According to a survey conducted for the book “There Is Life After College,” only 35% of graduates get started on their career with success right after college. The remaining number, two-thirds of graduates, struggle with successfully launching a career that pertains to their major.
Finances, indecisiveness and intimidation have even caused students to resort to dropping out, and according to data by the National Student Clearinghouse, 12.9 million people in their 20s have attended college but left with no degree.
This is an alarming number for American college students, and The University of Southern Mississippi Career Services Office wants to help decrease that number, specifically with Southern Miss students.
Career Services, located here on Hattiesburg campus, works to ensure students the best possible route for their education, major and career choice with its various provisions. The collection of services include, but is not limited to, mock interviews, résumé build and critique and a platform for students to apply for interviews and jobs.
“Applying for jobs, programs, and internships can be incredibly intimidating for college students, but Career Services makes the process easy,” senior health major Anastasia Walrod from Pass Christian said. “With helpful staff and a multitude of resources, Career Services truly serves the students in whatever capacity the student needs. I believe I am a more qualified job candidate because of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Career Services.”
Although résumé building and mock interviews may seem to some students to only be vital for upperclassmen, the services are offered to all students who attend The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg and Gulf Coast campus alike. If a student struggles in deciding his/her major, Career Services offers a way to help with that decision process, through an online quiz that can be found on the office’s page on the USM website.
Majors can also be provided through career fairs, specifically the Career Expo hosted by the office each semester.
“I’d never been to a career fair before,” senior Laura Vallejo said. “It was kind of fun. I had a résumé that I made and gave to people at the tables.”
Although her mission for the fair was to achieve extra credit as a sophomore, Vallejo was exposed to businesses, offices and organizations who are providing opportunities and information to students regarding a particular field of study and career choice.
Providing for students is not all the office does. Career Services is devoted to helping USM alum achieve success in their field as well, specifically through the site “Handshake.” The third-party platform connects the user to businesses, local and elsewhere, offering jobs and internships in the field the user is interested in.
Other provisions of the office are also an option for the alumni. For example, they are more than welcome to seek the office for résumé critiquing or mock interview.
All that the Career Services offers is available to students and alumni of Southern. Jeremiah Willis shares,
“Career Services helped me get an internship at Trustmark National Bank. They prepared me for the interview with valuable mock interview practice,” senior Jeremiah Willis said. “They also provided me with a room to use for the digital part of the interview. I am thankful for the help.”
To seek assistance for your career path or major choice, book an appointment with Career Services at https://www.usm.edu/career-services/schedule-appointment. You can also visit the office at McLemore Hall at Hattiesburg campus or call 601-266-4153. Working towards a degree or finding a job can be intimidating; let the office of Career Services help you.