It’s a jungle out there, especially for college seniors looking for their first jobs. To navigate the jungle, William Woods University is planning Career-A-Palooza, a weeklong series of events meant to help prepare students for the jungle. Events will be held Nov. 10-14.
Career-A-Palooza is a joint effort between Career Services and the Student Alumni Council (SAC) seniors. It started a few years ago when the seniors of Student Alumni Council asked Amy Dittmer, director of career services, to provide some career-planning programming during their senior week.
Reaction to the first career event was positive, and it has continued to grow from one event to Career-A-Palooza, a full week of career development events. A career fair was added to the schedule as the Career-A-Palooza finale.
“Feedback from students last year was that they did not feel ‘ready’ to attend the career fair. Our hope is that by hosting events that focus on making connections, resumes, interviewing and an elevator pitch during the week, students will feel more prepared to attend the Career-A-Palooza Fair Friday,” said Dittmer.
“The purpose of Career-A-Palooza is to prepare our students for their career journey,” she said. “Students who engage in Career-A-Palooza events will be able to tailor their resume for specific jobs or internships: have their resume reviewed in a 15-minute session, network like a pro via LinkedIn, and perfect an elevator pitch for face-to-face networking. In addition, seniors are invited to participate in a speed dating/interviewing event with alumni to gain interview and networking practice.”
Beth Oseroff, a graduate assistant in career services, said, “All of our events provide benefits for our students, no matter how far along in school they are. Making connections with the speakers we have coming to campus, spending 15 minutes to get their resume revised, taking their Wednesday evening (if you’re a senior) for one-on-one networking and interview practice and, of course, taking advantage of all the employers who will be at the finale of our week the Career-A-Palooza Fair!”
“I believe one of the biggest benefits students can get from Career-A-Palooza is career confidence,” Dittmer said. “By spending a little time on each of these separate career pieces, and getting hands-on experience and individual feedback at events, by the end of the week you will have a confident professional prepared to make connections with employers at the career fair and beyond.”
Oseroff concurred, “I am most excited for WWU alumna, Amber Cox, associate commissioner of women’s basketball for the Big East Conference, to return to campus. I was lucky enough to hear her speak at my commencement ceremony back in May, and to hear her speak again is something I have been counting down the days for. When Amy said to me during planning that we needed a fun and engaging speaker, Amber was the first person to come to mind. She has an incredible career journey that our students are lucky to get to learn from.”
Cox will speak on “Do you want to be pitch perfect?” at 12:15 p.m. and “What’s your story?” at 5 p.m., both Thursday, Nov. 13, in Dulany Auditorium.
Other events for the week include Resumania Workshop at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, in the Ivy Room; the LinkedIn Boot Camp at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, in Dulany Auditorium; the What’s the 411 on Interview at noon Wednesday, Nov.12, in the Library Auditorium; and the Career-A-Palooza Fair at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in the Helen Stephens Sports Complex.
“I always love to see what the senior SAC members and Career Services put together for Career-A-Palooza,” said senior Brandy Reagan. “I also really like this year’s theme!”
“The best advice I have for students preparing for their career journey is that they do not have to tackle it alone,” said Dittmer. “They should utilize family, friends, faculty, staff and Career Services to guide them through the process.”