by Kristin Scheinost
Kelsey Kwasniak was online searching for internships one day when she found one she says she really liked. It fix with her career goals well, and hoped in might turn into a full-time job after graduation.
There was just one problem, the internship application she was looking at required a document she had never seen requested before: a statement of interest.
“I had never written something like this before, which is why I sought out help from Career Services,” Kwasniak says.
After speaking with Tory Nair, the director of Career Services and Terri Hoehne, the career success counselor, in Career Services, Kwasniak says she was confidant in her resume, cover letter and newly-created statement of interest.
“They worked with me to make sure I felt confident in the materials I submitted. I received the internship a week later and let Terri and Tory know — they were so ecstatic for me,” Kwasniak says.
As graduation is nearing for Kwasniak, she is interviewing for a full-time position with the company she interned for. Without the help of Career Services, she might not be in that position. From determining the field of work a student wants to go into to preparing for the final job interview, the staff in Career Services can help students at any point of their career search.
Career Services can help students decide on a major, find part-time on-campus or off-campus employment, edit or revise resumes, practice interview skills and decide on graduate programs, according to Nair.
“We can help students with most things related to career and future plans,” Nair says.
“These are all things that can help make you successful in the real world and with a free resource like this, there is no reason why students shouldn’t take advantage of this,” says Tom Van Bogaert, a junior finance and business administration major.
In fact, Reyna Gobel, a writer for Forbes believes that Career Services is one of the most helpful resources student have available to them during college.
“The overall purpose of college is to help students find a career path that will lead to a successful, happy future. In other words, a job. It follows, then, that career services is the most important office on campus,” Gobel says.
The Career Services office on the Aurora University campus is located in Eckhart Hall on the third floor in room 316. They are open all year, including the summer months.
For some students, talking about a career after graduation or their undecided major might be intimidating, but Nair can relate.
“I came into college undecided, as I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was the first in my family to finish college — both of my brothers and my dad had started college, but never finished. I knew I wanted to complete my degree, but in what I wasn’t sure,” Nair says.
Eventually an assignment for which Nair had to interview someone who worked in a field she was interested in going into lead her to discover that she wanted to work with college students in a career mentoring role, she says.
Nair found her niche at Aurora University and has been helping student who are not sure what they want to do after graduation or are unsure of how to get there.
“It’s like my second family and my home away from home,” Nair says.
“I know if I have a question about anything pertaining to my career, she is always there to answer any question I have and help me out in any situation,” Van Bogaert says. “I plan on going to them to make sure my resume is perfect before I go out in the real world and need to impress employers.”
It typically takes students anywhere from six to eight months to find a post-graduation job, according to Nair so it is not surprising that many seniors have mixed feelings about moving into the working world.
“I think I am a mixture of both excited and nervous because I am nearing the end of my routine that I’ve had for the last four years and will soon begin a new routine that I will have to get used to. I’ve built so many relationships at AU and I feel as though I’ve grown so much over four years,” Kwasniak says.
“I think that what I’ve found most beneficial is focusing on my cover letter and resume the most and customizing them to each position I apply to. Yes, this takes more time, but it’s worth it because I’ve received far more responses than just sending out a generic resume,” she says.
Kwasniak says she has a few potential jobs for after graduation, but for graduating seniors who do not feel as prepared Nair suggest they come speak with her or Hoehne in Career Services.
“Come into Career Services. We can look over your resume, give you ideas of places to look, help you figure out what direction you might want to go and work with you throughout the entire process,” Nair says.