Photo by Sarah Vinci | The Career Center features team members that specialize in different fields.
In addition to balancing school work, social life and sleep, students at the University of Rhode Island also face the unknown of what comes after graduation.
In order to prepare for the inevitability of post-graduation life, students turn to internship and job searches that fit with their interests and major–something the Center for Career and Experiential Education hopes to help with.
Located in Roosevelt Hall, the center offers an array of tools to help students to succeed. Students can come by for drop-in advising Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., or 1-3 p.m. for help with resume building, interview preparation and career preparation. Students can also make an appointment with their designated Career Specialist to explore interests and participate in mock interviews. Career Services also occasionally hosts events such as salary negotiation workshops, graduate school workshops and a professional dress fashion show open to all students.
Assistant Director of Career Advising, Erica Cassidy, said the biggest thing students come in for is internship and job exploration.
“Juniors and Seniors have a really good idea of what they want to do [post graduation] but sometimes need a career specialist to put that job or path into words,” Cassidy said.
Clara Crawford, a junior public relations major said that through Career Services, she was able to find many internships that coincide with her interests.
“One internship I found for next semester is a sponsorship and program coordinator position with Hasbro Children’s Hospital,” Crawford said. “It is unpaid but it is manageable at only 15 hours a week and at least two days I would drive to Providence.”
Cassidy noted that the career center tries their best to find opportunities for students of every major, and in places that students need the opportunities.
“We try so hard to know what everyone wants, but if students don’t come to us then we have no idea,” Cassidy said. “For example, if Journalism or PR students say, ‘we really want connections in New York City,’ then we can start looking for them. All students have to do is reach out and ask.”
Cassidy explained that URI Career Services is dynamic, and the center places a high value on the feedback they receive so that they may change to better accommodate their students.
“We are actually currently working on sharing and showcasing more out of state placements for students in the future,” Cassidy said. “Rhode Island is lucky that we can cover the whole state, but once we get out of state it’s so much broader. It can be challenging.”
URI Career Services is not the only place on campus where students have found internships. Some have found internships through professors or their specific college. “I got the internship I have now through a professor I had a good relationship with,” said Junior Accounting major, Matt Osmanski. For the spring, I found an internship through Public Accounting Night at URI.”
Osmanski currently interns for Newport Music festival and will be a tax intern at Restivo Monacelli next semester.
Other students, however, have greater trouble finding internships that fit with their needs. One engineering student said, “URI offers no connections for mechanical engineering unless it’s in defense naval warfare, something I am not interested in.”
Other students whether it be in the College of Arts and Sciences, Engineering etc. also have similar issues with their schools and turn to look for internships elsewhere.
Cassidy said that if students are struggling to find opportunities in their field that meet their interests to come by Career Services.
“The campus-wide career center has no control over what individual colleges do or push,” Cassidy said. “If you feel your major offers limited opportunities for careers, talk to your career education specialist.”
Cassidy noted that students should visit the career center as early as their first year and at least once a semester.
“Think of all the people nationwide who are graduating at the same time,” Cassidy said. “If you wait till the last semester to prepare you are going to be so stressed out.”
For the students who feel as they do not need the help of Career Services, Cassidy recommends they stop by anyways. “You don’t know what you don’t know. Even a 15-minute appointment can change your whole perspective.”