The Career Center started several new initiatives this year in order to help students be better prepared for the workplace.
One of these initiatives is called ValpoConnect, powered by Wisr, which is a career network that is exclusive to Valpo students and alumni.
“So basically you get on here, you put in information about yourself, what your major is anything, and create a profile [and] then you can make connections with other people that are on here. There are about 1500 alumni to date, since this is still new, that have signed up for this,” said Assistant Director of the Career Center Lori Miltenberger.
After creating a profile students can then click on alumni profiles and send them a message or schedule a phone call. Alumni from all different majors have listed what they’re willing to help with on their page such as doing mock interviews, help with finding jobs and internships, reviewing resumes, and advising students on what classes to take.
Students can also view any of the different communities on Valpo Connect that relate to their majors or interests. Some examples include the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the College of Engineering Communities.
“It’s a nice tool for students and alumni because even after you graduate maybe you want to change career paths, or you’re looking for something new, or you want to get some advice, you could just hop on there and find somebody,” she said. “So I think it’s really helpful in learning about different jobs as well as finding jobs.”
Miltenberger believes the goal of this initiative is to connect students with alumni mentors and hear from them about their personal work experiences to benefit students’ career development.
Another new initiative is the Career Center’s partnership with Ascend, which is a nonprofit company trying to keep students in Indiana after they graduate and begin working.
“Ascend helps employers by linking them with students and talent in the state. So as a student if you’re interested in an internship or you’re graduating and looking for a job you could contact Ascend and they will talk with you, they will understand what your career goals are, what your strengths are, and they will help you with your resume and interviewing skills,” Miltenberger said.
She believes the goal of Ascend is to help students gain necessary work experience in order to have internships and experiences that are related to the industry they wish to go into after graduation.
Additionally, the Career Center is trying to reach students during their freshman year to help them with crafting a resume, figuring out what career they want to have and getting internships and job opportunities related to their majors.
“So the earlier we can help freshmen with all those issues, because we do help with all of those issues, the more we can get them on track for graduation and getting all of the work experiences that they would like to have and need to help them get the job that they would like to have following graduation,” Miltenberger said.
The goals of these initiatives are to provide students with more resources. The links for ValpoConnect can be found in the Career Center website, on students’ Handshake accounts or through the weekly emails every student receives about Career Center happenings. The link for Ascend can also be found in the Career Center weekly email.