My job, like so many others at IU, boils down to a really simple concept – serve students.
For Arts & Science Career Services, where I work, this usually means preparing students for a career that they love and helping them seek and reach those opportunities.
While our mission is clear and our staff is dedicated, each of us has been shaped by our own experiences and our role is specialized to best serve undergraduate students. My role within the office is to coordinate employer relations and events specifically tailored for our students who have global skills and international interests – typically those within the School of Global & International Studies (SGIS).
As a graduate from IU’s International Studies program (before there was an SGIS), I had a chance to explore my fascination with culture and learn about what I considered global concerns. Simultaneously, I worked through coursework that would prepare me to apply to medical school.
My plans completely changed my sophomore year, when I had a chance to do something that I encourage all students to do – explore. Everyone’s career exploration is different as they learn about their interests and values. Hoosiers are lucky in that they have an office dedicated to helping them do that – the Career Development Center.
My career exploration led me to Manguinhos, a small fishing village in Northeastern Brazil, where I learned from, and volunteered with, government-sponsored programs.
Our students’ exploration may be similar or it may include a local externship with a non-profit; shadowing a PR specialist at a large firm; an internship in the Bay Area; or volunteering with a wildlife center. The list of opportunities goes on and on.
Like our graduating seniors, there was a moment in my college career when I had to start making decisions about what was next.
Outside of my family and friends, I solicited help in making that decision from IU faculty and staff. The Arts & Sciences Career Services office can prepare students to choose the best option for them. Students can also use the MyJobs system to search for jobs in their field of interest.
I chose to go to graduate school and eventually applied for and was accepted to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine.
As I’d learned earlier in life, nothing quite focuses interests like a challenge. Peace Corps service was just that. It was the single most challenging professional experience of my life and eventually led me back to Bloomington.
I love IU.
I love our students. They have chosen to study in a place where opportunities are plentiful and they have unlimited potential for growth. My job brings me full circle to work with students I directly relate to and encourage them to explore, learn, serve, and build. The language and cultural skills that SGIS students build are in high demand across all sectors (public, private, and nonprofit). In an increasingly globalized world, we need global leaders to take the helm.
As associate director of career services assigned to the School of Global & International Studies, I speak with and engage organizations that want to hire our students. Many of them participate in on-campus events such as career fairs and information sessions or host office hours.
Our office also teaches career courses designed to support students in the college-to-career path. We even have a specialized course, Q296, co-taught by an SGIS academic advisor and an SGIS career advisor.
The Arts & Sciences Career Services office continues to improve and better our practice of serving students and helping them achieve their goals. It’s incredibly rewarding to see IU students take advantage of these services and build their careers.