Exploration

Did you know the Career Center hosted 243 company and career events last fall? The Class of 2022 does, after fighting to the buzzer during career trivia with their Launch program cohorts and Career Coaches during orientation. More than 1,100 first-year students learned how to set up their Handshake profile, what times they can drop in with their Career Coach, and asked questions about the transition from high school to college.

Students in orientation launch group sitting in rowsThey wanted to know: what does a first-year student put on their resume? Can you keep your high school leadership positions? Can I wait until second year to intern or job shadow? Yes, yes, and yes, but try and get involved in your first year on campus, and start updating your resume with new information in your second year, says Caroline Kelly, Career Coach.

These events were the first step in the Homewood Career Center’s Launch program, which is designed to help new students start exploring possible career options early, get prepared for future internships and research, and build a community they can turn to when making decisions. Cohorts include students who share the same RA and First-Year mentor, which helps build connections across campus. Cohorts will meet five times over the year to explore career options, plan their first college summer, discuss ideal majors or paths for their goals, and more.

Ben Ding, an Applied Math and Statistics major, is in Caroline’s cohort and considering a post-grad position in business or finance. He’s hoping to get an internship in the next year or so with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), and Caroline will help him prepare his resume, figure out timing for internships, and see how he can find any JHU or personal connections that might help him reach his goal.

“As our industry-specific Career Academies continue to grow, we recognized that first-year students need support and resources for career exploration and basic career skills sooner,” says Paul Binkley, Director of Student Career Development at the Homewood Career Center. “Their Launch Career Coach will be a go-to resource their first year, and give them a better base to build a great career no matter which path they choose.”

“Personally I think having this session is really helpful for students who might be nervous about the idea of what happens after college,” one student said. “It’s a solid sense of security because you know the Center will be there for us!”

At the end of their first year, all students will celebrate together at a Launch “graduation” ceremony, when they will officially join one of the Homewood Career Center’s industry-focused Career Academies, and move forward in pursuing job shadowing, internships, research, and their dreams. The Homewood Career Center continues to serve all Whiting and Krieger students, from first-years through PhDs, with Career Academy events, employer sessions, Career Labs, coaching, career fairs and more. Students can find all upcoming events on