“Hey Curt, What’s the Deal With This EL Thing?”

By Kate Grove

Niner Nation! Exciting news out of the UCC this week! We’ve welcomed a new Graduate Assistant to the office. Curt is the new face around the office and he’s going to be helping out with our Experiential Learning Program (EL). I figured this would be as good a time as any to introduce you to Curt,  so the PCAs teamed up to think of some questions we could ask Curt so we could all get to know him (and the EL Program) a little better.

What’s your favorite movie? The Lord of the Rings trilogy

What is your favorite quote or inspirational saying? “There’s always something to be joyful about”-Professor John Finson, UNC Chapel Hill on Beethoven’s 9th symphony

Where are you from? My hometown is Charlotte, NC. My undergraduate degree is from UNC Chapel Hill (Rah Rah Carolina-lina).

What should every student know about EL? It is the absolute best way to gain real world experience while in school and increase your job opportunities when you graduate!

Curt is exactly right! Participating in Experiential Learning is a great way to gain experience in your field and increase your job opportunities. When employers recruit college graduates, relevant work experience is one of the most important factors in their hiring decision. Experience outside of the classroom will help you develop career-related skills, learn about the world of work, build your resume, make valuable contacts, and choose a career direction. EL programs provide you with supervised, hands-on training and they provide you the opportunity to gain practical work experience on the job.

There are three types of Experiential Learning students can participate in. 49erships or service learning experiences are typically one semester of work or service related to your career interests. You work under the supervision and monitoring of practicing professionals. Work is part-time during the fall and spring semesters and may be full-time during the summer. While 49erships and service learning are non-credit opportunities, students can receive transcript notation for their experience. Both paid and volunteer opportunities exist.

Co-op programs are similar to 49erships but are sponsored by both the academic department and the University Career Center and involve multiple semesters of full time or part-time work, tied to your major, with the same employer. Co-ops are always paid, and students receive transcript notation for their co-op work session.

Internships can be acquired through the academic department and typically count as a course for a major requirement.

If you’re interested in EL, a great way to get involved would be to attend our Public Service Career Fair on Tuesday, October 5, 11a-3p in the Lucas Room of the Cone Center. If you missed our Public Service Career Fair but are still interested in EL, stop by our office to welcome Curt and get some more information about the Experiential Learning Program, or check out our website, http://career.uncc.edu.

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