Vocation and Career Services hires new Assistant Director

In order to further meet the needs of students, Vocation and Career Services has made accessibility additions to their program. Carissa Uhrmacher was recently hired for the new position of Assistant Director and a new web program Handshake was introduced.

Career Services offers resources and help to students getting ready to go into the workforce. They help students find and apply to jobs and internships, help build resumes, help write cover letters and hold mock interviews. In addition to these resources, they hold programming events to connect students with potential employers. 

One of the biggest changes was the new position of Assistant Director. Career Services has always had one full-time and one part-time person, but hired Carissa Uhrmacher in a new full-time position after the part-time employee moved to the student engagement team.

“We were able to fill that position with a full-time assistant director in Career Services to focus on the alumni mentoring program, marketing and student outreach, along with the work that we both do with students,” said Kim Graviette, director of Vocation and Career Services.

With the hiring of Uhrmacher, Career Services has been able to connect more with the alumni center. In the past it was under the direction of Student Engagement, but is now under the supervision of Vice President of External Affairs Matt Fong. 

“One of our focus areas this year is going to be working more closely with the alumni association… We are getting ready to launch an alumni networking program next semester for juniors… and Charissa Uhrmacher will take the lead on that,” Graviette said. “We have always had a good relationship with alumni so that students are easily able to reach out to them, so it is [more] natural.”

Throughout the summer, they hosted alumni panels so students could learn more about their future career paths, and Uhrmacher will be doing more outreach throughout the campus.

“We have a strategy where we will have pop-up shops in different buildings on campus and that should start, if not before Thanksgiving break, at least the first week after when we get back,” Graviette said. “Right now we are located in the Student Engagement Center on the lower level. It isn’t necessarily a natural traffic pattern, so we want to get out on campus to see more students.”

Career Services also launched Handshake, an application designed to help students find resources and career opportunities. Handshake also helps the staff create surveys to gather student input and collect data on how many students use their resources.

“In the past we have been part of a consortium of small colleges in Nebraska that shared a job board and a database, so in sharing that job board and database we could really only share jobs and set up mock interviews and things like that, but the data component … didn’t work independently,” Graviette said.

In order to follow COVID-19 guidelines, there have been more options for students to meet virtually with career advisors, as well as to conduct interviews over Google Meet. For example, this year student teachers had mock interviews online, which worked well. 

Career Services has moved to the opposite side of the Daugherty basement. Their offices are open daily from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. for anyone who is interested in their offerings.