Career Services at the University of West Florida has four functional areas that help students with multiple career and volunteer needs. Career planning is one of these areas and is dedicated to helping students reach their potential and goals. This includes tips and strategies on how to choose a major, writing resumes and cover letters, participating in mock interviews, and many other presentations geared toward students' career needs. Career Planning meets with students for one-on-one appointments as well as in group settings.
It is important for students to start their career planning process as soon as possible. Students who make connections between their degree and life after college are more likely to stay in school and finish their degree. Formulating career goals can be a difficult process. Career Services is here to help students with that process. Students can make one-on-one appointments to explore their areas of interest, and make connections between what they are doing in the classroom and their future careers. Students who wait to start the career planning process can end up changing their major multiple times and not graduating on time. The career planning process can seem overwhelming, but students who approach the process sooner are more likely to make a smooth transition to the working world.
Students should start this process as freshmen to maximize their potential and make the most out of their college experience. Your student will be doing much of the self exploration needed to be successful in college during their first year. This exploration is done in the classroom, by taking assessments, or even by volunteering. Research has shown that if students choose majors and corresponding careers based on their own values, interests, personality, and skills they will be more successful in the job search and in their intended field. As parents and family members, it is important to support your students' choice of major and times of possible indecision. Let them know that you understand that they may change their career goals and encourage them to explore new interests by getting relevant experience, conducting an informational interview, or joining a student group related to their interest.
Career Services hosts multiple workshops throughout the semester to help students with all areas of career planning. Major events include the Career Closet, which is part of the Dress for Success program. This program aims to prepare students to dress professionally in the work place. The Career Closet is an event that allows students to purchase slightly used professional wear at extremely low prices. The Etiquette Dinner is another event that Career Services hosts once a year with the help of various departments. This event helps students understand proper dining techniques, and how to network and interview over a meal. Workshops also include information sessions on graduate school, resumes, cover letters, networking, and many other career related topics. Please consult the calendar at uwf.edu/career for a full list of workshops and events designed to assist your student with the career planning process.
By Patrick Ryan
Career Planning Coordinator, Career Services