When should my student start using the Office of Career Services?
We are ready to help your student the minute they step on campus. Because some of our more recognized services relate to the job search, a common assumption is that students shouldn't come to us until later in their college careers. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Our goal is to have students putting together their career plan from day one. Whether it is help with deciding a major, career planning, internships, or job search, the students most prepared for what follows graduation are those who begin to use our services early in their college years.
Do services cost anything?
The cost of our services is factored into tuition costs.
My student wants to major in ____________. What can they do with that degree?
While some careers require specific majors, other careers are available to a wide range of academic backgrounds. The key is for your student to do a little research with the resources we provide. For example, students can visit What Can I Do with This Major to explore different career directions and how to get there. We encourage students to start this process early so they can create a plan for the careers they are most interested in.
What if my student doesn't have any idea what to major in?
Have them set up an appointment with a staff member from Career Services. Students can then begin the exploration process of looking at how their interests, abilities, and skills match majors and career directions. Career Services also offers assessments which can help students explore career options. Remember, though, that assessments are a starting point and not an answer. They aren't very effective unless students meet with us to help them interpret the results.
I would like my student to get a job on campus, but I'm not sure how they would do that. I am also worried about them being overloaded if they work their first year.
Research actually shows that students who work on campus are more likely to graduate than those who don't. Most of the student jobs on USC Aiken's campus average 10-12 hours per week and are scheduled around student class schedules.
As far as how to get a job on campus, offices advertise positions in various ways. Flyers posted around campus, the Student Life Facebook page, and word-of-mouth are all possible sources. Many offices utilize the Career Services online job board, Purple Briefcase. After creating a free account, students can begin a job search. Each posting will include application instructions.
On-campus jobs are very popular and go quickly, so students interested in these positions should start looking prior to the start of each semester!
Some job postings are listed as Federal Work Study (FWS) positions. What’s that?
Federal Work Study positions are partially paid through financial aid money, and students can show interest in these positions when filling out the FAFSA. To learn more about FWS, please visit the Office of Financial Aid.
FWS positions are generally posted on Purple Briefcase. Job postings will indicate if the position is FWS.
I've heard internships are important. How would my student get one of those?
Studies show that internships are very important! In fact, one of our staff members is specifically dedicated to helping students with this.
The process of pursuing an internship through our office requires several meetings between the student and us as well as some prep work on the part of the student. Students should begin by developing a resume and scheduling a resume review appointment with us. At the same time, they should begin looking for internship opportunities on Purple Briefcase and company websites. Once they have done these things, they will schedule an internship appointment with us. At the internship appointment, we will ask them to tell us about 3-5 current openings that interest them. Interviewing is also a typical part of the process, and a professional appearance is vital. We'll coach the student on professional behavior and interview skills, and we'll stress the importance of dressing professionally too.
How will my student get a job after graduation?
There is no doubt it is a competitive job market, but your student significantly increases his or her chances by doing everything they can to prepare themselves for life after college while they are still in college. Those who do career research, get internships, learn job search strategies, go to career fairs, and understand networking are usually the graduates who are successful in their pursuit of employment after college.
How long can my student use Career Services?
Once a Pacer, always a Pacer! In our commitment to helping students and alumni reach their career goals, we offer lifelong services, free-of-charge.