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August 28, 2008


University resources for faculty are vast and most of them are well known. But the staff of the Career Development Office (formerly Career Services) in the Division of Student Affairs provides a unique and little known resource: We offer a variety of presentations designed to assist in preparing students for the world of work. We can bring the world of work to life in the classroom, focusing on everything from electronic portfolios to networking your way to your dream career.

The program is sometimes used by busy faculty whose conflicting obligations occasionally mean that they may not be able to teach their class. Instead of canceling the session, they schedule a Career Development presentation.

We can individualize a presentation for your class with content that integrates a variety of topics into your course subject. For example, we did a presentation for a health-related class on how communication skills come into play with patient interaction. Topics included breaking bad news to a patient and how to communicate professionally on a daily basis via interpersonal and written communication, including email.

We have done programs on career trends for a variety of majors. We’ve done programs on how to be an effective communicator and present oneself well in and out of the classroom. A program for bioengineering students focused on “How to Give a Technical Presentation.” A very popular Career Development program is “Navigating the Graduate School Process.”

Programs, departments and schools that have used Career Development programs include rhetoric and communication, English writing, psychology, health information science, political science, history, physics, exercise physiology, exercise science, School of Pharmacy, School of Education, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, School of Library and Information Sciences and the Swanson School of Engineering.

We have received positive feedback. Here are a few of the professors’ comments:

• “Your presentation was PERFECT and greatly appreciated! I ran into students in the hall on my way out of the building who were very pleased with the information they learned this evening. My hope is that your presentation allows them to reflect and improve upon their own professional skills. In fact, I am sure that it will! Thank you again and I look forward to working with you again in the future!”

• “Your presentation was excellent and well received by the class. Student comments regarding your presentation were very favorable. I hope you will agree to participate in the course next fall.”

• “Every time a Career Development staffer speaks to my class my students learn a lot, and your office gains more customers — and goodwill ambassadors. I know anecdotally that students go on to tell friends that they ought to check out this Career Development office, those people really have a lot to offer, etc.”

• “… last semester you gave a short lecture to the mechanical engineering senior project class on giving technical presentations. Whatever you did seemed to work since the presentations turned out very well.”

To schedule a presentation, call Career Development at 412/648-7130. Please give us two weeks’ notice to prepare for the presentation. We look forward to providing support for you in any way possible.

Barbara Juliussen is associate director of Career Development in the Division of Student Affairs.

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