Dig Baton Rouge

Graduation: What Now?

By Rickey Miller

 

As many LSU students prepare to graduate in a couple weeks, many are asking the question, “What now?”  LSU Olinde Career Center is there to answer that question, guiding students in the right path when making the next steps in their career journey.

“LSU Olinde Career Center offers comprehensive group services for current students and alumni,” Associate Director of Employment Services Trey Truitt said.   Some of these services include resume reviews, career advising, mock interviews, and an online-based program called Careers2geaux.com, which acts as a job search database for employers and students.  Truitt added that up to 1,200 jobs are posted through their services each month and approximately 500 companies come to campus to recruit each year, with 5,200 resulting job interviews.

The Olinde Career Center is in its newly located area on the first floor of the LSU Student Union, where it moved this semester. Truitt said the new location  has led to increased visibility and more foot traffic from students.

“We can now capture students that we never have captured before,” said Kanissa McKay, Communication Manager for the career center.

R. Taylor Cox, graduate assistant for career service explained that another great feature the career center offers now is the “Career Peer Program.”  In this program, students ranging from sophomore to seniors are trained in the career center just as the faculty and staff is trained; however, instead of seeing these students in the office, these trainees are out in Free Speech Alley and other various location on campus servicing other students like themselves.

“It breaks the barrier,” Cox said. “Sudents aren’t so nervous to come into office.” Another great benefit of the Career Peer Program is the fact students feel more comfortable speaking to other students like themselves – students who may have had the same challenges and questions as they have.

McKay, Truitt, and Cox explain that another reason they have seen a growing number of students take advantage of career services is due to fact that instructors and other faculty members are coming onboard and pushing their students to visit and use the services offered. Their advice to students is to “begin early.”  They suggest undergrads begin being proactive in thinking about their careers long before their final semesters in college.  Truitt says most jobs are looking for young people nine months prior to actual graduations.

However, Truitt and McKay explain that it’s not too late.  Even if you have recently graduated or you’re in the process of graduating, LSU career services are still available to you six months after you have graduated for absolutely free. McKay added that career services can help from the start, making sure students are taking the right courses to set themselves up for the future.  “We want to make sure they are in the right major so that the careers they take in the future matches what they are learning now,” she said.  Whether you are a freshmen looking for a job or a graduating senior wondering what career options you have, LSU Olinde Career Center is available for you.  Said Truitt: “Students should take advantage of our services.”

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