Tisha Lim, a sophomore journalism major, felt unprepared for future professional pursuits. Unsure of how to market herself to employers or how to act during interviews, Lim sought out what she believed was her best option: the university’s Career Center.
The Career Center and the President’s Promise aim to prepare students for prospective internships and careers. The center has a wide range of services available, including mock interviews, resume critiques and online career tools. The center is also responsible for organizing many of the university’s career fairs, including one that begins Tuesday and runs through Thursday.
“It’s a great place to get your feet wet,” Lim said. “I really encourage people to go there — especially competitive majors.”
In the last academic year, the Career Center interacted with more than 25,000 students, said Rachel Wobrak, a program director and academic liaison at the center.
Career assistance appointments are the center’s most popular service and the three-day fall and spring career fairs are the most highly attended events, Wobrak said.
However, working with the Career Center is a two-way street, and officials said students need to take the initiative. Wobrak said the first step for students is awareness of the many resources available to them.
“Part of it is knowing your industry,” she said. “Some things are going to be more helpful than others. Not every student is going to need every service.”
The Career Center is not the only viable option for students looking for professional advice. Many individual colleges, such as the journalism, business and engineering schools, also have career and internship advisers. In addition, many of these schools set up career fairs geared toward their specific studies.
Adrianne Flynn, the internships and career development director of the journalism college, runs three internship classes, sends out memos about internship and career opportunities and gives students career advice. However, Flynn said only about a quarter of her students fully make the effort to take advantage of these resources.
Many students simply aren’t aware of the resources available to them. Ryann Rineker, a freshman enrolled in letters and sciences, and junior economics major Zein Syed said they had never heard of the Career Center. Others, such as Priscilla Wu, a junior nutrition and food sciences major, don’t know where the center is located — the top floor of Hornbake Library.
There are also students like freshman biology major Aviva Mazurek, who didn’t make an effort to go because she felt she wasn’t having trouble in her career and internship searches and didn’t have a need to visit the center.
However, Wobrak warned that “it is important for students to start early. Don’t wait until senior year.”
Flynn said the only way students can make the most of the career resources provided for them is to make the effort and approach these centers.
“Just like in school, you get out of it what you put into it,” Flynn said.
Flynn also suggested that students create relationships with their professors who are in the fields they’d like to pursue.
“There is a certain matchmaking quality,” she said. “While in school students must interact with professors. These professors become a part of the network, and the best way to get a job is to energize that network on your behalf.”