The Four Year Model

Preparation for a Lifetime

Beacon’s Career Development Model

1st Year

Self discovery


Learning Essentials
Self Knowledge
Interests & Abilities
Work Attitudes

2nd Year


Career Exploration

Majors & Career Options
Work Experience Audit
Exploratory Field Conversations
Job Shadowing

3rd Year


Career Planning

Goal Setting
Self Marketing
Workplace Communication

4th Year

Plan Into Action

Plan Into Action

Independent Life Skills/Executive Function
Job Previews
Position Description Review Evaluation

Most people will have more than one career in the course of their lives. The Career Development Center helps Beacon students and alumni prepare for the possibilities by:

  • Identifying their personal and professional goals
  • Recognizing their strengths and determining how to align them with the working world
  • Building essential workplace skills and providing performance feedback
  • Boosting confidence and empowering students to pursue their objectives
  • Clarifying career paths and options
  • Connecting applicants and employers

The core of our approach is the Four Year Model, which allows students to identify and build on strengths, acquire skills and explore possibilities throughout their time at Beacon in a uniquely structured way.

Year 1 (Freshman): Learning Essentials

The more students understand themselves, the easier it is to select career paths.

So, during the first year, we ask Beacon students to think about their personal and professional goals. Through individual and group counseling, as well as dynamic assessment tools, Career Development Counselors help students explore their:

  • Interests
  • Talents
  • Values

We also encourage students to take a close look at the activities and classes they enjoy.


During the first year, students will:

  • Discover and articulate their stories
  • Identify internship opportunities
  • Develop job search skills
  • Build a rapport with a career counselor and become familiar with Career Center resources
  • Explore information about careers in various industries
  • Attend career workshops
  • Develop a resume and professional online profile

Year 2 (Sophomore): Career Exploration

After the extensive self-exploration of the first year, the second year begins to focus on building both confidence and direction.

Students navigate a complete set of self-assessment tools that build on what they learned about themselves and connect their interests and values with their marketable aptitudes.

They will also learn about market trends, such as the fastest-growing careers and highest-paying occupations. In addition, students will begin to learn elemental business skills, including networking techniques.


During the second year, students will:

  • Acquire essential financial literacy skills
  • Create personal and career inventories to help with focused career exploration
  • Build a portfolio of tools including a range of inquiry, cover and acknowledgement letters and various personal statements
  • Construct a career research poster to visualize career explorations
  • Become familiar with basic business etiquette, including introduction and interview skills
  • Understand how educational choices at Beacon could intersect with and support career choices

Year 3 (Junior): Career Planning

The third year builds on the market knowledge introduced in the second year and incorporates critical job search skills.

Students will learn more about the job market, the career outlook of their chosen professions and the skills they need to succeed. Practical skills, such as self-marketing and interviewing, are at the core of the third year Career Development program.

In addition, students will learn about contemporary recruitment trends and tools, such as social media and social networking, and how to use them to jumpstart their own job searches.


During the third year, students will:

  • Develop and improve self-marketing materials (resume, cover letter, portfolio)
  • Begin building professional networks
  • Identify competencies sought by employers in specific industries and map their own skills and experiences to them
  • Become comfortable with public speaking in formal and informal settings
  • Understand how to correctly use social media in network-building and job searching

Year 4 (Senior): Career Development

The fourth year of the Career Development program emphasizes the wide range of networking and search skills essential to securing a career-advancing position.

Students will be guided as they build and expand their LinkedIn and other social media networks, set up informational interviews with alumni and attend networking events.

In this critical final year, students are encouraged to attend job fairs and networking events, make connections, collect business cards and follow up appropriately with new connections. Many students will also complete a second internship. Those who plan to continue to graduate school (approximately 10% – 20% of Beacon graduates) will receive similar preparation.


During the fourth year, students will:

  • Expand their career portfolios to include personal mission and vision statements, letters of recommendation and business cards, as well as refined resumes and cover letters
  • Hone interviewing skills, including building an understanding of suitable attire and becoming comfortable with telephone interviews
  • Compose a Career Choice Research Presentation showing fields explored, self assessment of interest and suitability for the field, educational choices and current focus
  • Acquire specific job market details for one or two chosen career paths
  • Examine strategies for effective workplace behavior, including collaboration, taking instruction and escalating issues appropriately

Beyond (Alumni)

The Career Development Center continues to support Beacon alumni after graduation. They retain full access to job and internship listings, counseling and other Center resources.