With graduation being less than a month away, the UW-Eau Claire Career Services staff continues to show support for students in their search for future jobs.
Staci Heidtke, the associate director of Career Services, said the office has shifted the way they do their work, offering virtual appointments instead.
“It has been a challenging time,” Heidtke said. “Everyone has been facing challenges with virtual work, but we have been very busy and engaged.”
Heidtke said Career Services has added COVID-19 resources that explain how to job search and network from home. They also launched a four-week webinar series on the same page that students can access anytime, she said.
“In the past couple of years, we have created a number of webinars,” Heidtke said. “We’ve always wanted to honor the fact that people can’t always attend an in-person presentation.”
During this time, Career Services has stressed that they offer life-long support to alumni even after graduation, Heidtke said.
“I think it is very important to us as a Blugold family,” Heidtke said. “We’re there for graduates and we’re able to help.”
Heidtke said more students have been using Career Services for the first time because it had been a lot easier to conduct the job search in the past.
She said students have been overwhelmed by being limited to virtual job searches since there has been a decrease in the number of posted internships.
“I think that the work interns do is real and meaningful,” Heidtke said. “So, we are trying to help Blugolds to build their resumes to be the best candidates out there.”
Mary Cait McManamon, a fourth-year business management student, said she had a job almost lined up right before COVID-19 and she was disappointed to let go of that opportunity.
“Thankfully, I have been having a lot of interviews. I was able to find places that are hiring,” McManamon said.
McManamon said she has enough experience with resumes, cover letters and job applications, but Career Services has been helping her to make sure she is on the right path.
“The biggest thing for me was getting that reassurance that I am doing everything I can,” McManamon said. “There is so much uncertainty with everyone graduating at this time.”
McManamon said a career counselor advised her to reach out to employers she had interviewed with prior to COVID-19, as well as maintain her online presence on LinkedIn.
“That is the only way employers can get to know us right now,” McManamon said.
Corey Swenson, a fourth-year sociology student, said Career Services has been very helpful in his recent appointments.
“Even though the appointments are being held over the phone,” Swenson said, “I am very thankful for the level of assistance and feedback they are giving me on entering the job world.”
Swenson said the job search has been more stressful than before. He said it has been strange and unusual to have no in-person interviews.
“It has been an adjustment,” Swenson said. “Career Services have given me many tools and tips on how to be successful.”
McManamon said this time is a good opportunity to show employers how well new hires can adapt to stressful situations and take on new challenges.
Regarding future plans, Heidtke said Career Services will be continuing to help students and do some planning around career events in the fall.
“We have reached out to employers. Many of them still intend to recruit with us, but it might look a little different,” Heidtke said.
Heidtke said the offices have been involved in town hall meetings and will continue to collaborate with other employers and career services in order to meet the needs of students.
Klavina can be reached at [email protected].