Students prepare for post-grad world

"The Career Fridays series is open to all students at the University," said Christie LeVeaux, interim dean for academic programs at the Honors College. "All events require an RSVP found on the Honors College website."

“The Career Fridays series is open to all students at the University,” said Christie LeVeaux, interim dean for academic programs at the Honors College. “All events require an RSVP found on the Honors College website.”

Every college student wants to stand out in the job market after graduation.

With more than 500 undergraduate students graduating from the College of Natural Science and Mathematics, 1,000 from the College of Business and 2,000 from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences in 2011 from UH alone, the task can be overwhelming.

For this reason, the Honors College is continuing Career Fridays this semester, in which all UH students can participate to receive experience regarding interviews, resumes, internships and other areas that can define a new graduate in the job market.

“The Career Fridays series was initiated by the Honors College to give students interviewing and job search skills as well as access to some of the top companies in the Houston area,” said Christie LeVeaux, political science professor and interim dean for academic programs at the Honors College. “We want our students to stand out among other qualified job candidates.”

Even students who attended the event series last semester plan on returning to continue strengthening their resume and presentation.

“The most important skill I gained from them is that I became more aware of the necessity of basic things, such as consistently tweaking your resume, being mindful of your etiquette and wearing the appropriate attire,” said Erika Lai, an English literature sophomore who participated in the Career Fridays in the fall. “People are aware of every little thing when they first meet you, and you have to make sure you are representing yourself in a proper and professional manner.”

The Career Fridays will offer students a networking event training session with coaching, mock interviews with Honors College alumni and help with their elevator pitch to present themselves to a potential employer in a minute or less.

Many UH alumni are encouraging students to take advantage of the Career Fridays.

“I had a lot of help from staff at Bauer Honors while at UH, but they are busy and it took scheduling meetings and sometimes cutting them short to snag time with them,” said UH alumna Chelsea Cross, who graduated in May with a degree in supply chain management. “Having a designated day where faculty and staff take time to meet with students and discuss their career and skills is a good opportunity, if the student takes the time and effort to take it.”

As a part of the event series, the Honors College is also organizing an Honors Career Networking Event on Feb. 8 which will allow students to take the coaching they receive Friday on networking event training and apply it to a real recruitment setting. Shell, Chase, Accenture, PROs and Ernst and Young are a few of the companies that will be present.

Aside from the Career Friday event series, the Honors College also offers a one hour course on ePortfolio.

“The main objective of the course is to provide students with the resources needed to effectively demonstrate to prospective employers, graduate admissions committees, internships selection committees and others the students’ accomplishments as undergraduates through the development of an ePortfolio,” said LeVeaux.

The Honors College provides many career building opportunities to all UH students to help with the task of defining oneself in the job market.

“I believe that these events are important for a university to offer to students because we are at a point in our lives and career where we both need and want to start exploring professional fields,” Lai said. “No one wants to feel lost when they graduate, and these Career Fridays help us to establish a sense of how to prepare for going into the professional field of our choice.”

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