Personalized Career Support

The Approach

Career support means building a relationship, not just a résumé. This philosophy is at the heart of Colgate’s four-year career development plan.

The success of students after college is directly tied to the decisions they make during it, and that requires much more than a career checklist. This is about culture. Career support is personal. And this is how Colgate distinguishes itself, with an entirely different level of commitment by a university.

The Colgate approach engages students early, embeds career support into the places they live and learn, and tailors it to the individuals they are. Colgate lets students find their way and their voice. It makes the career process less stressful and so much more manageable by guiding students on how and when to take certain steps. Yet it also demands that students participate in their choices through exploration, self-reflection, and involvement from their family.

The Colgate career approach is integrated into classrooms, clubs, and residential commons. It changes and grows each year, just as students do, to adapt to what they have experienced and what they need. The whole University is determined to help students know what questions to ask, where to get answers, and how to make smart choices all through their Colgate experience to set up a full, successful life after it.

Colgate students participate in Prep for Tech Workshops at Benton Hall.
Colgate students and their family members visit Benton Hall for an open house during Family Weekend.
OUS scholars participate in self-assessment activities led by Career Services staff.
Through professional guidance and peer engagement, Career Services helps students focus and refine skills vital to launching their careers.

Core Career Services

Colgate creates constant opportunities for students to understand how to connect their academics and interests to a fulfilling career direction — one that leads them to potential jobs, graduate school, or service.

The place that orchestrates and integrates this entire University effort is Colgate’s Career Services, a hub of personalized help. Colgate’s career team is larger than those of other liberal arts universities, which means more individual attention as students explore, prepare, and translate the liberal arts into a lifetime of meaningful work.

Colgate’s commitment to success after graduation is exemplified by the home it has created for career preparation: Benton Hall. Wired to match the speed and demands of today’s world, Benton Hall has the video capability and space to connect students, alumni, and employers around the globe.

This is also where students engage in career coaching and peer advising, develop job skills, network with alumni, and relax in conversation in the lounges. Colgate alumni and parents paid entirely for the $16.4 million facility, symbolizing the devotion of the Colgate community to the success of its students.

Benton Hall
of students engaged with Career Services in the last academic year
Law school acceptance rate; compare to the national average of 70%.
Medical school acceptance rate; compare to the national average of 44%.

Core Career Services Include:

Career advising

Individual sessions with professional staff to identify the traits, interests, strengths, identities, and values unique to each student — and how they connect to career options.

Industry-specific advising

Individual coaching sessions held with professional advisers in which students learn how to activate a targeted search toward a specific career path or graduate school path.

Peer advising

Personalized résumé and cover letter critiques led by trained student staff.

Career search skills workshops

Interactive sessions that develop students’ ability to perform essential career-search skills, such as interviewing and résumé writing, that help them leverage Colgate’s many resources.

Colgate Premier recruiting program

Employer partners from a diverse set of industries recruit Colgate students for internships and jobs. Employers engage through on-campus and virtual information sessions organized by Career Services.

Alumni- and employer-led sessions

Career exploration, networking, and industry-specific training sessions that introduce students to career options, networking contacts, and core skills sought across industries.

Summer internship and graduate school grant programs

Through the generosity of alumni and family donors, Career Services initiatives support students to pursue unpaid/underpaid internships and the process of applying to graduate school.

The four-year plan is centered on helping students build strength within eight essential career development areas.

The Career Pathway

From their first semester on campus, Colgate students engage in a career pathway of their choosing, with room to explore but also a framework to help them stay on course.

First-years begin by cataloging their strengths, interests, values, and identities with career advisers, and exploring broad career areas through alumni-led panels and informational interviews. Students practice basic career skills, like writing a résumé.

Sophomores grow their awareness of industries and roles, working directly with a career adviser and participating in alumni programming, such as SophoMORE Connections. Developing networking skills and learning how to apply to internships helps students land a professional experience for the summer.

Reflecting on the last two years, juniors hone their interests and focus their efforts on pursuing a summer internship or research experience, often supported by alumni. Advisers coach students on strengthening interviewing and networking skills. Students take advantage of opportunities provided through Colgate to build industry-based skills and knowledge.

Seniors focus on applying to graduate or professional school, fellowships, and employment. Leveraging the knowledge and skills they built throughout their time at Colgate, they are poised to evaluate offers for a fit with their academic and career interests and personal needs — and ultimately, to launch their postgraduate career with confidence.

Percentage of last year’s class who secured jobs, admission to graduate schools, fellowships and scholarships, military or volunteer service within nine months of graduation.


Begin to develop a strong sense of self that includes identity, strengths, interests, values, and the ability to communicate one's story.


Conduct initial career exploration research and begin identifying areas of interest and career areas to rule out.


Learn the function and form to write compelling documents: résumés, cover letters, personal statements.


Network strategically, utilizing Colgate’s community, to advance career goals.


Activate a plan to advance clarity of career interests and competitiveness for upcoming experiences.


Develop and utilize interview skills. Prepare for interviews with an ability to tell one’s story.


Evaluate and analyze offers for employment or graduate school admission.


Prepare for post-Colgate life and consider how to stay connected and contribute to society.

Career Support Early and Often

Career exploration and development are a priority at Colgate. Students are guided and supported by Colgate’s career team in a variety of ways starting as early as their first semester. Start your own path by taking the next step.