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The Blue & Gray Press | November 14, 2018

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Career Services Pushes Improved Student Job Skills

By ALISON THOET

Career Services has filled their spring semester calendar with interviewing and resume workshops, visits from numerous companies, and other employment preparations to help UMW students plan their futures.

Approximately 95 percent of graduates from the past three years that have actively sought employment after graduation are now employed, according to the recent alumni survey sent out by the University.

In addition, 81.5 percent of students that graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2011 nation-wide are employed, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). The top hiring industries listed include retail, elementary and secondary schools, and manufacturing.

“We have lots of things to help students prepare for interviews and the working world,” said Katie Locke, assistant director of career services.

Almost everything on the calendar this semester is new, according to Locke.

“This year we are doing more industry-specific events, such as Meet the Firms for accounting students that was in September, a legal panel that happened in November, and an upcoming non-profit career panel in March,” said Locke.

There is also a Federal Government Week at the end of March that will feature government groups such as the FBI and the Secret Service. Also, the National Security Agency will be on campus for information sessions and federal resume writing, according to Locke.

“With our new initiatives this year we are trying to further meet the needs of our students and have listened to what they have asked for,” said Locke. “Employers and speakers have also asked us to offer different things like lectures, mock interviews, and workshops.”

With this in mind, a session on “Green Careers in a Dull Economy” is featured next month, as well as a job and internship fair. Geico will be hosting a “Prepare for the Fair” workshop and there will be a 2-day “Resumania” event in preparation for the job and internship fair, according to Locke.

“Michael Walter, senior business administration major, plans to attend many of the events this semester, including the job fair and interview prep sessions.

“I think resume and interviewing skills will definitely have a positive effect on my life, especially in today’s job world where workers are switching jobs throughout their careers, sometimes as many as 10 times,” said Walter.

President Hurley and his wife Rose Hurley will attend an etiquette dinner on April 4, co-hosted by Career Services and Alumni Relations, and play an active role in the event, according to Locke.

“We will be doing things like going through how to carry out conversations with employers,” she said. “It should be a very good experience.”

In addition to all of the new events taking place this semester, career services has changed its hours for Wednesday walk-ins to also be at night. This allows students to come in without an appointment to get help on a resume or cover letter all day long.

Hope Flanagan, senior peer advisor at Career Services, praised the results that career services events and classes can have.

“Career services is an amazing resource for students, from helping locate jobs and internships to getting advice and being taught job-hunting skills or information about graduate schools,” she said. “I really enjoy working there and I feel like I’ve learned a lot, and by being a peer advisor I’ve been able to give back to the UMW community.”

Jacob Hargis, junior double major in sociology and psychology, looks forward to the job fair and FBI information session on March 27.

“I feel that people do not utilize the resources that are available here as much as they should be,” said Hargis. “I have been to Ms. Locke countless times for help with resumes, interviews and getting started in finding out what type of career would be a good match for my personality.”