Upon enrollment at UTSA, many students are told to visit their advisors regularly. Advisors are useful to assist students in registering for classes and building a comprehensive graduation plan yet, the UTSA Career Center is often an overlooked tool to help students prepare for the future.
Audrey Magnuson, Director of Career Services, describes the mission of the Career Center as one trying to “provide lifelong skills for students and alumni so that they find meaningful employment.”
According to Magnuson, it is most common for students to walk into the Career Center looking for a job. “They’ll walk up and say, ‘Hi, I need a job. Can you help me find a job?’”
While anyone can visit the Career Center, Magnuson explains that it is especially important for seniors to visit before they graduate. Graduating seniors can easily find jobs before they graduate; however, if they wait until after graduation, Magnuson explains they will have only the left-over jobs available to them, which aren’t often the jobs desired.
The Career Center provides resources for students to find jobs whether they are currently enrolled, unemployed alumni, freshmen or seniors. The center has a multitude of jobs both on and off campus.
Along with providing career advice to students, the Career Center consults with students to develop job search and interview skills while also hosting a multitude of workshops, events and career fairs. Make-or-break tools, such as a well-written resume, can be constructed at the Career Center.
Networking is one essential tool facilitated by the Career Center. Career fairs allow students of all majors to briefly meet with representatives from multiple companies in the San Antonio area. At career fairs hosted for all majors, it is common for as many as 75 employers to advertise available job positions to students. Entry-level jobs to ones requiring experience can be obtained at career fairs.
What should students do to prepare for a career fair? Magnuson explains that a complaint employers have about students is how little they know about the company which they are applying. Students should also arrive at career fairs dressed professionally. “Think of it as a first interview,” says Magnuson.
While many students have had trouble finding employment during difficult economic times, Magnuson explains that an improving economy has seen more jobs being available and offered to UTSA students. USAA, a common employer in the San Antonio area, filled an interview schedule with over 45 students at one career fair. According to Magnuson, these career fairs have been “highly successful.”
One feature of the Career Center that many students may be unfamiliar with is the Career Closet. It should be no surprise to students that potential employers expect students to arrive at interviews wearing business attire. The Career Closet allows students to check out business professional clothing, similar to how one would check out a book from the library.
Rowdy Links is another popular tool available to students. This online job forum allows employers from all around the San Antonio area to advertise available positions to UTSA students. Although commonly misconstrued as a site to find only service industry jobs, Rowdy Links has jobs ranging from construction manager to manufacturing engineer to medical scribe– to name a few.
While students can benefit from speaking to an academic advisor, the Career Center offers advice not available anywhere else on campus. Rather than focusing primarily on obtaining a degree, the center helps students work towards meaningful employment. “We do not do class advising,” explains Magnuson. “We help with advising on what major to declare. We can help decide where [student] interest and value lie.”
The Career Center ensures accessibility to students by holding daily hours during which students can get help. The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Walk-in hours are from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays to assist students.
More information can be found by visiting the Career Center website: www.utsa.edu/careercenter, or by following the Career Center Twitter: @hireroadrunners