Career Exploration Tools

Answering the Question: What should I do with my life?

There can be a lot of pressure from your family, friends, and even yourself when it comes to deciding on a career path. It can feel like one of the biggest decisions you’ve ever made, and it’s important that you take the time to fully assess what career paths might be best for you. The Career Development Center can help you with the career exploration process through career coaching, assessments, industry resources, networking opportunities and other workshops and programs dedicated to your career development. Once you’ve made a career decision, we can help you set goals that will increase your chances of being successful in your chosen path. We encourage you to make an appointment with a career coach to begin the career exploration process.

Review the Career Action Plan to get ideas of how to make progress toward your career goals in each university year.

Career Assessment

The Career Development Center can help you explore your personality, interests, skills, and values and how they best intersect with specific career paths. Why is this important? Taking inventory of who you are before making a career decision increases the likelihood of choosing a satisfying career path. If you hate biology and science but want to become a medical doctor, you’re much more likely to have difficulty accomplishing your goals. It’s important to play to your natural strengths and interests when setting your career goals as it greatly increases your chances for success. Ultimately, you decide what career path you would like to pursue, and a career coach can help you create an action plan for exploring career and paths and achieving your goals.


  • Meet with a career coach to discuss your interests, skills, and values and how they relate to your major or career choice.
  • Take a career-related assessment tool and begin to identify career options.
  • Get involved in on-campus clubs and organizations that interest you.
  • Participate in community service activities.

Career Assessment Tools

Career assessment tools like MBTI and Strengthsfinder can be a great starting point if you are just starting your career exploration. They won’t tell you the answer as to what you should do with your career, but they can give you some useful insights about yourself and your preferences. The best way to use these tools is to discuss your results with a career coach. The website has a range of assessments that you can take to explore your personality, interests, and values. It’s useful for understanding yourself so that you can make informed career decisions.

Career Exploration Books

Here are some books that you might find useful as you are exploring career paths and making career decisions. Most of them can be found at the NYU Shanghai Library.

What color is your parachute? By Richard Bolles
Do What You Are by Tieger, Barron, and Tieger
Getting from College to Career by Lindsay Pollack
Strengths Finder by Tom Rath
You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a "Useless" Liberal Arts Education by George Anders

First Destinations & Summer Experience Map

Find out where NYU Shanghai alumni work and study if you would like some inspiration or if you’re curious where previous students have gone after graduation. The NYU Shanghai alumni network is one of your greatest resources! Connecting with an alum can help you understand more about a particular career path and how to navigate the job/internship search as an undergraduate. They’ve been in your shoes before and can often give very good insights. How do students connect with alumni? Participate in the Executive Alumni Mentor Program or attend a Dinner with 6 Attend one of the many CDC events where we invite alumni as guests and speakers, especially the I am Limitless Conference You will often meet alumni at the career fair when they return with their employer to recruit students Send a message on Linkedin or ask for an introduction from one of your classmates Ask professors about their favorite students from the past that they might be able to connect you with.

Also check out all the cool places previous students have interned/volunteered on our Summer Experience Map.

Useful Websites (career database, major database, values assessment, etc.) (career database, interests assessment, etc.) (US government job database) (major database) (skills training)