By Gillian Vesely
For The Diamondback
Freshmen at this university might not have many thoughts about a post-college career. But there are several resources on the campus to help first-year students get started on the path toward landing a job if they want to begin the search early.
The University Career Center & The President’s Promise, located in Hornbake Library, works with all undergraduate students and has programs in place that aim to be freshman-friendly.
The Peer Career Educators program, one of the services the Center provides, is made up of about 10 trained undergraduate student-workers who review resumes, help students understand online resources and give career advice.
“What’s nice [about the PCEs] is they can talk from very specific personal experience and relate with students in a way that I don’t think that I can,” said Stephanie Ryan, program director in the Center’s career foundations department. “They’re a really good conduit to reaching students.”
Ryan said PCEs and the Center collaborate with classes such as UNIV100: The Student in the University, to encourage more freshmen to get involved at the Center.
Junior communication major Cierra Belin learned about the Center in a UNIV course her freshman year, and after working with a PCE, she became one herself in August 2014.
“Our work with the UNIV classes, I think, is definitely really beneficial,” she said. “For my UNIV class, if we had never had someone come in from [the Center] I probably wouldn’t know it was here.”
Despite the Center’s close work with UNIV classes, Ryan said most of the students who use the PCE services are juniors and seniors.
Ben Eckley, a freshman aerospace engineering major, said he has never met with a PCE but would consider going to see one.
“I’m not really looking for a job yet, so I’d rather do it, like, junior year,” he said.
Outside of the Center, the public policy school, the engineering school and the business school have career centers specifically for their students.
The arts and humanities college, the public health school, the behavioral and social sciences college and the computer, mathematical and natural sciences college each has its own branch within the Center.
Ashlee Kerkhoff, the business school’s director of undergraduate career programming, said the school’s career services office is able to provide guidance geared toward business students.
“Because we’re only targeted at a specific function, that allows us to tailor our programming,” she said. “It gives us the opportunity to do things that are much more specific to business careers.”
Students of all years and majors are encouraged to attend the Spring Career & Internship Fair, which began yesterday and continues today and tomorrow.
Even freshmen who are not looking for a job or internship could benefit from meeting with recruiters, Ryan said.
“Just going and introducing yourself and practicing those skills of what it’s like to articulate your skills and interests and values to a stranger … really helps alleviate a lot of those jitters,” she said.