Session helps explore careers

The Academic Success Center organized a Secrets of Success workshop entitled “Plan B: Another Path to Success” on Oct. 27. Academic Success Advisor Christy Richter presented several tips for the unsure undergraduate. Richter opened with some international statistics on the average number of hours in a work week in different countries. The United States was at the top of this list, partly because many Americans choose shorter breaks and eat lunch at their desks, according to Richter. For this reason, choosing a career that is interesting and enjoyable to you is critical, Richter said.

One assessment that Richter uses at the Academic Success Center is the SIGI3, which stands for System of Integrated Guidance and Information and is an education and career-planning software. The intention of the test is to help students choose a career plan that’s right for them, according to the SIGI3 website. Richter also recommended O*NET OnLine as a follow-up for students who are not clear about all their career options.

UIndy students listen to the SOS workshop about careers held on Tuesday, Oct. 27 in Schwitzer Room 101. Photo by Josie Clark
UIndy students listen to the SOS workshop about careers held on Tuesday, Oct. 27 in Schwitzer Room 101. Photo by Josie Clark

O*NET OnLine allows students to browse careers by clusters. For instance, if a student is interested in zoology, he or she may also find a career in naturalism, according to the website. O*NET provides information about tasks, tools and technologies, knowledge, skills and abilities required, work activities, job zones and education for each particular career.

At the end of the presentation,  Richter introduced a career navigator at the Professional Edge Center, Dan Johnson. The Professional Edge Center is located on the first floor of the Alumni House behind Good Hall. The goal of the Professional Edge Center is to help with career development,  according to Johnson. Center personnel run the program Handshake, an online job board of verified employers who offer internships and networking.

The center also hosts the Field Goal Kick for tuition event. Along with all that, center personnel also work with the Alumni Association.

“There are 15,000 alumni within an hour of Indianapolis, which is why we work with the Alumni Association,” Johnson said.

As a biology major who is now a career navigator,  Johnson explained that there are many opportunities available for students that may come as a surprise. So even if a senior is uncertain about his or her field of study, there are options.

“There are plenty of people telling you what to do and how you should do it,” Johnson said. “I give students the space to think on their own about what they should pursue and then to pursue that. You can make these things work for you.”

Richter works as the adviser for University Studies students, students who have not yet declared a major.  Richter recommends volunteer work, informational interviews and encourages her students to reach out when trying to choose a major. She also encourages them to focus on transferable skills that can be applied in various areas.

The Academic Success Center offers peer tutoring and a resource for students who need additional assistance.

“The one-on-one seems to be helpful, because we can look at the individual struggle,” Richter said.

The Professional Edge Center will host three Senior Panic sessions, which help seniors think through the realities of job searching, networking and career exploration, throughout the day on Nov. 9. Johnson and Richter will collaborate on another workshop entitled “Making a Major Decision” on Dec. 3.  The Academic Success Center will host a Tutoring Blitz on Dec. 13.