Preparing For the Real World

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By Lauren Townsend> Junior> Journalism> Elon University

They may not hold your hand, but they’ll teach you how to handshake. Not only do college career centers offer great services to help students find internships and post-graduation jobs, they also help with each progressive step into the real world.   

 

 

 

Career centers are getting creative. Take Texas Christian University, which has developed an iPhone application to be released at the end of September. The app, called iTCU, will include six sections to help students: interviewing, dining etiquette, business etiquette, upcoming events, videos and Career Services.

 “There are universities that have iPhone apps like iTCU, but to my knowledge there isn’t a university that currently has an app specifically focused on career topics,” says Susan Nethery, associate director of marketing for the TCU career center.

With this application, students will be able to receive help on their own time without having to make appointments and come into the office, she says.

While TCU boasts a tech-savvy career center, Central Pennsylvania College’s career center niche lies in location and intention, as its career center is conveniently inside the admissions office.

In an effort to help students develop career maturity and enhance competitiveness when applying for jobs and internships, all Central Penn students are required to complete a job pursuit seminar course, says Steve Hassinger, Central Penn’s career services director and teacher.
 
“In an economy that is as tough as it is, students need to utilize career services often for help on jobs and internships,” says Gary Beaulieu, director of internship and career services at Butler University.
 
Career services at Butler has remodeled its career fairs and turned them into "networking fairs" where students and employers are split into groups for the purpose of acquiring networking skills.
 
This could include handshakes, introductions, or how to carry on ‘small talk’ with an employer. This session is followed by a more typical, open networking session where students visit employers at their tables and hand out resumes.
 
Butler also has a program that they call Brain Gain, which is a program where students live in subsidized housing in Indianapolis over the summer to complete an internship. The eight-week program offers a weekly special event such as a tour of the Indianapolis Zoo so that students can become better acquainted with the city, says Beaulieu.
 
So, while it may not change your life, walking into your career center may offer some surprises worth your time. Check it out.

Hot Tips for Getting the Job

Network: A lot of times, it’s not what you know, but who you know. It’s a great idea to attend career fairs at your university with of your resume to get know your future employers


Keep in touch with internship employers: Even though your internship is over, it is essential to keep in touch with people at the company. Who knows? If you really wowed them, they might offer you a full-time job after graduation.

Have your own website: It could be a blog-hosted site, like WordPress or Blogger, with work from your portfolio and a resume, or a site that you have designed from scratch. Either way, it’s something special to include in a cover letter that makes you stand out.

Promote yourself: Have business cards made so you’re ready anytime that you meet a new person in your industry. Give them a card and make a great first impression.

 

Images courtesy of studentbranding.com and cidds.com.

College Magazine Staff

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