Whether it’s helping with career indecision through expert counseling or streamlining the process of searching for and applying to jobs, UCSB Career Services offers a valuable collection of resources with the potential to enrich the academic experiences of all those who visit.
According to Career Service’s annual report for the 2017-18 academic year, plans for the current year included “a professional clothing closet … to support under-resourced students with access to professional attire for job search related activities.” This goal was fulfilled in January as they held a five-hour event in which students were invited to freely choose from business-style clothing donations.
According to the report, another 2018-2019 goal includes “focused and intentional programming for first-generation, under-resourced students to support their career readiness needs.” This, too, was achieved during the past quarter through events centered on financial literacy, job search strategies for international students, and interview skills workshops specific to Educational Opportunity Program and first-generation students.
In a Director’s Note prefacing the report, Ignacio Gallardo, the director of Career Services, describes the reach of the center’s counseling services during the previous year. “Our career counselors saw over 2,500 students in individual appointments and over 3,600 in drop-in advising,” said Gallardo.
Gallardo went on to say that “job and internship opportunities for students were at an all-time high,” attributing this partially to the outreach and resources provided by Career Services. These include the deployment of online job-search platform Handshake, and the administration of professional tests designed to identify personal strengths and aptitude.
These resources present a promising opportunity for students, particularly those who are approaching completion of their degrees, or otherwise expecting to enter the job market soon.
In an interview, fourth year economics and philosophy major Connor Pardini told The Bottom Line about his experience taking three Career Services-offered assessments: the Strong Interest Inventory (SII), the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality assessment, and Clifton Strengths for Students. “The assessments suggested by my counselor really helped to expand my thinking about what kind of careers I could pursue,” said Pardini.
The SII, described by the Career Services website as “[assessing] your interests against six broad categories of work,” is aimed at students who would like assistance in determining the field which they would most like to enter for their career. The MBTI and Clifton Strengths assessments, on the other hand, each provide a comprehensive analysis of the student’s qualities — knowledge which may be applied to the job search in any field of work.
Each of these assessments, which are offered free of charge to any UCSB student, may be accessed by visiting the Career Services office to inquire with a counselor regarding signing up. In each case, the student will complete the test on their own and then follow up with a one-on-one counseling meeting in which they will receive a professional interpretation alongside their results.
“[My career counselor] also showed me a list of employers in the area I’d like to work [for] as well as how to structure an application for each of them,” said Pardini.
Through diversity of programming and easily-accessible career resources, Career Services may become an essential resource to any student seeking to widen their awareness — not only regarding the job opportunities that exist out in the field, but also the strengths they may find within themselves.