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Career Services Gives Students Tools to Succeed

October 13, 2016

LSU Shreveport is equipping students with experiential opportunities and launching them into real-world success. With over 30 organizations in the UC Ballroom last Wednesday, students and alumni were able to seek out internships, as well as part-time and full-time jobs at the fall career fair.

A total of 70 were in attendance at the fair, 81 percent being students and 19 percent alumni. Of the students, 50 percent were juniors and seniors with intentions of finding internship or job leads. The majority of majors represented were in the computer science, community health, and business disciplines. The statistics from the event show that almost 50% of the businesses were looking for all majors.

"It drives home the argument that this isn't for one program of study it's really open for everybody and we hope that more folks will attend the fair in the future," said Jennie Flynn-McKevitt, the new director of career services.

Preparing for the fair takes time to research the organizations attending, proofread the resume, and strengthen the presentation to employers. But at the end of the day, the rewards are well worth the effort.

"The career fair helps both the exploring students and the internship and job seekers," Flynn-McKevitt said. "For exploring students who aren't really sure what they want to do when they graduate, it helps them to talk to professionals from a variety of industries to explore career paths they know that they're interested in but also to find things that they hadn't thought of before that actually might be a really good fit for them. It's really good for all students to practice presenting themselves to professionals because it only gets easier the more you do it. Even if freshmen want to come to practice talking to big, scary professionals, they're going to do better the next time they come because they've been able to say those words and not have it feel funny when it comes out of their mouths. The internship and job seekers are why the recruiters come- they want to find talent that they can bring into their organizations."

Flynn-McKevitt said the benefit of students talking to professionals is that they get insider information that someone like her might not be able to offer them in one-on-one appointments and workshops with career services.

"The interesting thing about career fairs is that it is just one tool in the internship and job search toolbox, so while it is great to have 36 organizations in one room at one time for students to talk to them all, that might not be a good fit for everybody," Flynn-McKevitt said. "Some might be looking to go somewhere else geographically or they found that the organizations that were there didn't fit exactly with what they want to go into."

Reasons like these are exactly why career services is open to students. The department offers individual resume and cover letter critiques, one-on-one job and internship search strategies appointments, and career-related workshops so that students have an understanding of what resources they can use to execute an effective job search.

"I think the foundation of a good job search is knowing who you are and what you can offer to an employer," Flynn-McKevitt said. "So taking the time to sit down, think about, and articulate what your skills, assets, personality traits, and values are and how they align with the organizations that you're hoping get positive attention from can be very helpful. I think a lot of people have ideas about what those things are about themselves, but not might have the words to express them effectively, so we at career services can sit down and do assessments that will give students the language to state their intentions in a compelling way to employers."

CLICK HERE for more information about career services at LSUS.