The cycle of 4-D’s is a simple yet elegant way to help you think about and plan your future. Once you learn the system, you will be able to apply it throughout your time at Vanderbilt and beyond—even into retirement. You are always in one of the 4-D stages. Here are some basic questions to help you figure out where you are and where to start:
Are you just beginning your career search? Need to figure out your strengths and skills? Want to start writing a resume? Then you are in “Discover.” Visit the Discover section below to learn more.
Do you have a handle on your strengths and skills, but not sure where you can apply them? Are you interested in a career field but need to learn more? Just want to know “what’s out there”? Then you are in “Develop.” Visit the Develop section to learn more.
Already know who you are and where you want to go? Need to create or find the path to get there? It’s time for a targeted resume, social media plan, etc. Visit on the “Design” section to learn more.
Have you accepted an internship or job offer? Are you ready to demonstrate your skills and talents to an employer or in grad school? Visit the “Deliver” section to learn more.
Who are you? What’s important to you? What are you doing when you’re at your all-time best? In the Discover phase, you will figure out what you know about yourself, what your strengths and skills are, what’s important to you, and how this knowledge might fit into your future.
Below are a variety of actions you can take to learn more about yourself and begin creating the stories you will tell future employers or graduate/professional schools. No need to feel overwhelmed: YOU DON’T NEED TO DO THEM ALL. Just click on the ones which interest you.
Where do you want to go? Are you considering a career, additional schooling, a GAP year, or just not sure? How clearly can you see your future? You may have some general ideas, but in this phase, we’ll help you hone in on your ideas so that you can develop a strong picture of your life after Vanderbilt.
Here are some actions you can take to develop a vision—or hone the one you already have. No need to feel overwhelmed: YOU DON’T NEED TO DO THEM ALL. Just click on the ones which interest you.
The more you know about your desired future, the better prepared you will be for interviews and opportunities.
Think of this phase as a GPS tracker. You are HERE and you want to be THERE. You already know who you are and what you want, now you just have to get there. The Design phase is all about creating the most efficient path to where you want to be. The best way to get to your future will depend on the career field you’re seeking because each field has its own path. Don’t worry if your best friend or roommate seem to be moving faster on their paths than you are: some paths (like investment banking) are longer and require that you start early; other paths (like marketing) can be picked up later. What’s most important is that you have done your research in the previous phase and you know what path you need to follow. Here are some action steps you can take—and don’t feel overwhelmed: YOU DON’T NEED TO DO THEM ALL. Just click on the ones which interest you:
When you are delivering your talents, you are demonstrating to others that you have the competency and capability to succeed in your endeavor. Delivering your talents is about learning how you can keep improving on your strengths and broadening and building your knowledge and expertise. As you deliver your talents you will learn more about yourself which will help focus your vision for your next experience. You can do every part of this process yourself—and the Career Center can help. Delivering your talents is also about making sure that you highlight your talents through social media, and on your resume or other materials you share with potential employers or graduate schools.
Leadership roles on campus
Complete research projects
Create a work of art
Professional development programs
Join and participate in professional organizations