For the University Career Services, its tagline is their mission:
Our services. Your achievement.
If you go
What: Fall Career Days (Business Attire Required)
When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 (STEM students)
and Wednesday, Oct. 4 (all students)
Where: University Center’s Tennessee and Chattanooga Rooms
The philosophy drives everything it does and have been doing, which includes spending the past year overhauling the steps it takes to serve the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga community.
To reflect its goal of forging relationships with students during their first few weeks on campus, its name was changed from Career and Student Employment Center to University Career Services. To help students succeed, Career Services tries to foster a well-rounded approach to learning and career preparation.
Students are welcome to utilize the University Career Services office the moment they arrive on campus. It is an excellent great resource that helps students pinpoint what they might want out of a career, what major they should pursue to achieve that goal and how extracurricular activities such as volunteer work and part-time jobs are all steps to make it happen.
One of those initiatives is the upcoming Fall Career Fair, taking place Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 3-4. By bringing representatives from local companies and nonprofits to campus, the fair will give students a chance to build relationships that can lead to new opportunities or employment, a crucial part of University Career Services’ objectives.
Finding a path
Before you go
Resume Development Sept. 27 3:30-4:30 p.m. UC Cherokee Room
Professional Dress Tips Sept. 28 3:30-4:30 p.m. UC Cherokee Room
Resume Doctor Walk-In Hours Sept. 29 1-5 p.m. University Career Services-UC room 315
For students who aren’t quite sure what educational direction they want to take, University Career Services has career inventories and assessments for students who might need a bit of a nudge. Access some of those resources online here.
The office is currently creating career maps to illustrate the paths students might take to reach certain jobs or careers they are interested in. Robert Liddell, director of University Career Services, uses the example of a GPS app.
“If you were to use a GPS on your phone, you would type in you coordinates, where you want to end up, and they’ll suggest some routes to get there,” he explains. “You can take a scenic route. For instance, I go to North Carolina to visit my family. So I can go through the woods on backroads or go up through Knoxville and back down, staying on the major roads. The career maps are intended to behave similarly.”
While the maps aren’t turn-by-turn routes, he says, they highlight some milestones that students should achieve while they are still at UTC and showcase ways to reach those milestones.
“There are some experiential things that a student would be wise to pick up. I get the fear that some students believe it’s just a sequential thing where I do A, B, C, D and I can’t do B before I finish A. That’s not the truth.
“We’re always working on A, B,C and D at the same time, but sometimes we reprioritize and allocate resources in certain ways that help us to get the thing done that’s most pressing.”
Students meet employers
University Career Services is hosting as many as 13 career fairs this academic year. A schedule of some of those events can be found here. Some are broad and intended for students of all majors or interests, but others are much more specialized.
“We’ve learned that if you create a big room where you find hundreds of employers and thousands of students, sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s not good,” Liddell says.
“When you have a company that has a lot of needs—a large amount of open positions and many academic paths that point to those positions—I think the larger career fairs are extremely effective. But when you’re looking for one certain skillset, sometimes a more segmented fair would be preferable.
Often, University Career Services packs the week leading up to on-campus job fairs with events that prepare students for meeting with potential employers. Throughout the year, “Moc” interviews and next day resume critique are always available.
“We want students to know that we aren’t here to make resumes for them. We aren’t here to make decisions for them. We are here to serve them as they are making those decisions and they are creating those documents and plans. We want to come behind them and celebrate their achievements with them,” Liddell says.