How do I start exploring my interest areas and connecting them to careers?

There are many ways to get started both on campus and off. Below, you’ll find broad interest areas that link to resources to assist you in your exploration!

If you have an interest in graduate school but haven’t decided on a specific focus, you may want to begin with your ACS faculty or a faculty member practicing the discipline you’re most interested in. Think about the questions you have before you meet and be prepared.

McNair Scholars – a bridge program to the PhD for first-generation, low-income undergraduate students

Learn about the MA in African Cultural Studies & PhD in African Cultural Studies. Learn about UW-Madison Graduate School.

If you’re interested in the health care field, you should visit the Center for Pre-Health Advising. It’s a great resource that provides information about the variety of health careers available and valuable information about the academic path you may want to take in pursuit of these options.

Thinking of law school? Luckily, you can find plenty of information and assistance at the Center for Pre-Law Advising. Learn what law schools are looking for, how to pick out schools that are right for you, when to apply, tips for taking the LSAT, and much more.

While you may not have considered teaching until later in your undergraduate career, it’s not too late! There are a number of ways to become certified to teach and many private schools do not require teaching certification.

Learn how your interest in ACS can translate to work in a museum or historical society. The Museums Association provides an extensive look at getting started as a volunteer and finding internships. There’s also an extensive job list.

You can also begin thinking about local internships and volunteering.

For students interested in librarianship, there are several professional organizations to explore:

Carly Sentieri, a Special Collections librarian here at UW-Madison is happy to meet with you and talk about this profession!

There are so many possibilities that fall under “government work” that it’s impossible to provide a comprehensive overview of what’s available to you. You can consider anything from serving in Congress to city management, from public policy work to foreign service. The best way to get experience in these areas is to conduct informational interviews, intern or volunteer for offices and organizations that interest you, and visit the wide variety of online resources available to you:

Try the SuccessWorks website to learn more about government, policy, international affairs, and the legal field.

Consider the Wisconsin in Washington DC internship program and visiting the Political Science department’s internship board.

And, look over the DC Public Affairs and Communications Jobs website for both internship and job options.

USAID Internships

Finding employment abroad can also be achieved numerous ways. Again, the government path might be one of the most obvious but you can also consider international non-profits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch), corporations with overseas locations, or trade associations.

Learn about the International Internship ProgramWisconsin in Washington DCStudy Abroad OfficePeace CorpsLanguage InstituteGlobal Health Institute.

Local opportunities: Madison International Partners, Open Doors for Refugees

United Nations Internships

Other places to search

If you’ve always pictured yourself helping others but are too queasy for medicine and not great at organic chemistry, consider public service to others in the form of non-profit employment. There are many ways to be of service through food banks, literacy networks, shelters, community programming, immigration centers—if you have an interest area, there is most likely more than one non-profit to choose from.

The best place to start is the Morgridge Center for Public Service. For more ideas of locations around Madison, check out Community Shares.

One of the most significant skills you can hone while in college is the ability to write and speak professionally, purposefully, and with precision. A career in this field can be found through work in advertising, marketing, freelance reporting, media relations, publicity, website development, and much more.

Reach out to the Media, Information, and Communication Advisor, Pam Garcia-Rivera and have a look at the types of careers and internships available.

Consider writing or working for the Badger Herald or Daily Cardinal and don’t forget about the various television and radio stations, newspapers, and magazines around Madison.

Much like government work, the business world offers a wide variety of opportunities for liberal arts majors. You can find work in companies large and small doing anything from marketing for Target to sales of athletic apparel for Nike, or working at major corporations like Pepsi or clothing stores like Free People and Anthropologie. Many of these opportunities depend on internship work and general work experience. If you’ve worked retail or customer services jobs, you have an idea of what the general public needs or wants; these experiences provide a foundation for a career if you let them. The search for this kind of work can be a little more time-consuming, but there are opportunities in Madison and just about every other major city you can think of.