Utilizing career services on campus
January 27, 2015
The University offers several resources for students who are career-minded, including the online forum I-Link, career fairs and college-specific advisors. Below are a few of the resources available to students:
Career Services Offices
The University has 12 different career services offices on campus, including the all-campus Career Center and the Alumni Career Center. The Career Center is unique because it serves all majors, according to Emily Wickstrom Neal, assistant director of Career Services. “We’re kind of a catch all. We also serve both undergraduate students and graduate students,” she said. The Career Center is open 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
The Career Center also offers drop-in advising hours Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. These advising sessions tend to be 10-15 minutes long, where students can come in with brief questions about a career decision, a resume or an interview, said Neal. The center also offers advising by appointment, and these sessions are typically 30 minutes long. Students can meet with one of the 15 counselors who are available each day, said Neal. There are also specific counselors who are trained to advise students pursuing an occupation in health professions, she said.
Resume and Cover Letter Reviews
The Career Center offers resume and cover letter reviews six days a week at three different locations: the Career Center’s building at 715 S. Wright St., Ikenberry Commons, and the Undergraduate Library, said Neal. She said she thinks one of the most helpful services that the Career Center offers is their drop-in services. “You can get help instantly, dropping in for resume reviews or dropping in for drop-in advising,” she said.
The Career Center facilitates an annual all-campus career fair each spring. However, the Business, Engineering, and ACES career service offices also plan their own individual career fairs, which are open to all majors. Career fairs hosted by career service offices are also open to recent alumni, according to Neal. This academic year, the University will hold a total of 13 career fairs.
“The best thing about it is having all of those companies in one place, but the worst thing is that everyone on campus is kind of there,” said Adrianna Jarosz, junior in LAS, who attended the Business Career Fair last fall. “It’s hard to get face-to-face time unless you go really early.”
I-Link is an online job board where students can find job postings that they can directly apply to, as well as information about career workshops and information sessions with employers.
“It’s basically a job search engine,” said Jessica Hogue, director of media career services. Hogue is also the head chair of the 2014-2015 Career Services Council, which connects representatives from all of the career service offices on campus. Neal said that I-Link, which is free and exclusive to Illinois students, is a good resource to prepare for career fairs.
“You can look on I-Link and see the companies that are coming, as well as what they are looking for,” she said. The website also allows companies to facilitate on-campus recruiting and interviewing, said Hogue.
“Companies will collect applications on the website and then will actually do their interviewing on campus,” she said.
The EPICS database is for students who are unsure of what they want to do, said Neal. “It kind of starts with choosing a major. It’s a platform to help students do that.” She said students can complete the survey online and then schedule an in-person appointment to follow up with a counselor.
Career Center Resource Library
The Career Center has its own library. Neal said the library offers materials for those exploring careers or for those looking for career advice. She said the books cover a wide variety of subjects, from preparing for medical school or learning about diversity in careers. Resource library materials can be checked out in person at the Career Center or online. The materials are available to all University students, faculty and staff with an Active Directory username and password.
Bridget can be reached at [email protected]