For those interested in exploring career options or contemplating a career change or academic major change, the first and most critical stage is self-assessment. In this stage, you and your counselor explore your interests, skills, values and personality preferences as they relate to possible career and education alternatives. Once you have learned more about yourself, you can use that self-knowledge to identify occupations and/or majors of potential interest to you. Your counselor can help you explore options by guiding you through resources in the ECDS department and coaching you on how to conduct informational interviews with professionals in the fields of interest to you. To test the reality of some of those options, your counselor can help you arrange appointments with department heads and program professors.