Dankbar: Colleges offer many careers services to help students

Hannah Dankbar

The month of February means we are in the middle of our winter depression. We are making spring break plans to snap us out of that depression, increasing coursework and attending career fairs. As daunting as the latter of these events can seem, they can be beneficial for all students no matter where you are in your studies. Even if you do not have the time (or desire) to attend any of these events, career services can help you start thinking about your post-college career. It is never too early to start preparing for life after graduation.

There are plenty of resources on campus to help you, including career fairs, Career Management Services, the Student Activities Center and I am sure whichever faculty members you have gotten to know would be more than willing to help you in whatever you need.

This month there are five different career fairs on campus. Each caters to a different group of people, but most people should be able to find somebody who they can connect with.

Three of these events have already happened. Hopefully you saw the many advertisements around campus promoting the Agriculture, Engineering and Business career fairs that have happened within the past week or so.

The new People to People Career Fair focuses on jobs and internships related to government, social services, education, health/wellness and hospitality employers. There is also the Design Career Expo at the end of the month.

Even if you are not looking for full-time employment or an internship, going to a career fair can still be beneficial. You can see what types of jobs will be available to you in the future, and you can network with employers to see what they want in an employee. It is never too early to start working on your resume and getting feedback from employers on what types of experience they are looking for in their employees.

You can use Iowa State Career Management Services to see which employers are going to be at which career fair so you can be as efficient as you need to be while navigating the fair. This service also lists open positions from employers who are looking to recruit from college campuses, apply for jobs on the website and request an advising appointment with career services on campus.

Each college has their own career services. Those advisers understand how to best help you make a resume, start your job or internship search or help you with whatever you need based on your field of study and goals.

As a senior, I made an appointment last fall to get some feedback on my resume. I was struggling with formatting and fitting everything I wanted onto one page. An adviser helped me a lot with this and now I have a great-looking and easy-to-read resume that is easy to upload or hand out to potential employers.

What is going to help you best prepare is to start getting an idea of what direction you want to go. Look at what degree you are pursuing and what your dream job is, and then career services can start helping you make a plan to get from here to there. Look for ways to get involved on campus or volunteer to make sure that what you think you want is what you actually want. United Way of Story County and the Iowa State Student Activity Center are great places to look for opportunities to get involved in any area.

All of these services are here to help you best prepare for your future career. As we have all heard, it takes more than just a degree to get a good job. We are lucky to have all of these great resources right here at Iowa State to help us be successful. Ultimately, the responsibility is yours.


Hannah Dankbar is a senior in political science and spanish from Johnston, Iowa.