The University of Connecticut Center for Career Development (CCD) reported 88 percent of students who graduated last spring found a job within six months after graduating.
80 percent of those graduates reported participating in experiential learning, including internships, co-ops and senior design projects during their time at UConn, according to the CCD.
“That 80 percent falls right in line with the national average,” Jim Lowe, assistant vice provost and executive director of the CCD, said. “And our 88 percent positive outcome rate is about two points above the national average.”
Lowe said more than 66 percent of graduates utilized CCD services during their time at UConn.
“First year experience classes are the first exposure to our services that students have,” Lowe said. “We also offer one-on-one and group services.”
Caitlin Willis, a fourth-semester English major, has utilized CCD services leading up to applying for summer internships.
“They helped me edit my resume and change it accordingly to fit with the internships I applied for,” Willis said. “They also gave me interview tips.”
During the 2017-2018 school year, the CCD held 7,069 career coaching sessions, 514 career-related presentations and hosted 880 employers at various career fairs with 6,700 students in attendance.
The CCD staff is also available to come to classes and student groups to hold workshops, Lowe said.
“We have a really dedicated staff who is committed to student outcomes,” Lowe said.
Lowe said employers value internships and the CCD works to ensure students are aware of what is available to them.
“The CCD posts all internships and jobs specific to UConn students, and students can set up alerts for postings,” Lowe said.
Compared to semester internships, summer internships are more competitive, Lowe said, as they are more sought after.
Lowe said companies have shifted the experience level they look for in interns.
“Five years ago companies were looking for students in between their junior and senior year, but now they are looking for students in between their sophomore and junior year,” Lowe said.
Career and internship fairs are another resource provided by the CCD, Lowe said.
According to the CCD website (career.uconn.edu), the Spring 2019 Career Fair is Thursday, March 28 in Gampel Pavilion.
“We merged (career and internship fairs) together because some companies may be looking for both,” Lowe said.
Ashley Browning, CCD assistant director of corporate partner relations, said that the CCD works to expand what companies are looking for when coming to UConn career fairs.
“If a company says they only want engineers, we’ll ask about other careers they may want as well,” Browning said. “We see students with a degree in one area end up with a job in a total different area. Some companies want skill sets instead of degrees.”
The CCD website is another resource for students, Lowe said.
“Our website had over 667,000 pageviews last year, compared to only 200,000 five years ago,” Lowe said.
Lowe said the CCD website has the most activity from students around 10 p.m. on Tuesdays.
“(The times) are a total bell curve,” Lowe said. “We are also completely mobile friendly.”
The UConn CCD has taken on a leadership role within the National Association of Colleges and Employers, an organization that connects universities with career services, for its practices and resources available.
“Sometimes we have employers hang out in buildings to talk informally to students,” Lowe said. “Employers are looking to brand on campus.”
Ashley Anglisano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.