By: KAYLA SMITH
Everyone has his or her own style. No, I’m not talking fashion. I’m talking about work style. Learning about who you are as a professional is a step in a college career that not all students think about.
Nestled in the Administration Building in room 116 is the underutilized Career Services Office (CSO). From appointments for assistance with resumes and cover letters to mock interviews, job search strategies, internships, or major and career counseling, CSO is your resource for becoming comfortable with your professional strengths and weaknesses.
Sitting down with Kim Moore, Interim Director and Assistant Director of the Career Services Office, I was able to receive a firsthand experience of all that the on-campus resource has to offer students and alumni. And the doors to CSO do not close once you graduate.
So what does an average first time appointment look like? Walking in, a receptionist will greet you and ask you to fill out a basic check-in sheet to find out why you are visiting the office. After checked in, you will be greeted by either Kim Moore or Maureen Green, Employer Relations and Data Specialists at CSO.
Moore said, “I always start an appointment with, ‘What are you here for? What are we looking at today?’ because [the student] decided before they got here as to why they’re here, but they totally change or think of something when they come in.”
Students come into Career Services with more than just one question and leave with useful information.
CSO sees mostly seniors followed by freshmen, but they rarely see sophomores and juniors.
“I would love to see more sophomores and juniors,” said Moore. “I would definitely say we are underutilized just because there are the students who know us and come and see us often. Those are the ones that have the success stories.”
Out of the nearly 6,000 students enrolled at IU South Bend, CSO saw a total of 862 students at more than 1,600 appointments from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015. Many of these appointments are repeat visits by the same students. Regardless, 862 out of nearly 6,000 is not a lot, at all.
The students who visit CSO on a regular basis are creating a professional appearance for themselves through scholarships, references from employers, networking skills, internships and the like.
“Those are the ones who have two to three internships and then they have other options as well,” said Moore.
The annual career fair also has been lacking student participation. According to CSO, the last fair brought out 120 companies with two representatives per company, giving the potential of 240 employers. But a mere 245 students came, equaling the number of recruiters.
Perhaps the low turnout has to do with the assumption that the career fair is strictly for business students.
“Any time that you have the opportunity to speak with someone or share your experiences with someone who is in a field that you want to be in, it is valuable,” Moore said. “Every networking contact you can make is valuable.”
With a mock video interview program set to launch in fall 2016, CSO will provide students and alumni the chance to practice interviews via video streaming, as many companies present these in the current job markets. Along with this program will be a job-shadowing program that will feature a wide array of career areas.
With the minimal knowledge of CSO on campus, students should take advantage of the resources that IU South Bend offers. There are a number of employers that look to our university for potential future employees.
CSO also provides an online job board with part-time and full-time jobs, as well as internships (https://www.iusb.edu/career-services/).
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 574-520-4425 to set up an appointment.