Additional student and parent resources can be found in Student Affairs.
What does Career Services have to offer?
Career Services offers a wide range of services for students including referrals to internship/cooperative education opportunities; part-time, temporary and summer employment referral program; career fair events; internet resources; and assistance with job search strategies for graduates.
When should students start visiting Career Services?
Career Services welcomes students from their first days on campus. Even though the first few months of a student's college career can be quite busy and sometimes Career Services is not the first office on campus students think about orienting themselves to, students seeking part-time (on or off campus) positions will need to register with the office as soon as possible, since on-campus opportunities are limited. You may also want to look at our job search timeline for students.
Where can students who are unsure about which major to choose go to receive assistance?
These students should visit University Division Advising, located in room 1142 of the Education Center. Students who have not yet declared an academic major or who have second thoughts about the one they have initially chosen should schedule an appointment for interest testing and/or follow-up activities. Students may also consider registering for Career Planning, a one-credit-hour course that addresses with these same issues.
Should students work while they're in school?
A part-time job is an excellent way for students to build their resumes and work on their transferable skills, such as organization, communication, time management and leadership. It also depends on the student. Some students have good time management skills and know how to use their time wisely. Others must work for basic necessities, not just to maintain a lifestyle.
For freshmen, however, free time might be better spent participating in intramurals, learning to cook, joining a campus club or organization, learning computer skills, or just making new friends.
What should students do to secure on campus positions?
Students seeking on-campus jobs will find that they have a great deal of competition. The few vacancies that do occur generally do so at the beginning of the fall semester; a lesser number may also occur in January. Most campus jobs are clerical, requiring keyboarding and customer service skills. Others, such as monitors in the computer labs and the drafters who work in the campus engineer's office, require special technical skills. Most student worker jobs pay minimum wage. Campus student workers and students on work study may not work more than 20 hours per week.
Students who qualify for work-study (a federal financial assistance program) comprise about 125 of the approximately 500 students who are employed at USI during the academic year. These individuals receive referrals through Student Financial Assistance. The other 350-400 students who work on campus are referred to as "student workers" and are referred to openings through Career Services.
Is a part-time job like an internship and how important is it?
Part-time jobs and internships do vary in some ways. Typically, part-time jobs include positions such as wait staff, administrative help and retail sales. Both part-time jobs and internships are ways that work experience can be obtained, although an internship typically offers a student experience that is more closely related to full-time jobs after graduation.
In addition, internships tend to be much more structured, include more supervision and training, and are designed specifically for college students. With their structured professional environment, internships assist students in determining if they want to continue long term in that field. In some cases a full-time job offer may be extended after completing the internship. During their selection process, employers will also consider internships students have held as experience.
Remember both part-time employment and internships can provide valuable learning experiences. They both allow students to gauge their interest in a particular field. In addition they offer opportunities to build transferable skills. A student who has gained related work experience is going to be much more marketable and valuable to employers, compared to those students who have not gained related work experience.
What is the difference between an internship and a co-op?
An internship is a one-semester assignment that occurs toward the end of a student’s academic program. The work assignment is project-oriented and, since training time is very short, the employer assumes that the student has most of the skills needed to do the job. Internships may be paid or un-paid, depending upon the student’s major and the nature of the employer (e.g. non-profit vs. for-profit). Cooperative education assignments are multi-semester commitments between the student and the employer. Since the student works two or more semesters for the same employer, more emphasis is spent on developing the student’s skills over time. Co-op assignments are always paid.
Both programs allow students to integrate classroom learning with career-related work experience. Again, in addition to gaining practical experience, students can clarify their career goals and establish professional contacts.
When is the best time to look for an internship or a co-op?
Students are encouraged to begin their search for an internship or co-op as early as the second semester of their freshman year. The internship and co-op search is a process that requires pre-planning on the part of the student.
How can parents play a role in helping their students with the job search?
Support! Support! Support! Parents and family members should discuss career plans with students and encourage them to seek assistance through Career Services and Internships. Parents and family members may also want to offer to assist them in locating a part-time job, internship or co-op experience to help build their resumes and networks.
If you are in a position to offer these types of experiences, please contact Career Services at 812-464-1865 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do employers look for in potential employees?
For the most part employers look for employees that have a number of skills. The five most important skills are communication (verbal and written), honesty/integrity, teamwork, interpersonal, and motivation/initiative. In addition, they look at the student's academic background (major and GPA), appearance, their comfort level during the interview and their previous experiences (internship/co-op).