The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Office of Career Services is just one of many services available to students, which specializes in helping students prepare for a future career from day one. That includes choosing and exploring a major, offering career assessments, providing professional clothing, finding jobs and internships on-and-off campus and helping students write a resume.
For those struggling with or unsure about what major they want to pick, the Office of Career Services offers an assessment service to help students narrow things down. Director of the Office of Career Services Kim Billeaudeau spoke on this service.
“Through that process, students can really gain a better understanding of their interest, their skills, their values, and how that aligns with a particular major and career path,” Billeaudeau said. “In engaging those things, students can really discover ‘I’m really good at this, I’m interested in this, and so this is the major that may be a good fit for me based on how I answered those questions.’”
They also offer another assessment that identifies a student’s top strengths to help them better understand how those strengths will help them in the job search and the workplace.
“It’s really a great assessment tool to use, especially as you enter your junior, senior year, and you’re starting to really focus on that internship and job search,” Billeaudeau said.
These services are available to students at any point in time, whether they’re selecting a major for the first time or wanting to change their major.
“Students can come here and take a career assessment. They can meet with our career coach and kind of talk through the results of the assessment prior to changing their major. So hopefully, when they do change their major, they have a better understanding of who they are, where their interests are, their skills are, and how that aligns with the major they’re choosing.”
They also assist students with writing a resume. Sample resume templates are available on their website, and students can send their resumes to the office for a staff member to look over it and give feedback for possible revisions.
Working a job on-campus can also help in building up a student’s resume, as well as preparing them for the job world. There are a variety of on-campus jobs, such as being a lifeguard, an academic mentor, a student photographer and more. Many of the offices on campus have postings for students that can help in a future career.
“When students take jobs on-campus and even off-campus, we encourage them to do their best and really make the most of that experience because they’re building their resume with that experience,” Billeaudeau said. “And that on-campus job can really help the student gain some exposure to a professional setting, can help the student gain some skills, skills that are essential in any job like communication skills, teamwork skills, critical thinking skills. So that job on campus can really help build a student’s resume which can possibly then lead to an internship.”
Job postings for both on-and-off campus can be found on Handshake, a career management platform for students where companies and campus departments post jobs and internships. Handshake is available to students from their first day at UL Lafayette, allowing them to upload their resume and start applying for job postings.
Marquisha Arons, a freshman majoring in psychology pre-med and working in the Student Union, shared her experience working on-campus.
“It actually helped my communication skills a lot, especially working at the front desk. I meet lots of people, seeing different clubs and organizations that I didn’t even know were real. But yeah, it boosted my confidence a lot and to really see new things every day,” Arons said.
The Career Closet is another service managed by the Office of Career Services, which offers professional clothing at no charge for students to keep permanently. Currently, it’s in the process of being moved to the old bookstore on St. Mary and is targeted to re-open after Labor Day.
The Office of Career Services also has several career fairs planned for the upcoming semester. A part-time job and volunteer fair is to be held on Aug. 31, a Stem Career Fair on Sept. 28, a Nursing and Health Sciences Career Fair on Sept. 30, a Nurse Practitioner Career Fair on Oct. 13 and a Business, Arts, Liberal Arts, and General Career Fair on Oct. 19. These will all be held in the Student Union, aside from the Nurse Practitioner Career Fair which will be held in the Cecil J. Picard Center.