January 30, 2018
Happy 2018! Here is the winter edition of Working It Out, the University of Louisville Career Development Center newsletter. In this issue, we explore the thoughts of freshmen students about career issues, the latest numbers on internship placements at UofL, and we shine the spotlight on Professor Lora Haynes and the Department of Psychology. Keep reading for more news about career services around the University.
New UofL Students Value Career Services
Over the past two summers, the UofL Career Development Center has met with more than 1,400 incoming students at orientation sessions. Students learn about career services at the University and are prompted to think about the connections between their choice of major and career. We use this opportunity to survey students about several career development issues and the results are revealing.
We found that almost two-thirds of incoming students are at least somewhat unsure about their career goals, and 20% are totally unsure. Some of the greatest concerns of incoming freshmen include finding a job that connects to their major after graduation and committing to a major/career that they will enjoy (and that will pay) for the rest of their life.
Dean of Students, Michael Mardis, notes that career is a driving motivator for new students. “When we ask entering freshmen why they come to college, one of the largest reasons that they say is to get a job.” Our orientation meetings with incoming freshmen verify that the career development work being done with students from all disciplines across our University is perceived to be very important and highly valued.
Internship & Co-op Growth at UofL
Last spring, the Career Development Center coordinated the third meeting of internship/co-op programs from across the University and once again initiated a census of these student experiences. The results of the data collection show the growing prevalence of internships and co-op experiences for UofL undergraduate students.
- Summer, 2016: 778
- Fall, 2016: 1,882
- Spring, 2017: 1,950
TOTAL: 4,610 undergraduate internship-coop placements/enrollments 2016-2017
The 2016-17 numbers represent a 25.8% increase over the 2015-16 school year. While the growth should be partially attributed to better internship data collection and reporting (this was the second such census), CDC Acting Director, Caroline Houchins, also believes increased attention to these types of experiences factors into the equation. “As we dialogue more about internships and coops, we all realize how much they contribute to student retention and graduation rates. With more emphasis at UofL on experiential learning and community engagement, we should expect to see continued growth in internship numbers.”
Program Spotlight: The Resilient Families Project
For seven years, Dr. Lora Haynes from UofL’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences has worked with 25 to 50 internship and service-learning students each semester on the Resilient Families Project. Partnering with Wayside Christian Mission, this program serves families in Louisville experiencing homelessness and women in drug/alcohol recovery. Students learn applied developmental psychology, teaching, and training skills by leading teams and conducting weekly meetings and exercises with families.
Professor Haynes said the project benefits students on multiple levels. “Our student team members receive unique professional training and they also learn about collaboration. They are not only invested in learning and applying findings from the science of resilience, mindfulness, and happiness, but their engagement allows them to network and to make positive change happen in Louisville, all while building stronger connections to the university and potentially life-long connections with each other."
If you are interested in connecting with the Resilient Families Project and referring students to participate, please email Lora Haynes (email@example.com), or follow the project on Facebook.
Student Success Story: Sarah Ernst
Sarah Ernst is a junior psychology major from Villa Hills, Kentucky, who recently took advantage of several career development opportunities. Sarah’s proactive measures helped her come to some very important decisions about the direction she wants to travel in her professional life.
“After changing my career path mid-semester and feeling overwhelmed and confused, meeting with my career counselor helped me find a new goal and provided me the resources to reach that goal. Additionally, my recent participation in a Cardinal Career Trek to Hopebridge provided me with a great look into a career as a psychologist, and this trip helped me to confirm that this was definitely what I would like to do in the future. I am really grateful to the Career Development Center for helping me through my confusion and outlining a path to accomplish my goals.”
Additional Cardinal Career Trek employer visits are planned for the spring semester. To find out more, visit our events page.
Internship Help with Ron Burse
If you know a student who wants internship credit or needs to receive credit because a prospective employer requires it, the CDC can help. The Career Development Center manages the one-hour credit GEN 203, providing practical experience in an organization within the community and reflection on how knowledge was applied in the field. Students need at least 45 credit hours and a 2.5 GPA to register.
The CDC works with students to prepare them - from internship application to connecting with employers to the final evaluation. The course is a great option for students interested in exploring their career field and obtaining relevant professional experience. For more information or to connect a student, contact Ron Burse (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Staff Spotlight: Erica Cook
Welcome to Erica Cook, our new Career Counseling Graduate Assistant to the Career Development Center. Erica conducts career counseling for natural science and humanities students in the College of Arts & Sciences. She has prior experience in the Student Financial Aid Office at UofL and in the Career Development Center and Academic Center for Exploratory Students at IU-Southeast. Erica earned her B.S. in Psychology from IU-Southeast; she is currently pursuing her M.Ed. in Counseling & Personnel Services with a concentration in College Student Personnel.