The Career Development Cycle: Exploring Options

Once you’ve assessed your skills, interests, and values, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do some research and make connections.

You think you might be interested in social enterprise, but you’re not sure. Everyone’s talking about consulting, but what is it really and what’s the day-to-day work like? Do I need a graduate degree to get the job I want? And, if so, what degree do I need? I spend a lot of my time at Brown doing community service and activism. Can I find a career doing that kind of work?

It’s essential to do online research, read books, and talk on the phone or in person with alumni and others with experience in your field of interest to get realistic view of career opportunities.  This can help you get the lay of the land and illuminate pathways into different fields.


You can find information about different careers across the Web. In addition, you can check out these Brown-specific resources

  • Career Field Info [Coming Soon!] Links to information by career field.
  • Vault Reports and guides to dozens of career fields.
  • More than Money Careers Tutorials for exploring jobs and internships in Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Business, and Social Enterprise.
  • Going Global The leading online provider of country-specific employment and career information containing country career guides, corporate profiles, and more than 100,000 international internship and job openings.

Making Connections

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to talk with people who have first-hand experience in your field of interest. It’s not unusual to be a little intimidated by this process.

Get Started

  • Check out our Informational Interview  tip sheet and Elevator Pitch tip sheet to get some advice on starting the conversation. Start with your own community of family, friends, faculty and past professional connections.
  • CareerLAB’s Career Pathways Speaker Series and JanLAB provide key opportunities to speak with alumni who can share their experiences.
  • BRUnet, Brown’s career network for alumni and students. Join today to become one of the more than 5,400 alumni members who share their professional experiences and expertise through informational interviews.
  • Brown Degree Days events bring alumni back to campus to discuss how their concentrations led to a variety of career paths and opportunities.
  • Brown Alumni LinkedIn groups are another great resources to find alumni in specific fields, industries, or interests.
  • Finding alumni on the LinkedIn Alumni Connections Tool is easy with this tool.
  • Use the Career Fair as an opportunity to learn more about the culture of an organization. 
  • Not sure where to start? Come to walk-ins to talk to a peer career advisor or career advisor or schedule a half-hour meeting with a career advisor.