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Timeline for Artists

Freshman Year | Sophomore Year | Junior Year | Senior Year


Freshman Year  click here to expand »click here to collapse «
Take advantage of the many professional programs and resources that are available to freshmen. Begin exploring career paths, assessing your skills, and finding out about career-related opportunities…

  • Register with Cooper Career Connection (C3) to keep informed about all career-related events, programs, and forums through Cooper's career announcements and explore internship and job opportunities.
  • Visit the Center for Career Development at 30 Cooper Square, 6th Floor and introduce yourself to the career counselors. Become acquainted with the Career Resource Library and learn about the ways in which the Career Center can partner with you in your professional pursuits.
  • Begin identifying personal interests, needs, and skills. Do a thorough self-assessment.
  • Develop organizational, leadership, teamwork skills, and impact the way Cooper is run by getting involved with student government.
  • Learn directly from an alumnus and/or alumna about his or her career path by attending the CU @ Lunch program.

    Get familiar with all events sponsored by the Career Center.
  • Become a member of student professional organizations and student clubs. Signup online or at the Fall Festival.
  • If a student chapter of a professional organization is not active on campus, find out how to begin a new professional organization.

    Another option is to join professional organizations at the student-membership rate to take advantage of resources, programs, and networking opportunities.
  • Begin self-directed exploration of specific occupations in which you have an interest. Use Internet Resources to assist you in your research.
  • Start to develop your résumé and cover letter and make an appointment to visit the Career Center for advice.
  • Attend an information session about the Professional Internship Program to begin preparing for participation at the start of your sophomore year. This program operates during the academic year; it does not run in the summer.
  • Take part in an End-of-Semester Internship Evaluation Forum in which students who are participating in the Professional Internship Program describe their internship experience.
  • If you have the liberty to take on a summer internship, thoroughly explore opportunities that are available to you. Make an appointment with a career counselor for advice on your internship search. Ask professors for leads and check position listings on Cooper Career Connection (C3).
  • Participate in the CU Student Ambassadors networking events that allow students to meet and interact with alumni. Look for announcements via Cooper's electronic bulkmail. NOTE: Make sure to check your Cooper e-mail account or have it forwarded to your personal account.
  • Explore the Career Center's Internet Resources. An example of a useful art-related Web site in the Internet Resources is the New York Foundation for the Arts, which includes job and internship postings, exhibition opportunities, and more. Students are encouraged to explore the entire list of resources.
  • Browse Cooper's unique selection of Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships to get an understanding of what is available to you now and in the future.
  • Locate and use resources at Cooper that would support professional development. Take advantage of all the relevant educational support that is available, such as the Center for Writing and Language Arts.
  • If possible find a part-time job or volunteer position that is either career related or administrative.

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Sophomore Year  click here to expand »click here to collapse «
Stay actively involved in your academic planning and career development. This is the time to begin researching and testing the exciting possibilities that await you upon graduation…

  • Register with Cooper Career Connection (C3) if you have not already taken this first step in keeping informed about all career-related events, programs, and forums through Cooper's career announcements and explore internship and job opportunities.
  • Explore the Career Center's Internet Resources. This mega-list is combined for all three Schools at Cooper, so that all students are aware of the diverse opportunities available. An example of a useful art-related Web site in the Internet Resources is the Art Career. Students are encouraged to explore the entire list of resources.
  • Participate in the Professional Internship Program, beginning in the spring semester. Attend an information session or observe an end-of-semester internship evaluation forum in which students who are participating in the Professional Internship Program describe their internship experience in an open forum.
  • Pursue paid teaching experiences through the Saturday Outreach Programs, instructing architecture and art-related courses to New York City Public School student in grades 9-12. Classes are taught year-round by guest artists and Cooper Union undergraduate students who are advised by Program staff. For more information contact Marina Gutierrez at 212-353-4108 or Stephanie Hightower at outreach@cooper.edu.
  • Learn directly from an alumnus and/or alumna about his or her career path by attending the CU @ Lunch program.
  • Get involved in student professional organizations and student clubs. Signup online or at the Fall Festival.
  • If a student chapter of a professional organization is not active on campus, find out how to begin a new professional organization.
  • Another option is to join professional organizations at the student-membership rate to take advantage of resources, programs, and networking opportunities.
  • If you have not yet done so, visit the Career Center for a résumé and cover letter critique. Bring your résumé and cover letter to a career counselor for recommendations on how to best communicate your academic and work experience. Utilize the guide and examples on the Career Center's Web site as a reference to gain a better understanding of the necessary elements of these documents.
  • Every year, the Career Center hosts a variety of programming that is geared toward the job search process. In addition, watch for announcements of the alumni networking opportunities that are held in conjunction with the Office of Alumni Relations, such as the CU Student Ambassadors networking events that allow for students to meet with Cooper graduates.
  • List relevant career choices and secure career-related employment. Begin an internship or part-time career-related job. View intern and part-time positions listed on Cooper Career Connection (C3). Target companies of interest, conduct research and apply for positions. Seek assignments in your area of interest to help develop your skills. Do not neglect your areas of weakness.
  • Talk with a career counselor about how to make contacts with professionals in field of interest and how to conduct an informational interview or shadowing experience.
  • Browse Cooper's unique selection of Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships to get an understanding of what is available to you now and in the future.
  • Consider the personal and professional benefits of participating in Off-Campus Programs, beginning your third or junior year. Experience abroad or in other states can lead to long-term personal and professional relationships, including potential exhibition opportunities. It can also help to develop one's independence and understanding of additional cultures---two qualities that organizations value in employees and that informs independent, thoughtful art-making. Speak to an advisor in the School of Art about the Mobility Program and the Foreign Exchange Program.
  • In addition, explore participating in the Cooper Union Trip to Africa. To learn more about the program by contact the director, Toby Cumberbatch (Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering). Please note that this program is open to students in all three Schools at Cooper.
  • Consider participating in the Foreign Language Program at Cooper. Despite English being the default language of capitalism, certain foreign language skills can give one a competitive edge in professional life. Also, students hoping to participate in Cooper's Foreign Exchange Program, and other programs abroad (see Grants, Fellowships and Scholarships) will benefit from developing foreign language skills.
  • Take advantage of educational support that is available, such as the Center for Writing and Language Arts.
  • Pursue a summer job or volunteer position.

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Junior Year  click here to expand »click here to collapse «
This is the year to sharpen your focus and build your credentials. Gaining experience in your field and delving into your coursework are important parts of this year's academic success and professional development…

  • Review all of the material in the career timeline for the freshman and sophomore years. The list below repeats core actions, programs, and resources and introduces new items that are specific to the junior year.
  • Registering with Cooper Career Connection (C3) if you have not already taken this first step in keeping informed about all career-related events, programs, and forums through Cooper's career announcements and explore internship and job opportunities.
  • Participate in the Professional Internship Program. Attend an information session or observe an end-of-semester internship evaluation forum in which students who are participating in the Professional Internship Program describe their internship experience in an open forum.
  • Explore the Career Center's Internet Resources.
  • Attend the CU @ Lunch program in which Cooper graduates present their work and share how they have been able to successfully sustain their art practice.
  • Pursue paid teaching experiences through the Saturday Outreach Programs, instructing architecture and art-related courses to New York City Public School student in grades 9-12. Classes are taught year-round by guest artists and Cooper Union undergraduate students who are advised by Program staff. For more information contact Marina Gutierrez at 212-353-4108 or Stephanie Hightower at outreach@cooper.edu.
  • Consider applying for a Fulbright Fellowship. The completed application is due in early fall and is part of a formal process that begins with an introduction session in the spring of junior year. For complete information, review the material at the above link.
  • International students, who would like to attain practical work experience, should apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) by visiting with the Registrar's Office.
  • Conduct informational interviews with people in your chosen field. Students are encouraged to use their own contacts, professors, and those working in their chosen field. Expand your information network by attending networking events with Cooper graduates and professional organizations.
  • Sign-up for a mock interview with a career counselor to practice your interviewing skills.
  • Read magazines, newspapers, and journals in your field to become familiar with trends, galleries and design firms, areas of growth, and potential employers. Utilized The Cooper Library, the Career Resource Library, and the Career Center's online News Media.
  • Begin exploring exhibition opportunities outside of Cooper. Examine Art Exhibition Opportunities in the Internet Resources section of the Web site. Read Free Expression: Guide to Alternative/Free Exhibition Spaces in the Career Resource Library.
  • Cooper's Career Center's Web resources reflect the School of Arts generalist perspective. For more specific links and resources, check the Web sites of other colleges and universities with art programs to see if they have resources, which are not password protected, that might be useful as your areas of interest become more specialized. While there are many universities with art programs, a beginning point could be to review the members of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.
  • If interested, attend the fall Art Graduate School Panel and research graduate schools. Conduct research online, and using the library. Talk to professors and request college catalogs online (most universities have their catalogues online as pdfs), by telephone or mail. Information on graduate programs is also available in the Career Resource Library.
  • If pursuing graduate school, prepare for any necessary entrance exams. Information on graduate programs and applications for the GRE, GMAT, MCAT and LSAT are available in the Career Resource Library.
  • Learn about the latest ideas and issues in contemporary art practices by attending lectures by prominent artists. The programs are organized through the School of Art.
  • Browse Cooper's unique selection of Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships to get an understanding of what is available to you now and in the future.
  • Experience abroad or in other states can lead to long-term personal and professional relationships, including potential exhibition opportunities. It can also help to develop one's independence and understanding of additional cultures---two qualities that companies and organizations value in employees and that informs independent, thoughtful art-making. Speak to an advisor in the School of Art about the Mobility Program and the Foreign Exchange Program.
  • In addition, explore participating in the Cooper Union Trip to Africa. To learn more about the program by contact the director, Toby Cumberbatch (Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering). Please note that this program is open to students in all three Schools at Cooper.
  • Consider participating in the Foreign Language Program at Cooper. Despite English being the default language of capitalism, certain foreign language skills can give one a competitive edge in professional life. Also, students hoping to participate in Cooper's Foreign Exchange Program, and other programs abroad (see Grants, Fellowships and Scholarships) will benefit from developing foreign language skills.
  • Take advantage of educational support that is available, such as the Center for Writing and Language Arts.
  • Pursue a career-related summer job or internship.

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Senior Year  click here to expand »click here to collapse «
If you have followed all the career steps leading up to your senior year, then it is time to land a great job or pursue graduate/professional school. For late starters, there is still time to gain work and volunteer experience, network with employers, and perfect your interviewing and résumé-writing skills…

  • You must register with Cooper Career Connection (C3) if you have not done so already. C3 is our primary way to communicate with students, as well as a bridge to access internship and job postings.
  • Update your résumé to include summer work, internship, or volunteer experience. Have your existing résumé and cover letters reviewed by a career counselor. Use the résumé guide that is available on the Career Center Web site.
  • Attend the CU @ Lunch program in which Cooper graduates present their work and share how they have been able to successfully sustain their art practice.
  • Participate in the Professional Internship Program or work independently in a professionally oriented internship or part-time job.
  • Pursue paid teaching experiences through the Saturday Outreach Programs, instructing architecture and art-related courses to New York City Public School student in grades 9-12. Classes are taught year-round by guest artists and Cooper Union undergraduate students who are advised by Program staff. For more information contact Marina Gutierrez at 212-353-4108 or Stephanie Hightower at outreach@cooper.edu.
  • Attend workshops organized by the Career Center professional development topics.
  • Explore the Career Center's Internet Resources.
  • Get involved in student professional organizations and student clubs. Signup online or at the Fall Festival.

    If a student chapter of a professional organization is not active on campus, find out how to begin a new professional organization.

    Another option is to join professional organizations at the student-membership rate to take advantage of resources, programs, and networking opportunities.
  • Attend the Art Graduate School panel. Take advantage of support that is available for application matter at the Center for Writing and Language Arts.
  • Research potential art graduate school funding sources through the Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships bulletin. Relevant fellowships include the Jacob K. Javits Fellows Program and the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, among others.
  • If interested, take graduate school entrance exams and apply to graduate schools. Information on graduate programs and applications for the GRE, GMAT, MCAT and LSAT are available in the Career Resource Library.
  • Extend your mailing list for your senior show by utilized "Art Diary International," which contains names and addresses of artists, galleries, arts writers and critics. Ask for it at the Career Resource Library.
  • Investigate and research potential employers at the Career Resource Library and on the Web. Develop a target list of companies with whom you would like to work. Then, network with your contacts within these companies. Develop your networking script and request informational interviews to expand on your current relationships.
  • Sign up for a mock interview with the Career Center to practice your interviewing skills.
  • Begin exploring exhibition opportunities outside of Cooper. Examine Art Exhibition Opportunities in the Internet Resources section of the Web site. Read Free Expression: Guide to Alternative/Free Exhibition Spaces in the Career Resource Library.
  • Browse Cooper's unique selection of Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships to get an understanding of what is available to you now and in the future.
  • The National Arts Club is the venue for the Senior Etiquette Luncheon.
  • Senior Etiquette Luncheon, which teaches graduating students the finer points in professional etiquette over a business lunch with consultants.
  • International students, who would like to attain practical work experience, should apply for OPT by visiting with the Office of Admissions and Records. Apply by April of your senior year to be sure you receive the benefit of OPT upon graduation.
  • Attend Career Center seminars, write your professional résumé, master the interviewing process and begin conducting your job search. Review Cooper's online material on these topics.
  • Arrange for references. These can be professors, contacts from internship positions, supervisors in an on-campus job, or others who know your interests, abilities, skills, and work habits. Keep your references abreast of your skills, interests and the positions for which you are applying. Give each a copy of your résumé, so they are prepared to give the most relevant reference possible.

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