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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Academic Success Compass for International Students

The Academic Success Compass serves as a guideline that helps international students develop learning strategies and refine mindsets and personal management skills during their four years of undergraduate study. It is organized into four directions: Academic Success, Career Preparedness, Networking and Professional Development. Academic and career advisors could utilize the Compass as well to ensure students stay on the right track during their academic and personal journey at SU.

On this page:

First year

First Semester

Academic Success

  1. Understand academic support tools: Orange SUccess and MySlice
  2. Identify academic degree requirements and Degree Works
  3. Understand the syllabus, grades, GPA and other academic terms
  4. Understand the importance of academic integrity
  5. Identify academic support services (e.g., tutoring center, writing center, CLASS) and health and wellness resources
  6. Focus on improving English language skills

Career Preparedness

  1. Create a profile in Handshake
  2. Create or update resume
  3. Create a LinkedIn account
  4. Search for a summer job or internship
  5. Attend at least one career advising seminar or fair

Networking

  1. Identify and meet with an academic and career advisor, peer mentor (if applicable) and international student advisor
  2. Visit your course instructors during their office hours at least once per semester

Professional Development

  1. Understand your visa documents and responsibilities of maintaining visa status
  2. Attend at least five weekly Wednesday Forums for International Students
  3. Attend the Involvement Fair at the beginning of the semester
  4. Participate in at least one campus student organization

Second Semester

Academic Success

  1. Understand the liberal arts core requirements
  2. Attend your academic major open house
  3. Make an appointment with an advisor for the Transition to Sophomore Year planning meeting

Career Preparedness

  1. Understand what you can do with your major
  2. Develop a summer plan (as early as possible): internship, job shadowing, community service/volunteering, taking courses and others.
  3. Search for internship opportunities through Handshake, GoinGlobal, LinkedIn, and other resources. Be sure to search early and pay close attention to application deadlines.
  4. Make an appointment with an academic and career advisor to review your resume and learn how to maximize your LinkedIn profile
  5. Practice interview skills through Big Interview
  6. Attend at least one career advising seminar or fair

Networking

  1. Visit your course instructors’ office hours at least once per semester
  2. Visit your academic and career advisor at least once a semester
  3. Participate in alumni career-related speaking engagements across campus
  4. Start building your professional network

Professional Development

  1. Be familiar with study abroad opportunities and develop a study abroad plan (if interested)
  2. Attend at least five weekly Wednesday Forums for International Students
  3. Attend CPT workshop at the International Center
  4. Participate in at least one campus student organization and plan to take a leadership role
  5. Visit the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public Engagement
  6. Take the STRONG Interest Inventory

Summer

  • Internship
  • Job Shadowing
  • Community Service/Volunteering
  • Job
  • Classes
  • Summer Alumni Connection

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Second year

Third Semester

Academic Success

  1. Declare academic major and understand the requirements
  2. Prioritize academic goals and prepare academic plan for degree completion
  3. Explore minor or double major opportunities

Career Preparedness

  1. Connect with alumni by joining at least one Syracuse University alumni LinkedIn page (‘Cuse Connect, Maxwell School and Syracuse University Alumni Network)
  2. Participate in informational interviews with alumni
  3. Apply for summer job, research or internship opportunities. Be aware of early fall application deadlines, in addition to two-year research commitment requirements.
  4. Attend at least two career advising seminars or fairs

Networking

  1. Connect with a faculty mentor
  2. Visit your course instructors’ office hours at least once per semester
  3. Visit your academic and career advisor at least once a semester
  4. Participate in alumni career related speaking engagements across campus
  5. Continue building your professional network

Professional Development

  1. Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research and identify opportunities
  2. Visit the study abroad office and identify opportunities
  3. Apply to one of many immersion trips offered by SU
  4. Attend at least five weekly Wednesday Forums for International Students
  5. Take a leadership role in campus organization(s)
  6. Participate in at least one community engagement activity
  7. Consider taking the STRONG Interest Inventory if you have not already
  8. Become familiar with the University Shared Competencies

Fourth Semester

Academic Success

  1. Declare a minor or double major or pick a concentration within major (optional)
  2. Explore major-related clubs, professional organizations and honor societies

Career Preparedness

  1. Explore professional organizations (listed in What Can I Do with This Major)
  2. Continue to apply for summer jobs, volunteer work or internships
  3. Practice interview skills through informational interviewing and Big Interview
  4. Attend at least two career advising seminars or fairs

Networking

  1. Meet with a faculty mentor at least twice a semester
  2. Visit your course instructors’ office hours at least once per semester
  3. Visit your academic and career advisor at least once a semester
  4. Participate in alumni career-related speaking engagements across campus
  5. Continue building your network

Professional Development

  1. Conduct research on graduate programs and discuss with your faculty mentor (if applicable)
  2. Attend at least five weekly Wednesday Forums for International Students
  3. Take a leadership role in campus organization(s)
  4. Participate in community engagement activities
  5. Explore certification opportunities (Excel Training & Certification Program, LinkedIn Learning)
  6. Consider taking the STRONG Interest Inventory if you have not yet

Summer

  • Internship
  • Job Shadowing
  • Community Service/Volunteering
  • Job
  • Classes
  • Summer Alumni Connection
  • Study Abroad

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Third year

Fifth Semester

Academic Success

  1. Revisit your academic plan with your advisor
  2. Discuss the value of soft skills with your advisor

Career Preparedness

  1. Apply for summer jobs or internships relevant to your career. Be aware of early fall application deadlines.
  2. Participate in informational interviews with alumni
  3. Attend at least two career advising seminars or fairs
  4. Meet with an academic and career advisor to review/update your resume
  5. Practice interview skills through Big Interview

Networking

  1. Visit your course instructors during their office hours at least once per semester
  2. Visit your academic and career advisor at least once a semester
  3. Participate in networking events
  4. Line up faculty members and other professional staff who can write recommendations for you
  5. Participate in alumni career-related speaking engagements across campus

Professional Development

  1. Participate in research opportunities
  2. Develop additional skills and obtain professional certification relevant to your major (e.g. Excel certification via LinkedIn Learning)
  3. Become a leader in campus organization(s)
  4. Create a list of graduate schools of interest (if applicable)
  5. Plan to take GRE, LSAT, MCAT or GMAT for graduate school (if applicable)

Sixth Semester

Academic Success

  1. Meet with an academic and career advisor for an official degree progress check
  2. Review Degree Works for accuracy and progress toward your degree

Career Preparedness

  1. Meet with your academic and career advisor to review updated resume and discuss job search strategies
  2. Practice job interview skills
  3. Identify and research companies/organizations of interest to you
  4. Attend at least two career advising seminars or fairs

Networking

  1. Visit your course instructors during their office hours at least once per semester
  2. Visit your academic and career advisor at least once a semester
  3. Create a list of academic and professional references
  4. Participate in several alumni connection programs sponsored by the Academic and Career Advising office
  5. Participate in networking events

Professional Development

  1. Participate in research opportunities
  2. Develop additional skills and obtain professional certifications relevant to your major (e.g. Excel certification via LinkedIn Learning)
  3. Become a leader in campus organization(s)
  4. Create a list of graduate schools of interest (if applicable)
  5. Plan to take GRE, LSAT, MCAT or GMAT for graduate school (if applicable)

Summer

  • Internship
  • Job Shadowing
  • Community Service/Volunteering
  • Job
  • Classes
  • Summer Alumni Connection
  • Study Abroad

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Fourth year

Seventh Semester

Academic Success

  1. Submit diploma request
  2. Verify degree progress towards completion with Degree Works and your advisor
  3. Meet with your academic and career advisor to discuss articulating the value of soft skills and the liberal arts education

Career Preparedness

  1. Apply for jobs as early as possible. Pay close attention to application deadlines.
  2. Conduct extensive research on companies/organizations of interest to you regarding employment
  3. Attend sessions and workshops on job search strategies
  4. Practice interview skills
  5. Update resume, as well as LinkedIn and Handshake profiles

Networking

  1. Visit your course instructors’ office hours at least once per semester
  2. Visit your academic and career advisor at least once a semester
  3. Participate in networking events
  4. Reconnect with previous connections to remind them of your upcoming graduation
  5. Regularly check Handshake for campus/virtual visits from company recruiters
  6. Search LinkedIn for alumni connections at companies of interest

Professional Development

  1. Apply for graduate school (if applicable)
  2. Attend OPT workshop at the International Center
  3. Develop additional skills and obtaining professional certifications relevant to career interests (e.g. Excel certification via LinkedIn Learning Lynda.com)

Eighth Semester

Academic Success

  1. Verify degree progress towards completion with Degree Works
  2. Update mailing address to ensure your diploma is mailed to the proper address

Career Preparedness

  1. Apply and interview for jobs

Networking

  1. Connect to SU Alumni Association

Professional Development

  1. Apply for graduate school (if applicable)
  2. Attend OPT workshop at the International Center if you have not yet

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