CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

By Career and Professional Development Center and Annalisa Purser

University of Utah Career Services recently changed its name to the Career and Professional Development Center to better reflect its mission to prepare students for their future careers and to foster career readiness through early engagement with the center. The former name, Career Services, implied that students could use the center for a “transactional service,” which meant that students often didn’t visit until their last year of college.

The office provides much more than a one-time service. It offers students the opportunity to think about who they are; reflect on their skills, strengths, values and goals; and helps them explore options for their futures that can encompass all of that. By changing its name to the Career and Professional Development Center, the staff hopes students and partners will better understand the variety of resources available to help students grow professionally. Career development is a process, and those at the center invite all students to begin engaging in that process from their first year on campus.  

@TheU spoke with staff at the Career and Professional Development Center to learn more about how faculty and staff can help students better utilize its services.

Will the name change affect any of the services?

No, the Career and Professional Development Center will still provide the same helpful career coaching resources to students, and all of the essential functions it has always provided will remain the same.

What services does the center provide?

We are here to support students, alumni, faculty and staff in a variety of ways. For students and alumni, we offer one-on-one coaching appointments, career exploration, professional development workshops and opportunities to connect with employers through career fairs, employer meet-and-eats, alumni panels, employer site visits and more (all free of charge). We review application materials for internships, job positions, scholarships and graduate school. In addition, we have exclusive online resources for tips and tricks and job boards, where we currently have more than 2,000 internship openings within UCareerpath.

Whether a student is in his or her first year, is a transfer student, is approaching graduation, has graduated less than a year ago, or is an alum, we are here to listen, support and help create a professional development plan for their future. Additionally, we serve our alumni for the rest of their lifetime. 

For faculty, we offer exclusive, in-classroom presentations on a variety of topics. Whether your class is held early in the morning, in the middle of the day, or in the evening, we will be there to support you.

We are available to present at staff meetings so you have a better idea of who we are and what we offer. We offer joint coaching and advising appointments and a variety of exclusive programming for your students’ needs.

How can the Career and Professional Development Center help my office or department?

We value our relationships with our internal and external stakeholders by offering annual open houses so people can stay up-to-date on what our office is doing. To learn more about upcoming open houses, contact associate director for counseling services and operations, Kelly Dries at kdries@sa.utah.edu. We also can present to your students on a variety of topics, on your turf, and even after hours. We want to make sure that your students feel prepared for life after graduation, and we are here to help your students in whatever way possible. In addition, we want your involvement with programming — we’re interested in your insight on relevant topics or your participation with events — whatever works best for you. Including classroom presentations, programming or required coaching appointments in your syllabus is a great way to stay connected.

What is the best way for students to use the center?

The best way for students to use our office is to meet with someone from our dedicated team of career coaches and career ambassadors to address student questions. Students should also explore our website to become familiar with who we are and what we do. Students can stop by our office with quick-help questions between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, or set up a more in-depth meeting with a career coach. Our career coaches are professionally trained in career coaching, with a variety of experiences and industry expertise.

We understand that students’ lives are hectic, so we offer phone, Skype and email appointments, along with 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. appointments. Additionally, we provide many free events where students can network, meet alumni and employers to find out more about who they are and what they value. Students who participate in these events can walk away with a new mentor, a better understanding of a career field, and potentially, an internship or job opportunity.