Students seek future in Career Center

By Stephanie Taylor

Everyday, students prepare for their future by opening the door to opportunity.

They are greeted by colorful flyers advertising internships, study abroad and volunteer work. Further inside, visitors browse shelves of career books, magazines and test guides. People crowd conference rooms listening intently to presentations on r‚sum‚s and interviewing advice as counselors are meeting one on one with ambitious prospects.

More than 38,000 futures are being planned on campus, and each could benefit from the resources provided by the Career Center, located at 715 S. Wright St. Freshmen choosing a major and seniors choosing a job can both be helped at the Career Center.

Luke Pelka, senior in NUR, made great use of the center’s career books and staff. He learned information on nursing opportunities and found out what changes he needed to make in order to switch colleges.

Sophomore in engineering, Arjun Venkataswamy, also found the Career Center helpful in planning his career path. He found the career counselors and the mock interviews to be the most useful.

“For the interviews, they video tape you and give you a critique. It’s like doing a real interview and it gives you more practice,” he said.

Venkataswamy started working at the Career Center this year as an Outreach Presenter. Presentations offered are Career Center 101, Winning R‚sum‚s, Successful Interviewing and Fast Track Your Job Search. The Career Fairs Make an Impression and Internship Essentials are also offered through out the semester.

The Career Center also offers new programs that can be easily accessed by students of all majors. Senior Assistant Director, Brandon Bute described I-Connect as a user-friendly computer program that allows employers to post job positions at multiple career offices throughout the university.

Senior Assistant Director, Guy Davis, is also impressed with I-Connects’ functions. Davis explained that with this program, multiple career offices see the positions sent out by employers, so students from all majors have the opportunity to apply for a job that utilizes their skills. This way a student in LAS can apply for an occupation in business.

Thanks to tools like I-Connect and the rise in the employment market, Davis feels that graduates will be able to find jobs easier.

“I am far more encouraged as a career service professional now than in 2000 by the number of employers that have expressed the intent to hire more graduates,” Davis said.

Another new computer program offered is Exploring Pathways in Career Success (EPICS), which helps students during their exploration process. The Web site has an Interest Explorer, which allows students to see what majors coincide with their interests and skills, and a Competency Explorer, which shows how a student’s skill levels measures up to the level that employers want.

I-Connect and EPICS can be easily accessed on the Career Center’s website at www.careercenter.uiuc.edu. Vault Books, a program that shows guidebooks about different companies, is also available on the website along with a career search system.

Seeing a counselor at the center has also become more convenient thanks to a system called Schedule Q. With the swipe of an I-Card, students can have basic information about their concerns stored in the Career Center’s database. This way, when a student goes in for their next visit, the counselor will be able to address the student’s previous issues and update their database.

The Career Center’s resources can benefit all students by guiding each one down their own career path. The tools available are easily accessible to all campus students.