Business X420:






“Business Career Planning and Placement” is a two-credit-hour required course for all undergraduates in the IU Kelley School of Business. The course is beneficial to all students, both for those who are actively in the job search and for those who have already accepted an offer. The X420 course is also required for all non-business students who wish to use the services offered by the Undergraduate Career Services Office.


Business X420 is taught by Professor April Legler who has many years of professional work experience in business, in the career planning professions, and in higher education. Business executives, alumni, and other university faculty and staff supplement the instructional material by presenting timely information.


The X420 course is offered both semesters to juniors and seniors. Second semester juniors who have completed “I-Core” are encouraged to take the course in the spring semester, especially if they are seeking an internship. Only non-business students are allowed to take the course without having completed “I-Core.”





Business X420 has been extremely helpful to both business and non-business majors in their transition from an academic environment to a career setting. Transitions involve change and change brings on a flurry of questions about the unknown. Sometimes the unknown relates to options, starting salary, earning potential, risk, security, location, training, lifestyle considerations, etc.


Career planning is like a “wheel” with four spokes, rolling continuously and collecting new career-related information as it moves. The information collected provides data, enabling you to answer questions and ease the transition. The four major spokes are:


  1. Self-Assessment. You must develop a thorough understanding of yourself before making decisions based solely on external factors. Typically, you have gained a good understanding of yourself through the X220 “Career Perspectives” course; but in X420, you may choose to verify or rethink some aspects of self-assessment. Non-business majors taking the course may wish to complete some of the assessment instruments used in determining personality type, interests, skills, and abilities. The results of assessments tests provide ideas about your talents that can be used in your “interview presentations.” Chapters 1 and 2 in your textbook give you details on self-assessment and suggest websites and explanations of how to evaluate your results.


  1. Exploring Options. You must possess an understanding of what is available and what credentials are required to succeed in selected career fields. Non-business majors enrolled in X420 (who have not had BUS X220) will find this aspect of the course to be highly beneficial. What do you want to do job-wise with your talents?


  1. Tentative Goal Setting. Very few career decisions are ever set in stone. Flexibility is essential in our ever-changing society. Nonetheless, at some point, significant decisions and choices must be made in order to move forward. Have you separated long-term strategic career choices from short-term tactical job necessities?


  1. Job Search Strategy. The job market is the testing ground for career decisions. You must move forward with a plan in order to achieve some initial job that may serve as a springboard to future strategic career advancement over a reasonable amount of time. Strategic career planning and tactical job search techniques are life-long processes. What is your “process” for today and the next few years?


This career planning course serves as your roadmap. There may be many roads leading to your career objective, and there may be several alternate routes. This course does not purport to show the best route; it simply reveals your options. You must decide which of the available options best suits your long-term career goals and then map appropriate long-term career strategies. To jump-start the process, the course also aids in designing a short-term plan for initiating actions.


In addition, the course points out many of the skills needed for long-term success once you have secured full-time career employment. Skills in communicating, listening, organizing and supervising are just some of the areas covered. Development of these “career skills” should also be of particular interest to students that have already accepted a position.


The course focuses upon careers in the business and management functional areas within the private enterprise sector of the economy. The concepts, principles, and techniques are quite easily transferred to nonprofit organizations such as government agencies, health care organizations, educational institutions, associations, and the professions as well. What are your strategic career goals? What short-term tactics are you using to advance your long-term goals?



Relationship of X420 to the Undergraduate Career Services Office


Although X420 is a required course for IU Kelley School of Business students, no X420 student is required to use the UCSO and no class credit or points are given to students who choose to use the office.


Any undergraduate student wishing to use the UCSO, however, is required to enroll and complete X420. The vast majority of students enrolled in Business X420 choose to officially register to use UCSO services. They aggressively use the UCSO and it is, after all, an integral part of the total educational experience of most graduates. Career Services at every university are part of the educational mission which teaches you to succeed via use of sound career management principles.


Since most universities are not in a financial position to counsel individually every graduating student, they turn to courses like Business X420 to offer the benefits of career management and counseling in an economical manner.



Course Requirements



All course requirements are explicitly documented in this syllabus. The syllabus explains what is expected, how grades are determined, and lists due dates for all items. Your letter grade is based on a point accumulation system. Points are earned via attendance at various events and through submission of written projects. Points are given for projects only if they are of A or B quality work. Your Career Counselor will fail all projects deemed below a B level of performance.




In the schedule you will find a week-by-week description of lectures, labs (projects), and discussion sessions.




The Career Planning Strategies: Hire Me! (5th Edition) textbook by Dr. C. Randall Powell is used for X420. This textbook is used extensively as a reference manual and is one of the best-selling books in the career planning and job search market. It is used by many career services offices across the nation and is often used as a job search handbook.




Once you have officially registered for the class, the next step in beginning to prepare for the class (and to use the UCSO) is to complete and submit the first draft of your one-page interview resume. You will find instructions for the procedures in the UCSO Resume Writing Guide located on the UCSO website and in the Networking Resume Guide located on the course website.


Your uploaded resume, combined with the Registration Information and Times Not Available forms (both available on the UCSO website) provide the necessary data required to place you in the UCSO electronic database enabling you to receive email and which gives you the ability to submit bids for interviews. You will be unable to complete the course requirements or use the UCSO until this information is submitted.


You are also strongly encouraged to create a 2- to 3-page Networking Resume for references and informational interviewing.


The Networking Resume Guide is more useful in preparing your free-form networking resume that you are likely to give to your network contacts, informational interviewing contacts, and web-based inquires. The more standardized UCSO resume is required in your job interviews, cover letters, web submissions, etc., since it is short and quickly scanned by eye and electronically.


You will need to edit and enhance your interview resume to prepare it for viewing by recruiters and finalize it before the deadline for the first project (due at the end of Week 1).


Your networking resume is due, with your cover letter, as Project 3, Communications, in Week 3.



Computing Resources and X420


The Undergraduate Career Services Office gathers data from information you provide via the UCSO website. Registration Information, for example, provides your email address which enables the office to communicate announcements, recruiting information, interview scheduling, and other information to you. Therefore, you will need the following resources to participate:



To review your account(s) and/or sign up for others, you can go directly to:




NOTE: Save UCSO messages because they cannot resend email messages, announcements, etc. Please read Using Computing Resources with Undergraduate Career Services in the UCSO Policies and Definitions Guide for details concerning your needs. For sending Business X420 class-related messages, you must use the Oncourse internal messaging email system. Please direct messages to your assigned Career Counselor, one of the above named instructors, or to the course assistant. Please DO NOT address your messages to “entire class.”