Did you know Northwestern University students who use University Career Services resources are more than twice as likely to be employed at the time of graduation ? (UCS Graduation Survey, 2007 to 2011) I’m of course bias when it comes to my feelings and reactions to that statistic. I work in career services so I understand the value of our office for our students, employers and alumni. Here are some tips so you can see the value as well:
Tip #1: It’s always best to schedule a One-on-One Appointment with a UCS Staff Member
Everyone’s career development or employment questions/situation are unique. It is best to talk to a trained and educated staff member who can give you specific and individualized advice. What might work for your friend, might not work for you or vis versa.
At Northwestern: Call 847-491-3700 to schedule an appointment. Not sure who you might want to meet with? Visit our Meet the Staff webpage to learn more about the Career Counselors, Internship Specialists and Employment Specialists that can serve you.
Tip #2: If you are pressed for time, make time for at least a walk-in appointment
Walk-ins are a way you can have your resume reviewed, your cover letter reviewed or just ask questions about your career development, internship search, job search or graduate school search. Typically, walk-ins last 15 minutes. So if your question is going to take longer than that to answer you might instead schedule an appointment to get the time and attention you deserve.
At Northwestern: UCS offers walk-in appointments every Tuesday-Friday during the school year from 11:00am-3:00pm. Tuesdays and Wednesdays our walk-ins are located at our main office on Lincoln Street (North Campus) and Thursdays and Fridays walk-ins are located at the Career Lab in the Core Reserves 2N section of the Main University Library (South Campus). We also offer specialized walk-ins for specific populations including graduate students, athletes and more. Please check our website for more information.
Tip #3: Register for CareerCat to stay up to date on employer visits to campus, UCS events/workshops and job or internship postings
CareerCat is one of the main resources for employers to post internships and jobs for Northwestern students and alumni to view/apply. It is also my office’s main way to connect students with employers who will be on campus doing interviewing or attending career fairs. Once you register you receive a weekly email plus occasional emails to targeted audiences about deadlines, events and other important career related material. It would be a mistake not to register for this resource. UCS receives new company registrations, job postings and internship postings daily.
At Northwestern: Students can log into CareerCat from the UCS website using their netid and password. Alumni will need to register first with UCS Alumni Career Services in order to gain access to CareerCat. Employers can register or login for free from the Employer Login Page.
Tip #4: Stay in touch with Career Services throughout the process
After meeting with a UCS staff member, stay in touch about your progress. Our staff wants to know if a strategy or suggestion isn’t working or if you are having trouble and need more help. Many times it takes multiple visits or correspondences to meet your goals and expectations for working with UCS. Avoid feeling that once you leave your walk-in, workshop or one-on-one appointment that your time working with UCS is over. We’re here and available every step of the way.
At Northwestern: Before leaving an appointment or workshop where you have interacted with a UCS staff member ask them for a way to follow-up with them. They will likely supply a phone number or email address. You can also call 847-491-3700 to schedule a follow-up appointment at anytime.
Tip #5: When in doubt… Ask
Northwestern University in general is an excellent academic environment that is always looking for ways to better serve our mission. We at UCS are not much different. We would like to know if students, alumni or employers have suggestions for ways we can improve. And if you are not certain if we offer something or why resources do/don’t exist I suggest asking. You might be surprised to learn that something you thought didn’t exist or happen- very much does. For example, many times students are surprised to learn that every year 100’s of employers conduct their interviewing for full-time or internships right on campus in our newly remodeled interview center.
At Northwestern: When you come to UCS for an appointment please fill out a green evaluation sheet at the end of your appointment. This is a great direct way to give feedback. We also ask for your feedback after UCS sponsored workshops and large events. Please complete those surveys. However, if you would like to make a suggestion please know you can always email anyone on staff or our general email address.