Career center offers advice on finding job early

By Tilly Finley

Spring semester is nearing the end, and many students on campus are feeling pressure to make summer plans, including finding internships or jobs.

Many places on campus are designed to offer help for those feelings of anxiety. The UK Stuckert Career Center, located at 408 Rose St., has had several successful programs in the past for connecting students with employers and internships.

The Career Center gives students and alumni advice on many issues such as choosing a major, exploring career options and internships, determining skills, developing a resume and practicing interviewing skills.

Some students do not know the best way to contact future employers, especially those who are not locally based.

Jenna Cook, a merchandising junior, is applying for her first internship this year and said she has been forced to look out-of-state.

“It is hard for me because there is not a lot to offer for merchandising in Kentucky,” Cook said. “When I apply on the east and west coast, I don’t get to speak face-to-face.”

The career center works with students like Cook and tries to connect students to out-of-town employers by hosting job fairs, said Azetta Williams, assistant director of the center.

“Our most effective services for students include career fairs, receptions, and on-campus interviews,” Williams said. “You never want to discount networking. Do everything. Never just go to a fair or submit a resume. Follow up, seal the deal and show true interest.”

After talking to hundreds of students during her time at the center, Williams said the hardest thing about the process is students often sell themselves short and do not realize their full potential.

“Some things are only taught from experience in a work place, and many students are not bringing these skills to the table when they apply for a job,” Williams said.

The career center program, Wildcat Career Link, gives students access to more than 1,000 online job postings, but it is important to put a face with the name on your resumes, said Ashley Clark, an adviser in the College of Communications.

“Show them you are willing to do more than double-click,” Clark said. “Talk to faces, and stay off-line as much as possible.”

Students should know their strengths, interests and values long before they try to find their first job, Williams said.

“Just being aware of what you want to do and where you want to do it can be a huge weight off of your shoulders,” Williams said. “The earlier students start this process, the better. This is not a junior, senior thing.”