Activities To Enrich Your St. Olaf Education

Take advantage of the activities listed below to enrich your college years.  Discuss how to incorporate these activities into your education with your academic advisor, a Piper Center coach, or other faculty or staff.

First Year
  1. Explore your academic interests through intentional selection of varied courses and activities.
  2. Use multiple resources to maximize your undergraduate experience (advisors, student organizations and more . . .)
  3. To learn strategies for exploring various majors, attend a Choosing a Major Workshop through the Piper Center.
  4. Mid-year, evaluate your first semester and how your interests are developing.  Meet with an advisor to discuss/clarify.
  5. Explore off-campus study options by attending an International and Off-Campus Studies open house.
  6. Plan for a productive summer.  Consider your first year goals and identify what you need to clarify your interests and goals.  Talk to a Piper Center coach about internships, employment, informational interviews, volunteering, and more.

Sophomore Year

  1. Develop a tentative timeline for gathering information and making decisions regarding your academic program.
  2. Meet with a faculty member in the major(s) that you’re considering.
  3. Focus your interests by studying one of them in more depth.
  4. Attend an Identifying Vocational Interests Workshop through the Piper Center to learn how your interests, personality, values and strengths are related to your academic goals and career options.
  5. Create an Experiential Learning Plan to complement your academic program in an individual meeting with a Piper Center coach.  Be sure to include experiences that will help you clarify your goals and interests (research, informational interviews, job shadowing, off-campus study, internships, volunteer experiences).
  6. Plan for an international or domestic off-campus program that will complement your academic program.  Talk to the staff of the International and Off-Campus Studies and your academic advisor about options.
  7. Explore connections between majors of interest and potential careers by using the Piper Center’s Majors and Careers web links.
  8. Officially declare a Major/Concentration/Emphasis with the Registrar’s Office.  It is highly recommended that you declare a major by the end of your sophomore year; major declaration is required by the end of the first semester of your junior year.
  9. Consult with a faculty member in your major area(s) of study in order to plan coursework.
  10. Enhance your experience by selecting a summer job, internship, research, or volunteer opportunity related to your interests.
Junior Year
  1. Refine your Experiential Learning Plan in light of your identified academic goals.
  2. 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.
  3. Complete an academic internship, or another experiential learning activity, related to your academic goals.
  4. Engage in independent study or research to enhance your experience in your field (highly recommended if planning graduate study).
  5. Network with people who work in a field of interest to you; use Alumni Resources to identify alums in fields of interest.
  6. Research multiple career options to find best fit by engaging in focused informational interviewing.
  7. Identify education and/or additional skills necessary to your field of interest; begin to research graduate school options.
  8. Complete your identified off-campus study program.  Upon your return, reflect on how your experience impacted your academic and career goals.
  9. Be able to articulate what you’re studying and why, and the skills you’ve developed through your academic and experiential learning.
Senior Year
  1. Review your Senior Degree Audit, available at the Registrar’s Office during the Fall, in terms of graduation and general education requirements; consult with the Registrar’s Office with questions or problems.
  2. Complete the Graduation Application and the Name Pronunciation forms, available at the Registrar’s Office, in October.
  3. Consult with your academic department(s) regarding completion of your major requirements.
  4. If you haven’t already done so, consider an independent study or independent research as part of your course load.
  5. Define post-graduate goals and create an action plan for your senior year.
  6. Attend Piper Center workshops, events related to your goals.
  7. Research employment, post-graduate volunteer, or grad school options and start applying.
  8. Understand the skills employers and graduate/professional schools seek; be able to articulate your skill set.
  9. Be able to market your skills and education to employers through a targeted resume and well-honed interview skills.
  10. Be open to possibilities; be proactive and continue assessing your options.