Career Development Week guides students toward job hunt resources

Kevin Soter

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University Career Services staff members are flooding the Northwestern campus this week as part of an annual event to reach out to students on their way to class, in dining halls and even on Twitter.

Career Development Week kicked off Monday with career services staff members standing at The Arch to meet students and tell them about the resources available both online and in their office, 620 Lincoln St.

The event launched a week geared toward seeking out students who might not otherwise use the resources available in the career services office, said Tracie Thomas, assistant director for programming for career services and the committee chairwoman for Career Development Week.

“The first (purpose of the week) is to meet students where they’re at,” Thomas said. “To that end, we’ll be doing outreach around campus in the residential halls and also online.”Thomas said another goal of the week is to encourage students to reflect on their career goals. This year’s theme is “Focus on your Career.”

Monday’s event at The Arch was a huge success, said Betsy Gill, internship specialist for career services. Staff handed out packets of almonds along with a schedule of the week’s events. Gill said the event was cut short after all the career services materials were distributed within the first 45 minutes.

Career services staff were also available Tuesday in the Foster-Walker and Sargent dining halls to answer questions and critique résumés. Armed with two full trays of hot cookie bar goods to lure students to their table in Foster-Walker East, career services staff members helped Medill sophomore Jerrica Bell calm her anxieties in preparation for today’s annual Medill and School of Communication career fair.

“(The event was) very helpful for people like me, who might not be willing to take the initiative to seek out aid,” Bell said.

Weinberg sophomore Aaron Kahn said Tuesday’s event in Foster-Walker was a good way to get information he may not have otherwise sought out.

“I guess I would have eventually gotten around to going on their Web site,” Kahn said. “It’s a bit more real to see someone face-to-face.”

The week’s events continue Thursday with walk-in appointment hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the ground level of Norris University Center. Staff members were also live on Twitter to answer students’ questions from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday and will be available from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. today. Students can Tweet their questions to @northwesternucs.

Other events this week include a joint venture between NU and the Evanston Chamber of Commerce to help students practice networking skills. The speed networking session at 6 p.m. tonight is “kind of like musical chairs except with networking,” Thomas said. The event will give students a chance to become comfortable with the job seeking process, she said.Career Development Week is a chance for career services to showcase the assistance they offer to all students, regardless of their year or progress in career plans, Thomas said.

“Look for us around campus,” she said. “We would love to meet you, whether you’ve used our office before or not.”