Students will have several opportunities for career advisement and professional preparation this semester.
Career Services officials planned events designed to keep students engaged and prepare them for their futures.
“I am all about making students ready to walk out the door,” said Amelia Hurt, director of Career Services. “I want to give them all the tools without making them feel overwhelmed, so we try to do it in a really comfortable environment.”
A chance for networking
Students will be able to interact with local employers at the career and internship fair. It will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Great Hall in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center.
There will be about 30 local employers who students can network with and discuss potential job opportunities. The university photographer will offer free professional headshots at the event.
Dressing for success
Students can shop for professional dress items and receive 70 percent off with an OCU ID. Pre-registration for the event will be posted soon, as well as gift card giveaways ranging from $25 to $200. Pre-registration is only required to be entered into the drawing for gift cards, but not to gain entry into the event.
“It’s just a really fun shopping event to get prepared for interviews or your next job opportunity, or if you just like to dress really snazzy,” Hurt said.
There were about 175 participants last year, including MacKenzie Reitz, dance management junior, who pre-registered for the event and received a $50 gift card.
“I didn’t end up paying actual money, which was spectacular because, you know, college student budget,” Reitz said.
Career Services officials also will host an etiquette dinner from 5:40-6:45 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Great Hall to give students an opportunity to dine in a business setting.
“It’s very practical,” Hurt said. “I’ve had students come back to me that have done it and then used it later at donor events or formal dinners, and they felt glad they had been introduced to that basic etiquette and weren’t as nervous.”
The cost is one meal plan swipe or $6. Students must RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Career Services officials also are starting a program which will give money to students participating in summer internships.
Undergraduate students of all majors who meet eligibility requirements can apply to be a part of the program. Application information will be available Feb. 5 and it will be open for a month. Eligibility requirements have not yet been released.
Hurt said students should start looking for internships now if they are interested because, to be eligible, students already must have an offer letter from an employer.
The program is to give four or five students financial support to help pay for expenses during a low-paid or unpaid internship.
Printing business cards
Students also can print business cards with Career Services at a rate of $5 for 100 cards, a service that began in Fall 2017.
Hurt said many students have taken advantage of it.
“If you are looking for jobs, and you’re doing the things you’re supposed to be doing–you’re networking, you’re talking with people–you want to have the whole package. And you want to be able to present your information in a professional way,” she said.
The business cards include name, college, major(s), minor(s), contact information, and social media handles. There is a limit of one order per student, per semester.
Joining a network
Students also can be a part of an alumni mentor network.
Career Services partnered with the Office of Alumni Engagement to make this possible. The program, which began last semester, aims to connect young professionals with current students to give advice on jobs, internships and life in general.
Hurt said about 15 mentors and five students are participating.
“It’s just nice to have someone in your corner,” Hurt said. “Success is hard to do by yourself, and you have your faculty members, and you have us, but everyone could use one more person to give them a leg up.”
Reitz said she recommends students use the resources provided by Career Services officials. She said she’s pleased with the help she’s received with her resume and cover letter.
“It’s beautiful, and I’ve already gotten a phone interview,” Reitz said. “I’ve sent it in literally everywhere. I think I’ve applied to nine things, and I feel confident that it’s going to get me something.”
Reitz said she’s always excited to tell Career Services employees about her offers and her professional experiences.
“They really care about the student and that the student is having a good experience,” she said. “If I’m not confident, they figure out why and help me become more confident in whatever I’m working on.”