UT career coaches help students with career concerns

Garrett Smith

With 156 undergraduate degree programs to choose from, it can feel impossible for UT students to know which major will best equip them for their desired career. To lessen the stress for students, each college has a career services office whose purpose is to provide students with coaching services and disseminate career information.

Since starting as the director of the Moody College of Communications’ Career Center, this year, Ladd Flock is working to reform its career services. He said he will start by reevaluating the office structure of career services and redefining its mission.

“When you’re brand new, as a coach in a professional school, and you’re building your tool kit, (you think of) all the things that you want to deploy in a coaching session,” Flock said.

Part of Flock’s tool kit is a new coaching model where each career coach will be assigned to students under the same major and work with those students in a partnership.

“The team that’s doing the advising has gotten career coach training and certification,” Flock said. “We have gone through training to really understand how to work with students in this partnership arrangement.”

Moody’s Career Services is planning soft launches for this semester, with the goal of their new model being fully operational by Spring 2020. As of now, Moody career counselors are still meeting with students to offer help and guidance.

Corporate communications senior Hayley Naples said she made an appointment with a career coach in Moody to seek counseling for getting a job.

“I actually scheduled an appointment because I was getting rejections from companies I was applying for, and I didn’t see why,” Naples said.

During Naples’ meeting, the coach helped her by “adding more specific language to her résumé” and holding mock interviews.

“I came in with a list of questions because I knew I’d be interviewing a couple times,” Naples said. “(The coach) answered some interview questions (and) gave me some tips and tricks.”

After meeting with a career coach and updating her résumé, things started to look up for Naples.

“Right after I fixed my résumé and applied for my next job, I ended up getting an interview and now work for (Texas Performing Arts in the marketing department),” Naples said.

Tatem Oldham began working with career services at the College of Liberal Arts in 2014 as assistant director, and is now the interim director.

“My favorite part of my job is helping students meet their career goals,” Oldham said. “It’s incredibly fulfilling to help students find internships and job opportunities that align with their specific interests and skills.”

The COLA career services team also offers undeclared students counseling to help better understand their interests and skills, and supply resources to explore career options.

“We help students clarify their career values and talk about specific career paths that are available to them,” Oldham said. “That might include showing them typical entry-level career paths sought out by previous students.”

UT has cultivated a culture that is passionate about students’ success, and career coaches are a part of that process.

“I truly believe ‘What starts here changes the world,’ and I wanted to be a part of the process of helping students meet their goals,” Oldham said.