The Career People

by Sonya Vecchiarelli '08

With summer drawing near, it is time to think about a summer job. Throughout the year, the Office of Career Services offers workshops and fairs to live out their mission to help students use their strenghts and find jobs they enjoy.

“Because we are a strengths-based university, I hope we can accomplish our mission completely,” Lynn Pearson, director of the Office of Career Services, said.

A graduate school fair and health care fair are held on campus every fall. The graduate fair is for juniors looking at applying for graduate school. “A lot of seniors show up not knowing they are probably past the deadline to get in for the following year,” Pearson said. The health care fair is targeted at nursing majors and allows them to meet potential employers and talk to local practicing professionals.

In the winter, the office hosts a summer camp fair. “This fair gets the students thinking about jobs for the summer,” said Pearson. Although it is directed for those who want to work at a Christian summer camps, it also draws attention to those who had not planned on working at one.

This spring, the Office of Career Services will host its career fair on March 8 on the Cougar Walk. Employers representing a wide range of careers will be on campus for students to talk with, get information from, and set up on-campus interviews for jobs or internships. Interviews will be held on March 8 and 9. The fair is a great resource for students to gain information on career and internship opportunities.

A teacher interview day will be held May 11 for students who have their credentials for teaching and want to interview with representatives from local school districts for various teaching or administrative positions.

The Office of Career Services offers these general tips for those looking for a job: First, target the area or position in which you want to work. Next, compile a list of potential employers and businesses within your area. Research the company and positions. The majority of this information should be accessible through the Internet. If not, personally go in and talk to the company's manager or human resource representative. This is an excellent way to conduct an informational interview. You will learn about positions and how to best approach your own interview.

“Eighty percent of jobs are landed through networking,” said Pearson. If you already know people who work in the field you are pursuing, use them as resources for guidance and referrals.

Internships are often helpful because they help workers determine what they enjoy and may lead to permanent positions. “Sixty percent of employers hire their interns,” a survey conducted by NACE International reports. This is an incentive to start early.

A list of on campus jobs and other career service inquires can be accessed at APU Career Services then click on APU career network, or by telephone at (626) 815-2103, or in person on East Campus in Magnolia Court in the Shire Mods.