Gone are the days of buying fancy resumé paper! University of Findlay students and alumni might not often realize that, upon graduation, they need to be prepared not just for landing a job, but also to be armed with the skills to navigate the entire employment experience. This is where UF’s Center for Career and Professional Development comes in.
The center (CCPD) provides students and alumni with valuable knowledge, services, and resources to instill confidence when networking with professionals, interviewing, and landing an internship or employment. “We do a lot of the connecting,” said Brad Hammer ’03, M’13, Director of Career and Professional Development. “We put events together, we post jobs, we create networking opportunities where students can connect with employers, and then the students usually take it from there.”
Among the more unique and interesting perks that the center offers to students and alumni are the Career Closet and professional head shots. The former, which rents suits for up to a week for $5, has proven to be invaluable for those who don’t want to spend a lot for an outfit they might use sparingly. “A lot of times students only need them for interviews or presentations,” explained Susan Eiserle, CCPD’s administrative assistant and Career Closet manager.
Eiserle is also in charge of taking photos for professional social media profiles and other career needs. She said the CCPD has photo booths at career fairs and other events. “I had a pharmacy student tell me at one time that she had a professional photo taken for $40! We take them free of charge for students and alumni,” said Eiserle.
Alexis Binder, CCPD assistant director, said that, while all universities certainly want their graduates to find employment, UF reaches beyond that goal. “We’ve shifted to the idea of trying to empower our students with skills and knowledge to be able to navigate the whole employment experience, because people change jobs all the time now,” she said. “You might not like your first job. Then what? We want you to be able to see all of the possible scenarios on your own.”
The CCPD, which also includes client services specialist Katrina Shull, and professional development counselor Cindy Strathman, collectively want students and alumni to know that the sooner they start considering a life after graduation, the better, and even encourages students to begin as soon as their freshman year. “Actively engaging in career development earlier prevents that ‘I’m about to graduate’ or ‘I’ve graduated and don’t know what to do’ moment of panic,” Hammer said. “We’re here for you early and for the duration of your career. We can definitely help make it easier.”