The Racquet

Career Services is ready to connect students to their futures

https://www.uwlax.edu/career-services/

Rachel Mergen, Staff Reporter

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The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Career Service staff is set with the skills to help students meet their greatest potential by connecting and preparing students for careers and internships.

Director of Career Services Becky Vianden is happy to look over the department each day and supervise the staff as they work to better students’ lives. Her and the career services department is happy to “help prepare students for the work world.”

Vianden and her staff help students find the best internships and jobs for them, which may lead to some undecided students deciding upon the perfect major. One of her tactics to do so is by having the students complete an interest inventory. There are two ways for students to complete one of these inventories: through the brand-new Handshake, which enables the students to directly learn about their results, and through another which is done through the advising of a staff member who will interpret the results.

Handshake is a tool that has led to an explosion of new internships and jobs, according to Vianden. The website enables employers to have an easier ability to post their positions. Students can also have an easier time finding careers specific to them, and Vianden comforted that any major can find something that suits their interests.

“The goal for us is to help students explore their goals and help them prepare for what is after graduation,” Vianden stated. “A lot of what we do is building confidence.” This confidence enables students to become the best employees possible in the work field, along with helping to find them the perfect positions.

Brenda Leahy is one of the four career advisors in the career services department. She is ready to help students with questions who are registered in the colleges of education and business, enabling her to truly get to know the students, faculty and employers related to these fields.

Leahy’s days are defined by individual appointments, mock interviews, cover letter reviews, class presentations and teaching a business class. In addition, she also helps conduct the career events that the university puts on periodically.

With one-on-one conversations with students, Leahy is able to “help students sell their skill sets to employers” and “help students identify their interests and values and help find career opportunities that match them.”

One of Leahy’s most enjoyable tasks is helping to prepare students who are planning on traveling to the International career fair in Northern Iowa. If students enter into an international job following the fair, Leahy sets out to skype with these alumni, so that they can speak with students who are currently looking to follow a similar path.

Each day, Leahy’s goals are to “listen to the student’s needs” and “help open their eyes to the numerous opportunities available.”

On February 28, Career Services will be hosting their major Spring career fair. For the first time, this event will include three career tours, which will enable students to learn more about the employers and help them network. The tour guides will “help the students with their exploring.”

If the student is interested in speaking to fellow peers, four are available through the service that can help with resumes, mock interviews and initial questions.

To make an appointment, students can visit Handshake, the Career Services webpage, call 785-8514, visit 1140 Centennial Hall, or email [email protected]. The department is open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Career Services is ready to connect students to their futures