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Career Services: Getting WCU Students Started, Prepared, and out into the Professional World

By Lauren Johnson and Cannon Miller


Have you ever asked yourself the question “What do I want to be when I grow up?”  Or “How am I going to get there?” Fortunately, Western Carolina University students have no need to look further than the Career Services office located conveniently in the Killian Annex.

Many think Career Services just helps with students who work jobs around campus. But did you know that Career Services could also help you get one of those jobs on campus? Did you know that, in addition to on-campus jobs, Career Services helps place students in off-campus jobs? Career Services is home to the web site JobCat that lists all the available jobs on Western Carolina University’s campus and also the surrounding area. The database is free to all present students and past students. In fact, all of Career Services resources are available to current students and alumni and most of them are free. They also have a link to www.localjobs.com for a broader spectrum of job listings extending into Charlotte and Knoxville.

Getting started

Are you worried about declaring a major? Career Services also helps undeclared majors decide what career would best fit them. Career Services provides vocational tests for students who assess which major would be the best for them based on their personalities and favorite activites. The tests are free or inexpensive. The tests also give a student options based on the outcome. In addition to the tests, Career Services also offers classes that freshmen can take to find out more information about majors or potential majors through the Western Carolina PEAKS program.

Getting prepared

Are you graduating soon or need an internship? Career Services works with employers and students to find internships. Career Services can connect you with Cooperative education experiences that help you learn more about the field of study.  They can also help you to make yourself look presentable and professional when you enter the workplace. They provide a service to help you draft a résumé and also to edit any existing résumés that you may have. Each semester, Career Services even hosts an etiquette dinner in the University Center Grand Room. The cost is $15 and a multi-course meal is served. Over the meal, students learn about conducting/participating in an interview, using the right utensils, having a business meeting over a meal while still looking professional and many other types of business conduct. During Career Week in the spring, Career Services offers an etiquette reception. Through this activity, students learn the art of networking – how to make a positive, memorable impression in five minutes or less! The etiquette events will help with real-world interviews and other aspects of the job search.

Getting professional

Are you unsure about what jobs are associated with your major? Job and Career Fairs sponsored through Career Services are a great way to find out how your major is applied in the real world. Job fairs are scheduled a few times every semester and, if you are interested, just keep an eye out for posters that will be around the University Center or check out Career Services’ web site, careers.wcu.edu, for up-to-date career fair information. The fairs provide you with a way to talk to employers about jobs as well as make contacts for future employment or internships. It is important to visit fairs that are involved not only with your major but other majors as well. Your major could be fitting you for jobs you haven't even imagined yet.

Getting the facts

Want to find out more information? As you can see, Career Services is more not just for seniors. It's connected to many resources that will not only help you in the present as a student at Western Carolina University but as an alumni down the road. For more information visit their web site on Western Carolina’s page at careers.wcu.edu, call (828) 227-7133 or become a fan of WCU Career Services on Facebook.

These profiles were created by the students in Mary Adams's English 303 (spring 2010) class