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New Year, New Programs, New People!

By: Carley Foster

If you’re entering your Sophomore, Junior, or Senior year at UNC Charlotte, chances are the college experience doesn’t seem all that shiny and new anymore. The excitement and anticipation of the new academic year might be dampened by buying textbooks, the hassle of moving into a new residence hall (or your first apartment) or standing in line for a parking pass.
On the other hand, if you happen to be a Freshman, the first week of college is probably exciting, nerve-wracking, and confusing all at once. Wherever you are on your academic journey, you can be sure that there are tons of new services, organizations, and activities on campus for you to experience. The University Career Center is no exception, and we are excited to share with you some great opportunities to take advantage of as you start your new year at UNC Charlotte.

University Professional Internship Program (UPIP):
Are you looking for relevant work experience?
Would you like to build your resume by completing an internship?
Would you like to get paid for it?

If so, the University Professional Internship Program, or UPIP, might be for you! UPIP is designed for undergraduate students to gain valuable work experience and explore possible career choices in their field right here on campus. Students in UPIP work with their academic department for either academic credit or a 49ership (non-credit, but noted on your transcript). To apply for the program, students must be able to work 10-15 hours per week, must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours during the semester of the internship, and must have good academic standing. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors have until August 30th to apply, and internships will begin in September. Check out our Fall Newsletter if you’re interested in learning more.
Washington Center Internships: Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors with a minimum 2.75 GPA are able to apply for a Washington Center Internship. This internship is tailored to the student’s individual interests, and they are awarded a $6,000 scholarship. The best part? Students chosen for the Washington Center Internship will be studying and completing internships in Washington, DC! If you are interested in applying, October 1st is the deadline for the Spring semester. Remember to make an appointment with the University Career Center to receive feedback on your resume and cover letter before you apply! You can find the application by visiting this website.

New Career Advisors: If you have never paid a visit to your major’s career advisor, there’s no time like the present! The University Career Center recently welcomed new career advisors:
Megan Corkery, Assistant Director & Career Advisor for Engineering, Architecture, and Physics
Stephanie Saunders, Assistant Director for Freshman Career Planning
Neal Robinson, Assistant Director & Job Search Advisor
Tori Stevens, Assistant Director for Career Education

Career Advisors are great resources as you begin thinking about your career after college, whether you are about to graduate or just getting started. If you are interested in making an appointment, stop by the University Career center during our drop-in hours to set up a time to meet with a career counselor for your major. For more information, visit our staff directory.

How To Work the Expo – Tips for Before, During, and After

By: Anna Salas

The Career & Public Service Expo is coming up very soon! On Wednesday, September 12, employers, graduate school representatives, and government organizations will all be here at UNC Charlotte looking for students just like YOU to serve as full-time employees, interns, and future grad students.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for UNCC students to talk and network with recruiters and perhaps even obtain an interview, but nevertheless, I’ve had some students shake their heads ‘no’ when I ask if they will be attending. In many cases, they shy away because talking to employers can be a daunting task. Thankfully, adequate preparation and knowledge of what you should be doing before, during, and after a career fair can both ease your nerves and maximize your chances of career fair success!

BEFORE THE FAIR

  • Make copies of your resume: Ensure that you have enough copies of your resume to hand out to recruiters.  Also bring a pen and paper to take notes when talking with employers. If you need assistance writing a resume or want to get yours checked over, the University Career Center has drop-in hours daily for students to have their resumes critiqued. We will also have pre-fair resume critiques on Monday, September 10 and Tuesday, September 11 from 2 – 5 pm.
  • Pick and choose: Of the companies and organizations attending, know which ones you are interested in (for a list of registered employers, updated regularly, click HERE).
  • Do your research: Do a little bit of online research regarding the company or organization so that you appear knowledgeable and thoroughly interested to the employers. Specifically take note of information that is not mentioned on the website so that you can ask questions, along with info that impressed you. Employers will be much more likely to remember someone who knows about their company and what they do.
  •  Prepare and practice your 20-second “elevator pitch”:  Think about and practice what you will say to a recruiter when you hand them your resume. This should include information such as your name, year in college (freshman, sophomore, etc.), achievements, skills, and special qualities that you possess. See the following videos to get an idea of what your pitch may look like. Click HERE.

DURING THE FAIR

  • Introduce yourself well: As they are nearly everywhere, first impressions are key at career fairs. Introduce yourself with a firm handshake and a friendly smile.
  • Dress professionally: Dressing professionally demonstrates your maturity, preparation, and commitment to your professional future. For further information on how to dress professionally and appropriately, check out our popular blog on what to wear.
  • Arrive early: Arrive early to prevent yourself from having to wait in long lines. Turn off your cell phone and double check your appearance before heading into the career fair.
  • Bring a portfolio case:  Some sort of portfolio carrying case can be useful for storing your resumes and additional paper for notes. DO NOT bring too many things to carry, since you will be shaking hands with employers.

AFTER THE FAIR

  • Take notes: Jot down information from conversations you had with specific employers, including contact information, job specifics, and anything else important that you may forget. It’s important to do this in a timely fashion following your departure from the fair, or you may start mixing up your conversations with employers.
  • Follow up with a thank-you note: Follow up with a thank you note, thanking the employer for speaking with you. Recap your interest in the company, and your skills and abilities that would make you a good fit for the company.
  • Follow up with a phone call: Another follow up option is a call to the company (or the recruiter if you have his or her specific contact information) regarding next-step procedures if this was not already explained to you. Be bold and ask for an interview if you want one!

For further information on how to prepare for a job fair, view the University Career Center’s online presentation, “How to Work a Job Fair”, or stop in and see us in Atkins 150 to get answers to any of your career-related questions.

Best of luck!

Listen Up! It’s Career Expo time!

By: Mercedes Fiorillo

Why should you care about attending the Fall Career & Public Service Expo? School just started, there is too much to do- you don’t know what you want.  WRONG!!!! Take it from me, the earlier you start the better. 

Freshman:

You may not find a job– but you DO need to decide what you want to do. So, it would make sense for you to “scope out”   a career fair because you will know who is hiring what.  If there are specific companies you like- go up to them, talk to the recruiters and find out everything you need to know to get your foot in the door. This is your opportunity to be one step ahead of your classmates.

Sophomores:

You may find a job. The Expo is for both internships and full-time jobs. Have your resume ready, dress to impress and have lots of good questions. Think of a sales pitch as to why you are a better candidate than your junior level classmates. Also, the same rule for the freshman applies to the sophomore. Find the companies you want to work for and learn how to work for them.

Juniors:

You should find a job or internship.  Internships are KEY this year, not only for experience, but because companies like to hire their interns after they graduate. Your internship employer already invested in you and, as long as you did a good job, they’d rather hire you vs. finding and testing a new person. Wouldn’t it be a great feeling to know you already have an internship before the semester is even over? And wouldn’t it be great to start your senior year with an internship under your belt AND a full-time offer? By attending the Expo you open this door.

Seniors:

You better find a job. This is your opportunity to find full-time employment when you graduate. You don’t want to be scrambling at the very end trying to study for finals and looking for a job.  Polish your resume, put on a suit (yes, suit), attend a mock interview, and do your research. This is your one shot to meet a massive amount of recruiters at one time looking to hire a UNC Charlotte student.  Many of them won’t return until next fall!

I took advantage of these opportunities when I first started at UNC Charlotte and it has opened a multitude of doors for me. I am one of the few that isn’t worried about finding a job when I graduate this December, and as long as you meet recruiters, find internships, etc.- you can be there too.  The Fall Career & Public Service Expo is September 12th (less than 3 weeks away) – see you there!

Here to Help: Meeting with Your Career Advisor

How is the Career Advisor different from my Academic Advisor? How do I find out who is my Career Advisor?

Every semester, around registration time, this is a rush among students to meet with their advisors. Some students meet because they just need their registration holds removed, while others feel lost–unsure of what courses they should consider next. While seeing an academic advisor is very important, students should not stop there. The Career Center also offers advising–career advising, that is.

Unknown to many, each student is assigned a Career Advisor based on their major (or lack of major). Students can meet with their Career Advisor to discussing choosing a major, gaining experience, resume writing, the job search, and much more. A Career Advisor will not tell you what coursework you should take, but they can discuss how your choice of a major (and minors) can determine what fields you can enter after graduation. Career Advisors can help students through the career development process, which is essential for post-graduation success. It is strongly encouraged that students meet with their Career Advisor early in their academic career, and to meet with them as often as needed.

Students can meet with their Career Advisors by making an appointment for a 30 minute session, or students can stop by during drop-in hours. Drop-in’s are a chance to sit down and speak with an advisor for a brief session of 10-15 minutes, with no appointment needed. Students who are interested in completing a self-assessment can also meet with a Career Advisor to go over the results. These sessions are usually 1 hour. Students who are preparing to apply for internships or full-time work also have the opportunity to participate in a Mock Interview with their Career Advisor! This is a chance for students to get instant feedback on their professional appearance and interviewing skills. As stated, Career Advisors are here to help student in every step of the way! It is so important that students take the opportunity to meet with an advisor!

To find out who is your Career Advisor (or to make an appointment), call our front desk at 704-687-2231. Students can also check out this link: http://career.uncc.edu/staff.cfm?type=advisor&sort=last_name. –ebs