College is fun, for sure. It’s a time to explore yourself, meet people, and experience new things for the first time. But college can also be stressful. You might have questions like “How am I going to get a job after college?”, “Can I get jobs with the major I’ve chosen?”, “How can I even decide what to major in?”, “Once I find a job, how can I make myself a competitive candidate?” You might be wishing that someone could tell you where to find the answers to all these questions. Well call me a genie, because I’m about to grant your wish. The answer? Your very own University of Iowa Pomerantz Career Center!
The Pomerantz Career Center (PCC) is located in the Pomerantz Center, on the T. Anne Cleary Walkway, across from the chemistry building, in room C310, and is home to all your career and professional development answers! If you aren’t aware of all the amazing opportunities, services, and classes that the PCC offers; you’re about to be, because I’m about to drop some knowledge. Without further ado, here are the top 5 reasons why you should visit the Pomerantz Career Center:
1. Choose your career calling.
One of the most stressful and challenging parts of college is deciding on a career path. Have no fear — The Pomerantz Career Center is here! The first step to career development is choosing a major, and the PCC has a plethora of assessments and services for open majors and those who are questioning declared majors. The “Find Your Focus” program is a step-by-step process a student and a Career Advisor follow to determine what interests and careers might match the student’s particular goals. Once students have narrowed down the career paths they might be interested in, Career Advisors can help students gain hands-on experience in the field, to see if it’s something they really enjoy!
The Pomerantz Career Center also offers three assessments available to help students decide on a major and career: the Strong Interest Inventory, iStartStrong, and Focus 2. These assessments vary in terms of depth provided, as well as resources and time required. The Strong Interest Inventory and the iStartStrong assessments both require meeting times with a Career Advisor and a $10 assessment fee, while providing a more in depth and personalized experience. Whereas, the Focus 2 is online, free, quick, and easy with immediate results, but the answers are not as personalized or in depth.
2. Perfect your professional portfolio.
Providing professional workplace documents for employers is a difficult process, and no pressure or anything, but it can really make or break a student’s chances at landing a job! Good news, the Pomerantz Career Center’s very own Career Peer Advisors are here to help students on professional documents. Have you started your resume already? Is your resume finished? Do you literally only have a blank page because you don’t know where to start? The Career Peer Advisors can help you at any and all of these stages. If you haven’t started, Peers will provide information to get you started on the right track. If you’re in the middle of the resume process or already finished with your resume, the Peers can provide quality feedback and review your resume with you in a personal one-on-one experience. Resumes aren’t all the Peers do: they can also help you get started on your cover letter, help you navigate through HireaHawk (the university’s online opportunity search), provide resources for career exploration, and provide interviewing tips. And even better news, no appointment is required! Just stop on by the Pomerantz Career Center any weekday from 9am-4pm and there’ll be a Peer with a friendly smile ready to help you.
3. Open doors with opportunities.
Okay, so you’ve chosen your major, you’ve chosen your career path, and you’ve perfected your workplace documents. Now what? Get involved in an amazing opportunity! The Pomerantz Career Center is the place to go for your job, internship, and volunteer search questions. Not only can you use the PCC’s online job search through HireaHawk.com or find some awesome internship/job search tips on their website careers.uiowa.edu, but you can also meet with a Career Advisor for more information on opportunities specific to your career and major. Thankfully, the Pomerantz Career Center’s services don’t just stop once you’ve found a job. They also provide excellent services regarding how to negotiate salaries, how to report your internship for university credit, and how to find more opportunities through LinkedIn.
What if you’re deathly nervous about interviewing (or even if you’re not)? The PCC offers a mock interview service! Mock interviews provide students with the opportunity to become accustomed with the interviewing process in a situation as similar to an actual interview as possible; you even meet with a real employer. Once you’re finished, the employers give you personalized feedback about your interview performance; that way you leave the mock interview more experienced and knowing what to work on. If you’re nervous about interviewing on your mock (or real) interview, the Pomerantz Career Center also offers an online interview practice tool called INTERVIEWSTREAM. This is an excellent way to develop your interviewing skills in a low risk situation.
4. Begin an academic adventure.
Maybe you feel that you don’t have any specific questions for the Pomerantz Career Center but just a general idea of wanting to improve on your professional skills? Great news (Again, I know. I told you I was like a genie)! The PCC offers courses for students at all stages in their University of Iowa college career specifically meant to help students gain workplace skills. Classes range from topics on teamwork, communication, and office etiquette, to classes specifically geared towards helping students prepare to apply to graduate schools. You can find a full list of classes on their website careers.uiowa.edu or at registration time under the department codes “LS”, and “CCP” on ISIS.
Can you think of any job in the whole entire world that doesn’t require at least some leadership skills? Well, I can’t. The leadership studies certificate is an excellent opportunity to set yourself apart from other job candidates by developing your skills as a leader. The program draws from a wide variety of disciplines across the college to provide students with competent skills in leadership styles, goal setting, ethics of leadership, and many more! Students can do as little as just taking a leadership class here and there, to as much as gaining a certificate in leadership studies or joining the Career Leadership Academy (a two semester series of courses in leadership).
5. Encourage your expertise through events.
Last but certainly not least, is just becoming an active participant in the many events the Pomerantz Career Center hosts around campus every year. These events range from occasional on-campus presentations to the huge career fair hosted every semester! On-campus presentations focus on a variety of super relevant career development topics like launching your internship search and preparing for the career fair. Check out the events calendar at careers.uiowa.edu for a list of upcoming presentations you can visit. The PCC also has week long events like “Intern Week”, which is happening THIS WEEK. Intern Week sessions focus on 8-11 topics all about internships such as getting credit for your internships, networking, and searching for an internship. The PCC is also offering walk-in internship advising from 1pm-4pm Monday through Thursday at their office.
If you’ve been at The University of Iowa for even a month, I can guarantee you’ve heard about the career fair, and you have no one to thank for it but the Pomerantz Career Center. Despite what you may have heard, the career fair isn’t just for graduating seniors looking for employment. The career fair is for students of all years, even if you’re not handing your resumes to employers. NO PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND. So you have no excuse not to come and at least get your toes wet before it’s your turn to meet with employers with the hopes of scoring an interview. If you are or aren’t coming to meet with employers, the Career Peer Advisors host career fair tours so that students can familiarize themselves with the busy surrounds of the fair itself.
If you’ve stuck with me until the end, I hope at least one thing you’ve come away with is that the Pomerantz Career Center has something for everyone. Don’t be afraid to stop on in.
P.S. You still have 2 wishes.