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Career Development

Advice and guidance for your future self.

We support CALS students and recent graduates in exploring careers and developing strategies to reach their career goals. We are dedicated to building and maintaining relationships with employers interested in recruiting CALS talent. Whether you are a CALS student, an alum or an employer, connect with us and we’ll assist you with the tools and resources that you need.


 This Canvas Tool Kit will help you develop and discover how to get the most out of your experience while at Cornell as a student, and to consider what’s possible for you after you graduate whether it's a job, graduate or professional school, research or another option. Content is organized in discrete modules that can be completed any time, in any order, and at your own pace. If you have not yet enrolled in the Tool Kit, get started now.

In the Career Development Toolkit in Canvas, there are modules on the following:

Your resume and cover letter are important marketing tools when conducting a job search. It is important to know what format you want to use, what you want to convey to your audience, and what the guidelines are for writing these documents.

SkillsFirst (formerly Optimal Resume)

  • SkillsFirst, brought to you by Cornell Career Services, offers you comprehensive tools to develop, create, manage, and share your professional credentials and practice interviews.

Cornell Career Development Toolkit in Canvas

  • A comprehensive career planning tool including various modules for resume and cover letter development, interviewing, networking, and more. There are also industry specific modules for Consulting, Data Science, Finance, Product Management, Software Engineering and User Experience.

Cornell Sponsored Workshops

  • Search for workshops and events available on a variety of career related topics - all listed in Handshake.

Other Career Fairs and Events


  • Cornell Handshake is a platform for access to career opportunities and to many of the online services brought to you by Cornell Career Services, including on-campus recruiting, full-time job and internship postings, career fairs, employer info sessions, and workshops. To participate in on-campus recruiting, you’ll need to complete the Handshake Tutorial.

Cornell Student Recruiting Policies

  • An overview of the policies all Cornell students must follow to participate in and remain in good standing for on-campus recruiting and access to Handshake.

Job and Internship Search Websites

  • This is a listing of specialized websites that post specific jobs and/or internships in specific industries and fields.

Internship Information

  • Find out information about internships, how to receive academic credit, and guidelines for internships

Experiential Learning Agreements

  • Some experiential learning opportunity providers ask students to have a Cornell staff or faculty member sign an agreement.  Not all such agreements can be signed by Cornell.  To have one evaluated, make sure to review the University-wide career Experiential Learning Agreement guidelines.  This site will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to proceed.

  • Keep in mind that the review process for such agreements can take 3-4 weeks.  A possible alternative is to offer the experience provider a Certificate of Student Standing/Academic Status (“Certificate”). A copy of the Certificate can be obtained from the Cornell University Registrar.

Research Resources:

Funding Options

Salary Calculator

  • NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) provides Occupational Salary Calculators, HR Salary Calculators and Salary Calculator Center to assist you with your salary queries.

Interview preparation, including practice time, is essential. Here are key resources to support your preparation:

Practice Interviews

  • Practice your interviewing with a CALS career advisor. Sign-up for one of the practice interview schedules on Handshake. For additional options, use the online scheduler and select a practice interview appointment at a time that fits your schedule and interview prep needs.

SkillsFirst (formerly Optimal Resume and Optinal Interview)

  • Use this online tool to practice and record practice interviews and then review the recording. Schedule an appointment to review the recorded interview with a career advisor for feedback and suggestions.

Cornell Career Development Toolkit in Canvas

  • A comprehensive career planning tool including various modules for resume and cover letter development, interviewing, networking, and more. There are also industry specific modules for Consulting, Data Science, Finance, Product Management, Software Engineering and User Experience.

Technical Interview Resources

What is a case interview, how to prepare, types of case questions, and great tips for case interview prep. 

What is a Case Interview?

A case interview is typical for consulting and analytical positions and tests your analytical and problem solving skills. Questions are usually hypothetical situations and can be ambiguous in nature. It is up to the candidate to retrieve the pertinent information from the question, to probe the interviewer for more details and to make appropriate assumptions. The purpose of the question is to test the applicant’s ability to logically, systematically and persuasively address the issues of the case and develop a solution.

Case interviews are not something you can/should “wing”. They take a lot of time and preparation to master. There are a variety of different books and resources available to help candidates prepare. Many review the different types of questions they may get asked as well as some of the frameworks they may want to be familiar with (e.g., Porter’s 5 Forces, the 5 C’s, the 4 P’s).

Types of Case Questions

Brain Teaser—Tests your creativity and ability to think out of the box. Sample Question: Why do bottle tops unscrew counterclockwise?

Market Sizing—Tests your quantitative skills and ingenuity. Sample Question: What is the market for laptops likely to be in 10 years?

Business Operations—Tests your basic business knowledge and ability to identify main issues. Sample Question: A bank discovers that its customer turnover is 25% higher than its competitors. Why?

Business Strategy—Tests your analytical ability and strategic thinking. Sample Question: A sock manufacturer wants to start exporting to Germany; should it?

How to Prepare

Advising Appointment—Meet with a CALS career services staff member to discuss case interviewing and how to prepare. Use our online scheduling tool to make an appointment for "Interview Preparation" - keep in mind this is a discussion on how to prepare and not a practice interview.

Insider Guides (Vault)—As a Cornell student you can download a number of Vault Guides for free! You must use our special link to access these free guides. Guides include: Vault Guide to the Case Interview and Vault Career Guide to Consulting.

Interactive/Informational Websites—There are a number of websites you can use to gain information on how to navigate or practice case interviews.

  • In the Canvas Career Development Toolkit, there is a module for Consulting; within this module there's all kinds of helpful information, including information about case interviewing.
  • Cornell students have open access to the Management Consulted platform. The case interview prep course is a great place to begin - the course includes a collection of short videos with all the essentials, then math drills, and a guided walkthrough of a full case.
  • Make sure to check out employer career websites, as many will offer sample cases.
  • Cornell also offers you access to CQ Interactive or use Consulting Case 101, both offer online, interactive drills and cases.
  • You may also want to take a look at, which is an informational/video style case prep site created by a former McKinsey employee.
  • The following company websites have interactive sample case questions:

Workshops—Each year career offices across campus will offer workshops presented by staff, employers and/or alumni focused on case interviewing. Be sure to look at the events calendar in Handshake to see when they are offered.

Student Organizations—Cornell offers a number of student organizations that focus on the consulting field.

Statistics—There are certain statistics that one should be familiar with to help you solve cases. You can find many of these via U.S. Census Bureau & Bureau of Labor Statistics • Population of the World • Population of the U.S. • Number of Households in the U.S. • Number of Adults in the U.S. • U.S. Population Under 18 • Number of Cars per Household • Minimum Wage • Average Household Size • Average Family Size

Some General Tips

Understand the Question—Demonstrate strong listening skills by actively listening to the question and taking notes. Verbally summarize the question and verify the objective.

Think Logically—Determine what additional information you need and what key issues, or high-impact areas, need to be addressed. Show good business and common sense.

Ask Questions—Ask thoughtful/clarifying questions to probe for additional information needed to analyze the problem, develop assumptions and determine a solution(s). The questions asked should show “Big-picture” thinking. Start with basic questions to gain information about the company, industry, competition, external market, etc. As you progress switch from open-ended questions to close-ended questions. Asking too many open-ended questions may appear as if you are soliciting the answer from the interviewer. When asking questions, imagine the interviewer is your client.

Analyze the Information & Establish a Hypotheses—Demonstrate your business intuition and problem solving skills by showing in-depth analysis of the case when presenting your solution(s). Substantiate your response and provide logical back up for answers. Be sure to explain what case facts led to a conclusion. If your final answer seems flawed, (e.g., number too high) don’t be afraid to go back and reevaluate it.

Organize and Structure Your Response—Organize a response and let the interviewer in on your plan. Use frameworks when necessary and keep in mind that the focus is as much on your approach as your solution. Don’t rush through your answer and use your time wisely.

Have a Conversation—Talk through your answer and explain your thought process. Ask questions and lure the interviewer into a conversation with you. Ask the interviewer if you are on track with your assumptions. The interviewer may offer additional information and/or guide you.

Be Concise—If asked for the top 2 issues, confine your response to 2 items. Stay focused on your response and don’t digress or go off on tangents.

Be Innovative—Brainstorm solutions that are innovative and creative. Don’t be afraid to offer alternatives.

Be Adaptable—Show your ability to tailor your response to changing situations. Also, try and rebound from mistakes. Don’t let them shut you down.

Be Enthusiastic—If you are excited about the job and industry you should be excited about tackling a case question. Approach the question with gusto and enthusiasm.

Summarize—Make a summary or conclusion at the end.

Deciding to go to graduate or professional school can be an exciting and challenging decision. There are many factors to consider before applying. Use online resources and have conversations with career professionals, advisors, faculty members as well as alumni to help you gain the information and insights you need.

Graduate & Professional School Information Webpage

  • Cornell Career Services provides extensive resources on searching for graduate and professional schools, including a timeline of what to do when, what entrance tests to consider, financing, and more.

Pre-health Resources

  • Find helpful pre-health resources (human and animal medicine) such as guides, HCEC, workshops and other important info related to your pre-health path.

Pre-law Resources

  • Find a module for information about law school in the Canvas Career Development Toolkit.
  • Find law school resources that can be helpful as far as how to decide on law school, how to apply, financing, and more.
  • If you're interested in speaking with an advisor about law school, please use our online scheduler, select "Graduate and Prof School Advising", then select Liz Hartman as the person to meet with - Liz is our specialist in pre-law advising.


  • An online credentials service to manage important documents such as letters of recommendation.

Peterson's Guides

  • Comprehensive database which allows you to search for undergraduate or graduate school institutions by geographic location and field of study.

Cornell Sponsored Workshops

  • Search in Handshake for workshops and events available across the university on a variety of career related topics.


Contact Us

Office Hours

Schedule an appointment online »
Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Tuesday: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 3:30 pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Contact Information

140 Roberts Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-255-2257
Fax: 607-254-4613
Email: calscareer [at]

Additional services of a broader nature can be found at Cornell Career Services.