Feb 26

Utilizing Career Services from Day One

As a career services professional, I have worked with undergraduate and graduate students at two large public universities. I also spent two years in corporate America as a national recruiter.  During my time in both worlds, I have seen how hard it is for students to articulate their experiences on a resume and in interviews. Your college career is likely the only time in your life when you will have access to free career resources and professional career coaching. It’s critical that you take advantage of these services!

From your first day on campus, it is important to start focusing on becoming career ready by taking advantage of the many opportunities that are provided. Career services professionals are on campus to help prepare you with the skills to land an internship that will help secure full-time employment before graduation.     

How do you set up an appointment with career services?

  • First, set up your account on HandShake.
  • Once you have set up the Handshake account, then you are able to schedule a meeting with a career services professional.
  • Undergraduate business students meet with a career coach in the UNCG Career Services Center.
  • Graduate business students are able to schedule an appointment with me in the Bryan School. Students can schedule these appointments in Handshake or can reach out directly at mkparker@uncg.edu.   

What types of resources are available?

  • HandShake – This is a free resource for UNCG students to access.  Once your account has been created then you are able to build your professional profile.  You should include a professional picture or head shot, education level (undergraduate or graduate student), major, expected graduation date, professional work experience, and student organizations you are a member of.  Once you have completed your profile then you are able to start using the portal to search for internships or full time job opportunities. Once you have identified a job opportunity, you can apply for the position directly through the portal. Handshake can also be used to search for networking events and opportunities taking place on campus.
  • Interviewing Tips – Career Services offers students the opportunity to hone their interviewing skills. Career coaches provide valuable insight as to the types of interviews and questions that students will encounter as they navigate the job search process. This will help you learn how to tell your story and articulate your skills. Students can schedule an appointment with a career coach for a mock interview. Students can also access an interactive online video-based interviewing tool called InterviewStream. This tool will record a practice interview and can be shared with the career coach to receive feedback.
  • Career Fairs – There are fall and spring career fairs on campus each year. These are a great way to network with potential employers and learn more about companies and the types of opportunities they have.
  • Career planning and coaching – Career coaches are available to meet with students to discuss their career goals and interests to help them explore their career path after college.
  • Networking opportunities – Throughout the academic year, there are many opportunities to network with company representatives that will be on campus. Handshake will give you the most up-to-date information and details about those events.  

Campus career services professionals can help enhance your professional development skills and prepare you to succeed in getting your dream job. Make sure that you are reaching out and utilizing career services early in your college career and often!  

Megan Parker is the Graduate Student Professional Development Specialist at the Bryan School of Business and Economics.