Campus programs help students prepare for life after college

A major aspect of higher education is career readiness, which is why the University of Oregon has resources across campus to help prepare students for the workforce.

The first stop for many students is the University Career Center in Tykeson Hall, where career coaches can assist with practice interviews, graduate school applications, or the creation of a resume and cover letter.

Though the Tykeson office is the campuswide career center, many schools and colleges also have their own career offices and advisers. Advisers in those centers can discuss how career and academics work together and the essential skills common to both, like critical thinking, teamwork and collaboration, professionalism, and other career competencies .

Outside of career centers around campus, the university provides access to career readiness software and programs. One of the most commonly used sites is Handshake.

Known best for being a place to find on-campus job opportunities, Handshake also features professional events that can help develop career competencies like oral and written communications and leadership. By setting up a profile on Handshake, students can make their skills and interests known to employers.

Another useful tool to use with Handshake is Big Interview, which provides interview practice.

Additionally, LinkedIn Learning is now free through the university. Providing training and resources based on individual experience and use, LinkedIn Learning can further develop skills and career competencies, from being adept with digital technology to connecting cross-culturally, regardless of professional background. LinkedIn Learning can be used by staff and faculty as well.

“LinkedIn Learning is a valuable tool for students seeking to develop the skill sets which will help to enhance their career readiness,” said Paul Timmins, executive director of the University Career Center. “From thousands of offerings, students can find tips and tricks for every aspect of career development, from setting a career path, to the job hunt, to networking and reaching professional goals, to developing mentor/mentee relationships.”

Online preparation is valuable, but in-person experience is hard to replace, and the UO has many real-world opportunities available. Internships, student clubs and research projects provide students with out-of-the-classroom experience.

One of those experiences is available through the Portland Internship Experience. Offered exclusively to undergraduate students, interns work up to 40 hours a week in the summer while developing professional skills and participating in social activities. The applications for summer 2022 will open in January.

By Sarah Bathke, Student Services and Enrollment Management