The Patricia and Harold Toppel Career Center at the University of Miami is setting the standard across the country for innovation and forward-thinking. More than just helping students get a job, the Center also encourages students to create a job. Regardless of which path a student takes, an effective career planning process begins the first day a student steps onto campus.
The Center offers an array of career services, resources, and programs that are available to all degree-seeking University students and alumni, as well as information that can enhance the student’s experience as he or she selects a major and seeks or creates employment or admission to graduate school.
The Center’s vision Empowering and Connecting a World of ‘Canes, is aimed at helping students meet and develop relationships with professionals in their area(s) of interest. The Toppel Career Center and The Launch Pad provide many opportunities for students to network with employers and alumni, including panel programs, speed networking, etiquette dinners, career fairs, and on-campus recruiting.
A perfect example of furthering our vision is the recently launched Student & Alumni Career Symposium, which brings together individuals for a full-day conference to engage and learn from each other regarding career-related topics.
The Toppel Career Center provides many services and programs designed to prepare students to explore careers and meet with employers. Advising services include individual appointments with career advisors, walk-in advising hours, and mock interview appointments.
The Center offers career assessments that assist students in narrowing down career options. Each semester there are programs such as Resume and Cover Letter Writing, Interviewing Skills, Internships 101, and Alternative Options after Graduation. Additionally, the Career Development Series targets several industries or majors each semester and offers a panel of alumni and employers to help students learn about careers in a selected field. The Toppel Career Center also has a staff of Peer Advisors representing the different colleges and schools within UM.
Career Expo is the largest career fair, and it occurs twice each year – in September and February. These events typically bring in over 100 employers and 1,000 students and alumni. Toppel also organizes smaller industry-specific career fairs that focus on accounting, architecture, education, non-profits and government, green careers, and nursing and health science.
Lastly, the On-Campus Recruiting program brings employers to campus for company information sessions and to interview students for jobs and internships in one of our five interview suites. Students can apply for these positions through their CaneZone account, Toppel’s online career management system.
The Center is a member of the University Career Action Network (UCAN) which is a highly selective consortium of institutions across the country. Member institutions share internship opportunities, thus creating more options for students. Participating schools include Brown, Duke, Emory, Princeton, and Harvard. Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one internship during their college experience; therefore, these partnerships help to set them up for success.
UM was the first in the country to have an entrepreneurship center within the career center. This was done intentionally. Entrepreneurs are not just business school students. By establishing The Launch Pad in the career center, it is in a neutral zone. As a result, 80% of the students who have utilized the services represent majors outside of business.
Regardless of a student’s interests, the Toppel Career Center and The Launch Pad are here to help them use their knowledge to plan for their future. Students are encouraged to join clubs, volunteer, test out different course offerings, participate in research, and intern in order to build on knowledge and enhance their skills.
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