Got career?

Joe McKenzie

Career Services points students in the right direction

Credit: Andrew popik

Andrew Cox interned at Ernst & Young before he graduated in 2004.

After receiving his degree in accounting, he got a job at Ernst & Young.

His three years working with Career Services helped him get this job.

As a member of the Accounting Association, he was encouraged to go.

“The first year was mostly to get my feet wet,” Cox said. “The second year, I started using it to sharpen my interview skills.”

Career Services is a middle-ground where employers go to seek people to hire and people go to find employment, he said.

After graduating college, students are faced with finding a job or going back to school for further education. Some students choose graduate school because they find difficulty in their job searches.

“Finding a job is a full-time job,” said Amy Alex, career specialist for career education.

Whether it is a part-time or full-time job, just applying doesn’t always ensure a job. Many resources exist to help raise odds.

A good way to job search before and after graduation is by using the Career Services Center. It offers a variety of resources to undergraduates, as well as alumni, free of charge.

The center helps students figure out a career after college. It is also there to help students who are unsure about what to do with their major. One service that assists with this is the center’s drop-in counseling.

Drop-in counseling is Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the career research library. Career Services staff answer questions students have about their major, résumés or cover letters and job or internship searches.

Learning more about career options and how to prepare for a career is the focus of career education. Students are assisted through a variety of resources including career counseling, a career exploration course and the career research library.

Carla Owens, assistant director for career education, said when students come to Career Services, they are introduced to Flash Forward. It is an online recruiting system that allows students to search for part- or full-time employment and internships. Flash Forward can be found on the Career Services Web site.

“We encourage students to actively go online themselves,” Owens said. “Flash Forward is more effective than Monster(.com) in a job-search.”

Kristi Zofchak graduated from Kent State with an early childhood education degree. She posted her résumé online through the recruiting system. She also looked at job postings.

“It allowed me to get in contact with schools,” Zofchak said. “It made the job search more manageable and effective.”

Zofchak also attended Teacher Interview Days. Interview days are held in the Student Center Ballroom. Representatives from school districts in the surrounding areas come to Kent State and interview education majors about potential teaching opportunities. March 16 is the next interview day.

The career research library has numerous publications about different career fields and job opportunities within each field. For example, Air Jobs Digest is specifically directed toward students whose major is aeronautical studies. Students can go to this library and find it.

Other publications include areas such as liberal arts, business, education, fine and professional arts and exercise, leisure and sport. These books talk about different career opportunities and job descriptions.

“Students need to know what job titles to seek,” Owens said.

She encourages students to look broadly and set up informational interviews. This allows students to speak with people in their field and network.

“Networking is the number one way to find a job,” Owens said. “About 75 percent of jobs are obtained through networking.”

Students Helping Students is a national group of successful college students and college graduates. Its Web site,, offers a place to share wisdom and help other students in college. There are several tips to networking listed on the Web site:

Network with people from your everyday life.

Ask personal questions, volunteer information and arrange informational interviews.

Don’t discount any contact or opportunity.

Maintain and grow your network as you progress in your career.

Even long after graduation, Career Services can help alumni find jobs.

Career Services works closely with the Williamson Alumni Center to assist alumni facing career changes. Services are also free to alumni.

It is not uncommon for alumni to come back 10 years after they have graduated and use the center. Today’s job market is different from past decades. Companies close down, layoff and relocate workers more often in today’s society, Alex said.

Students should take advantage of this service early.

“I’d recommend students use it,” Cox said, “because it gets their name out and points them in the right direction as far as a career.”

Contact career services and alumni affairs reporter Joe McKenzie at [email protected].