The Career Development Center offers services to online students and alumni
While an online student at UIS, Abriel Shipley happened to notice an upcoming presentation by Lauren Berger, the “Intern Queen,” sponsored by the Career Development Center (CDC) at UIS.
At the time, Abriel was hoping to get an internship and when she heard the help the Center offers, she set up an appointment with CDC Assistant Director Gale Kilbury to discuss her resume.
The Center certainly helped. During college, Abriel had four internships during college—with AARP Financially Fit, Smile Healthy (a nonprofit organization in Campaign County), Land’s End clothing company, and Illinois Public Media.
“I highly recommend contacting the Career Development Center,” Abriel says, “just to get an idea of what you are looking for in a career. At the time I was getting my bachelor’s, I had at least ten conversations with Gale Kilbury about my resume. Try to get your appointments set up as soon as you can because it will all be worth it.”
Career help for online students and alumni
In 2011, Abriel graduated from UIS with her bachelor’s degree in computer science online. Currently working on her master’s degree in computer science through the online program at UIS, Abriel still calls Gale Kilbury at the Center when she needs career help.
UIS was one of the first universities to offer a 24/7 virtual career center both because online students are so important to UIS and because on campus students also appreciate easy access to resources and self-directed exploration.
If you are looking for help with career opportunities, resources for seeking and securing a job, or information on how to prepare for a successful career—the UIS Career Development Center could be one of the most important services you take advantage of at UIS.
Top five resources for online students and alumni
So what can the Career Center do for online students and alumni? To answer this, the CDC staff recently shared what they considered students’ “top five ways the Center can help students.”
But, please—make no mistake! The Center offers many ways for students to achieve career success, so remember the Center offers many resources down than just these five.
1. The staff at the Center
Absolutely. No question about this being the most important resource for you. If every student were the same, with exactly the same needs and exactly the same questions, anyone could help you, providing a simple step-by-step process for finding, getting and keeping the perfect job.
But every student is different, and the staff has become extremely adept at tailoring all that they do to meet the needs of individual students. The staff members below are skilled, experienced and deeply committed to students’ and alumni’s career success.
Gale Kilbury, the assistant director of the Career Development Center (pictured above), currently oversees the Center’s activities. As both a licensed counselor and certified as a distance counselor, she often goes beyond advising to working more closely with students on any challenges and barriers they are facing related to their career goals—whether those are within their personal challenges, their schedules, their fields of study or something else.
Angela Evans (pictured above) is also a licensed counselor and a distance counselor as well. She can help you with your various documents (resumes, cover letters, and so forth). She can also introduce you to the many online systems the Center offers and help you with your job search. Whatever path you need to take, whatever resources you need, she can help. “As for motivation and stressors you have in your life,” she says, “I can be a resource for those as well.”
Kristin Nisbet-White (pictured above) oversees the Employer Relations Program at the Center. As you are applying for opportunities through the Center’s UIS CareerConnect online system (which lists job and internship opportunities), she works with some of the behind-the-scenes pieces in helping to get jobs posted. She also supports the Center’s on-campus and online events with employers as well. “We are all here to support you,” she says, “and we look forward to working with you.”
Doug Brackney (pictured above) is typically the first person you talk to when you contact the Career Development Center. He directs your phone calls and your emails. He says, “I may not know all the answers, but I certainly can direct you to the person who does know the answers.”
2. The Career Development Website—a treasure trove of career resources
The staff recommends starting with the Career Toolbox with its many, many resources for students and alumni to use online as they build their careers. From the Career Toolbox page, you can access:
- Focus 2, a career planning system
- Going Global, a program that lets you look up a certain locale and get insights about hiring practices, cultural practices and so much more
- CareerSpots, short videos for interview prep and strategies (#1 video? How to dress professionally)
- OptimalResume, help for creating resumes and cover letters and a great mock interview
- And many, many more resources.
Use UIS CareerConnect to find jobs and internships, set up a counseling appointment or document critiquing session, sign up for events and much more.
And remember—the website has lots of resources, but if you need help, the staff are ready to help.
3. Career Suite Drop-In/Call-In Hours
The Center has scheduled times during the week when students—and that includes you—can get help on everything from writing a resume to navigating UIS CareerConnect and the Center’s many online resources. Be prepared, however. This is a very popular service, and sometimes, so many students show up in person and online during these hours, that the best the staff can do is set up an appointment to talk with people later. If you’d like them to review your resume, cover letter, Linked In profile or other documents, the delay will give them a chance to look over the documents. Hours for the Suite are Monday and Thursday, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
4. Career Counseling
Gale Kilbury and Angela Evans are both licensed counselors AND distance credentialed counselors. This makes them capable of working with you, as an online student, with your career counseling needs. They will do so with complete confidentiality, meeting one on one with you through phone conversations or online correspondence.
Career counseling goes beyond giving you advice, reviewing your documents or helping you choose a major. Counseling will help you know and understand yourself and the world of work better so that you can make the best possible career, educational and life decisions. To help you understand career counseling, the Center offers answers to Frequently Asked Questions about career counseling.
Are you wondering if career counseling might help you? Here’s a quiz you can take to help you decide: Quiz – Is Career Counseling right for me? (pdf)
The Center has gathered all the ways they can be of service to online students and alumni on this page. Take special note of the Distance Document Critique opportunity and the Remote Career Fair Participation.
This fall the Career Center will be offering a special Career Bytes Conference, which online students can take part in remotely.
Here to serve you
“The staff at the UIS Career Center are here to serve you,” says Gale Kilbury, “in preparing, connecting and succeeding with your career. We hope that you reach out to us and that we can work together in the near future.”