DECK: Upperclassmen get incentives to stay on top of job search
Besides providing career advice in individual meetings with students, Career Services Center career counselors are also taking an active role in the classroom.
In ARSC 1050, Job Search Strategies for Arts and Sciences, juniors and seniors meet for half a semester and are awarded one credit hour with a pass/fail grade.
Courtney Hanson, assistant director of Career Services, taught the job strategies course for the first seven weeks of the spring semester. Hanson said the curriculum consists of what Career Services offers on a daily basis, but the course has the incentives of being credited and having a group setting to further motivate individuals.
“For someone who doesn’t stay on top of their job search, the class motivates them to do a little each week,” Hanson said.
Hanson said the class exposes the students not only to job skills, but also to resources within Career Services.
“You’re not banished from the office once you’re done with the class,” she said. “You are always welcome back.”
Becky Moylan, a senior in the College of Communication and previous class participant, said she got interested in the class initially because it fit her schedule and would hopefully address some of her career concerns.
Moylan said she had finalized her post-graduate plans by the last day of the class. She will be volunteering with the Alumni Service Corps at Marquette University High School, teaching English or theology during the upcoming school year.
“I would recommend (the class) to the point that it should be a requirement for graduation if you don’t already have a job,” Moylan said.
Matt Myers, a Career Services career counselor, is teaching the course for the remaining eight weeks of the semester. Myers said another important factor of the class each student’s individual effort.
“If you put in the effort, you’re not only helping yourself in terms of the class, but you’re helping yourself find a job,” Myers said.
Regardless of this required effort, Myers discussed how optimistic student evaluations have been.
“(Evaluations) have always been positive,” Myers said. “They all seem to appreciate the actual practical applicability of the class where they can easily see how it affects their life.”
Myers said he taught 13 students last semester and is teaching 22 students this semester. He highlighted the major difference between individual Career Services appointments and a classroom experience is group interaction.
“I personally think it’s a lot more effective when you hear from multiple different voices than one person,” Myers said. “The value of the classroom experience is that ability to lean on your classmates.”
Kristin Finn, Career Services employer relations manager, taught the course during at the same time as Hanson. Finn said the course reached its 25-student maximum quickly, and another section was added that consisted of 16 students.
Finn said the class is open to all majors who want to take it. Students in the Colleges of Engineering and Business Administration have signed up for the class even though they already have required professional development courses within their departments.
“They were so nervous and scared, but they really got more confident by the end,” Finn said. “Juniors that take this class, I think, love it more, because they say, ‘All right, now I’m prepared.’ ”
Finn said the classroom experience is valuable because of the forced time commitment it gives students to plan their job search.
“It’s really hard not to get (students) not in class, not in work, not at student organizations,” Finn said. “Class is another really great way to get that one-on-one impact. Essentially in the class, we’re helping you form a plan. And then at the end of semester, we ask, what’s next?”