Student Perspective

Finding A Career-Focused University

by Benjamin Skye | February 11, 2011 | Student Perspective 1 Comment

Your university should not only be place where you attend classes to gain factual knowledge. It should also be a place where you can develop professionally. Take a look at what some of our universities are committed to helping their students with.

A comic from Oklahoma Christian University's Career Services page. Above the comic is the caption "Career's can be confusing. We are here to help", which demonstrates the universities commitment to helping its student excel in their careers.

A comic from Oklahoma Christian University's Career Services page. Above the comic is the caption "Career's can be confusing. We are here to help", which demonstrates the universities commitment to helping its student excel in their careers.

In a recent newsletters on our website, we saw how almost 90% of young university alumni in the United States were satisfied by the quality of education they received from their universities. The newsletter, titled “No Regrets”, says 90% of University Young Alumni, also highlighted how an overwhelming majority of college graduates in America (85%) felt that the institution they had attended prepared them well for the challenges of the workplace.

As important as higher education is to today’s young individual, going to university is not an end by itself but merely a means towards a greater goal. A university student’s efforts do not culminate solely in the attainment of a college degree/diploma but extend beyond the confines of education and into his or her future career. As such, students need to make sure the university is committed to preparing students for the challenges of the marketplace.

Simple skills such as learning how to properly compile and compose a personal resume, how to dress professionally for an interview, or how to dine with fellow professionals whilst maintaining good etiquette are but some basics university students should be expected to know by the time they graduate. Here’s a look at some of the programs our partner universities provide for their students to better equip them for the job market:

1. Career Assessment

ACU's D!SCOVERY Program

Freshmen at ACU are encouraged to attend this program aimed at helping them find the best career fit.

At Abilene Christian University (ACU), first year students (freshmen) are encouraged to attend the D!SCOVERY Program, a program designed by ACU’s Career Center to help new students discover their interests, values, abilities and personality type through assessments and research. During the D!SCOVERY program, students also have the opportunity to meet and connect with professors and other professionals within their field of study in order to help the students gain a better understanding of the field they are interested in.

A student sitting through a computerized version of the Myers-Briggs Test. The Myers-Briggs is but one of many tools available to help students find out what career fits them best.

A student sitting through a computerized version of the Myers-Briggs Test. The Myers-Briggs is but one of many tools available to help students find out what career fits them best.

In addition, ACU’s Career Center also provides a guide called the “Four Year Career Plan” to help students stay focused on life after graduation while still in school. A similar four-year plan can also be found on Lubbock Christian University’s (LCU) Career Services’ website. The Career Services found at all our universities typically provide personality tests that students can take for free in order to discover what type of career fits them best. This is especially helpful for students who are having a hard time deciding on a major field of study.

2. Graduate School Fairs

Certain fields of study, such as psychology, pharmacology and physical therapy typically require students to obtain at least a Masters’ Degree if the student wishes to pursue a career specializing solely in that field. Most universities’ academic advising centers and career services centers typically collaborate to organize a graduate school fair for their students. These fairs provide students with the opportunity to take a look at various Masters’ Level programs available for their field.

In certain fields, it is not enough to just have a Bachelor's degree - Career Services is on hand to help you figure out your next step after graduation.

In certain fields, it is not enough to just have a Bachelor's degree - Career Services is on hand to help you figure out your next step after graduation.

Citing ACU and HSU as an example again, these two of our partner universities team up each semester to organize a Graduate School fair in the city of Abilene. Students who visit Oklahoma University’s Career Services website can find an extensive list of resources available for students considering furthering their education beyond the undergraduate level.  In this list, students can also find information on the prerequisites for studying at the Master’s level, which may often differ between fields.

3. Career Fairs

An example of a job fair that Union University students are encouraged to attend.

An example of a job fair that Union University students are encouraged to attend.

Lipscomb University’s Career Development Center (CDC) promotes the annual Nashville Area Career Fair on its website and Facebook page. Lipscomb’s CDC encourages its students to attend the career fair and also provides its students with tickets to the fair. Career fairs are a great place for seniors to begin developing a network of employers whom they might be interested to work for.

In Abilene, Hardin-Simmons University’s Career Services organizes a Part-Time Job Fair for its students. Organizations and businesses in the Abilene area that have part-time positions available for current students are invited to campus to recruit. Having a part-time job, even if it is an on-campus one, can effectively help students develop a sense of responsibility as well as strong time-management skills.

4. Career Coaching

Up North in Michigan, Spring Arbor University’s (SAU) Career Services organizes a “Career Week” for all its graduating seniors each semester. SAU students attending this event can expect to learn an array of job-search skills, designed at helping students stand out in today’s competitive job market. Student are coached on job search strategies, resume writing and editing, thinking financially, understanding job benefits, social networking, and even how to apply to government jobs. SAU, like most of our other partner universities, also organizes an etiquette dinner, where graduating seniors are taught to dine politely in a professional setting.

A student receiving career advice from a mentor. Do not underestimate the value of speaking to someone who is in the field you are interested in working in.

A student receiving career advice from a mentor. Do not underestimate the value of speaking to someone who is in the field you are interested in working in.

Hardin-Simmons University (HSU), on the other hand, organizes a “What-Not-To-Wear” Fashion Show, demonstrating how students need to dress to impress while attending a job interview.  The University of Mary-Hardin Baylor (UMHB) in Belton holds mock interviews for graduating seniors to practice basic interview skills. Students who are interested can sign up and be interviewed by one of the staff members of the UMHB Career Services. During the session, students are evaluated and given valuable feedback on things that they need to improve on. If you visit LeTourneau University’s Career Services’ website, they provide their students with a resume writing guide that is available online. In fact, they even have examples of resumes written for different fields.

5. Internship Opportunities

Last but not least, students should consider the internship opportunities available to them while in university. Be sure that the university you attend encourages you to take on an internship some time during your undergraduate course of study. For example, Union University organized a conference for its students in 2009 where one of their own graduates spoke about the value of internships, and how to view internships as a 3-month interview. The Union University Career Services website describes an internship as such: “Internships are career-related work experiences that provide you with the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom to ‘real world’ work situations. They provide you with an opportunity to test out a career field of interest by gaining first-hand knowledge and exposure to the career field and its related industry.” Students are often given course credit for the internships they participate in – since it is highly beneficial to their college experience.

ELI 360's Partner Universities all have dedicated staff members who are passionate about helping students with furthering their career. Be sure to check out the Career Services available at your university, they can be a valuable resource to your professional development.

ELI 360's Partner Universities all have dedicated staff members who are passionate about helping students with furthering their career. Be sure to check out the Career Services available at your university, they can be a valuable resource to your professional development.

Career Services’ websites:

- Abilene Christian University’s Career Center

- Hardin-Simmons University’s Career Services

- LeTourneau University’s Career Services

- Lipscomb University’s Career Development Center

- Lubbock Christian University’s Career Service

- Oklahoma Christian University’s Career Services

- Spring Arbor University’s Career Services

- Union University’s Career Services

- University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Career Services

Comments!

  1. jawatan kosong terkini
    October 23, 2012

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!
    It is the little changes that make the biggest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

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