Preparing for Your Career after Graduation
You've put in a lot of hard work during your studies as an Arabic major at WKU and accumulated a lot of valuable knowledge and experience. Good career opportunities won't just come to you, however! You have to be proactive to ensure that you are in the best position for the career you want. As in your study of Arabic, we are here to work with you to get you on track. Here are some important steps you can take to be ready:
In Your Last Year at WKU:
- Register for and take the GRE. This test is required by most graduate programs and you are more likely to do well on it while you're still in the academic environment. Scores are good for five years. It takes 2-3 weeks for the electronic version to be reported and many schools will want the results by 1 December. You can register here: GRE REGISTRATION.
- Ask teachers for recommendations. This is one task that many students leave until too late! Most graduate schools will require three letters, and at least one (ideally all) should be in the subject you intend to study. If you are going to study Arabic and Business, you'll want at least one from an Arabic instructor and one from a Business instructor, for example. These also will likely be due by 1 December, but you want to contact potential recommenders early - at least by September. Once a teacher has written a recommendation, it is easy to adapt for other applications. Teachers will often ask you for a resume so they can summarize your achievements, so this is something you want to have completed beforehand.
- Complete, update and maintain your professional resume. This is something you will be asked for by many programs. It should specifically address the subject you want to study, or field in which you want to work. Suggestions for writing resumes are found here RESUME WRITING.
- Find the cutoff dates and apply for programs. Many highly sought after career programs,
particularly internships, have very early deadlines - as early as a year before your
graduation date. Many of these lead directly into employment at the agency that sponsors
them. Some excellent programs with their deadlines and links are listed below. Many
agencies have multiple programs that open during the year. To make sure you stay
on top of these, use the links to sign up for automatic notifications when a program
- CIA Undergraduate Internship Programs - August of the year before graduation.
- FBI Collegiate Hiring Program - August of the year before your graduation date.
- Peace Corps - Continuous.
- State Department Consular Fellows Program - Varies
- State Department Pathways Programs - Openings vary, sign up for automatic notifications
- State Department Internship Programs - Deadlines vary, sign up for automatic notification
- United Nations Young Professionals Program - Usually February.
- United Nations Internships - Multiple programs and deadlines.
- Publish your resume on job application sites. Many agencies work through consolidated
search sites which will match your resume with appropriate jobs and let you apply
- USAJOBS - The largest recruiting site for Federal positions, used by all government agencies except the CIA.
- CareerBuilder - Includes many private companies that work with the government and intelligence agencies
- Indeed - Similar to CareerBuilder.
- LinkedIn - Allows you to post your profile and resume.
- Visit WKU's Advising and Career Development Center for free assistance with resumes, interview preparation and career fairs.
- Request copies of your transcript from WKU. TRANSCRIPT REQUEST
- Maintain your language skills by conducting daily practice. You could be called up for an interview unexpectedly and asked to demonstrate your skills with little advanced notice. A good resource for this is the Defense Language Institutes GLOSS program, which has daily exercises at all levels (note: you will likely get a warning when you try to access this site, however, it is safe to proceed).
- Stay in contact with your Arabic advisor. Keep us updated on your contact information.
- Maintain contact with the WKU Alumni Association.
- Keep updated on career fairs and job search assistance provided by WKU's Advising and Career Development Center.
- Continue to update your resume with your new experiences and update the versions posted on career search sites.