University attempts to increases awareness, engagement with career services offices

The College to Career Governing Committee in the Provost’s office is working to increase student awareness of career services on campus since finding that many students do not engage with the offices. 

“The College to Career initiative is really focused on making sure that students are aware of resources that are available to them on campus,” said Rachelle Hernandez, senior vice provost for enrollment management. 

Career services coordinates career fairs, performs mock interviews with students and advises them on their career trajectory. Last October, the CtC Task Force released findings about students’ lack of engagement with career services offices. 

“Several students said they weren’t aware of the resources,” said Hernandez, head of the (College to Career) Governing Committee. “Our goal is to make it easy for students to access … both those resources that are available to students in their home colleges as well as resources that help facilitate those connections in the colleges.”

Government junior Conner Vanden Hoek is one of the students unaware of the career advising offices in each college. 

“The thing that’s a little bit concerning is I was an (orientation advisor), I’m involved in student government stuff and I’m not even 100 percent sure about if we have that student resource or not,” Vanden Hoek said. 

The University needs to increase advertising of career advising resources if it wants more student engagement, Vanden Hoek said. 

Richard Hogeda, assistant dean for student affairs in the College of Education, said the college has raised awareness for services by emailing weekly bulletins, sending representatives to classrooms and displaying recruiting events on TV monitors. However, Hogeda said students still need to take the initiative to utilize these services. 

“You can’t force them to come in and see you,” Hogeda said. “The message is out there. It’s just getting them to engage and stay engaged.” 

The career services office has just one representative for all 1,779 students in the college, Hogeda said. 

“Because we are such a smaller operation, we’ve already been kind of doing everything to get the word out,” Hogeda said. “We’re just not sure what that next step would look like or be.” Robert Vega, director of liberal arts career services, said students should take steps toward forwarding their career paths early on. 

“Even if you don’t know what you want to do next, start exploring,” Vega said. “Start complementing your academics with some type of experiential learning.”