How to Best Use the Center for Career Development

I have an embarrassing confession: I didn’t use the Center for Career Development (CCD) until my senior year. I attended some career fairs and went to a handful of panels that the center put on, but I didn’t make an appointment with a career counselor until this fall, as a part of my law school application process. The center has been SO helpful and I cannot stress enough the importance of taking advantage of all the resources at our disposal as students!

One resource that has been highly informative is the resume review sessions that the CCD offers. These sessions are an hour long and can be whatever type of guidance you need in terms of resumes. You bring a printed copy of your resume and go through it in detail with the counselor. They can help with formatting, appearance, and developing compelling action verbs that summarize your experiences. The difference between my “before” and “after” resumes is striking, and I feel much more confident sending my new resume to schools and employers. These sessions can also be used to tailor your resume and cover letter to specific opportunities.

Application reviews have been another resource that has proven instrumental in my application process. These sessions are more dependant on your field of study and who your career counselor is. As a student on the pre-law track, my industry-specific counselor is Anita Rees, but you can find your counselor here. Anita has been an invaluable resource in navigating the applications process, answering any questions that I have about specific facets of law school applications and going over different essays with me to be sure that they convey what I intend them to convey. My personal statement underwent about 10 revisions – our collaborative review sessions constituting the most extensive of those.

Likely the most widely used resources the center provides are the fairs, workshops, and other events. For pre-law, specifically, there were at least a dozen events on a wide range of subjects, some school-specific and others not. I wish I had taken better advantage of these as an underclassman; they would have been very helpful in career path discernment, which the counselors have experience with, as well. Some of these events might be publicized through specific departments, but some you have to seek out by exploring Go IRISH or their website.

One resource that I haven’t used, but that I’ve heard is incredibly helpful, is the mock interviews or interview prep sessions. Not only can you reserve rooms in the CCD for phone or video interviews, but you can receive one-on-one practice interviews with one of the counselors so you feel more prepared for the interviews going in. I’m always such a nervous interviewee and I think if I had taken advantage of this resource prior, I could’ve relieved some of my pre-interview angst.

Overall, the Center for Career Development is an incredible campus resource that we have available to us. I guess the saying “you don’t know a good thing until you’ve lost it” applies here, because as a senior, I’m wishing I could bring the CCD with me to help me navigate the next five years.