The UR Career Center seems to be keeping students from the most  valuable service it provides.


As students begin to consider the transition from college to graduate school or the work force, questions surrounding career choices, building a strong résumé and acquiring internships are inevitably abundant. During this critical phase, one-on-one professional guidance can be extremely helpful — exactly the type of guidance that should be provided by the UR Career Center. Due to the numerous hoops that students must jump through to even set up a meeting with a career counselor, however, many students find the Career Center to be an overly complicated and ultimately useless resource.

For a student who has never used the Career Center before, calling the number on its Web site — which they claim is the way to set up an appointment with a counselor — seems like a good first step. Usually, the first question asked by the receptionist, however, is whether the student has attended a career seminar. This is where the adventure that is setting up an appointment actually begins.

Although the times of these seminars are prescheduled and inflexible, students have no choice but to attend one, if they want to eventually get some individual guidance. The seminar is essentially an introduction to the types of services available through the Career Center’s website and, as such, it falls below many students’ expectations of what they will be learning. What makes this step wholly unnecessary is that a packet containing all of the relevant information to be covered is handed out at the start of the seminar. If students were simply given this packet upon their first visit to the Career Center, they could skip this step entirely.

The individual leading the seminar then suggests that students prepare a résumé and bring it into the Career Center office to be critiqued by an undergraduate employee. Though there’s nothing wrong with peer review, this is yet another part of the process that could have been streamlined from the beginning by a simple meeting with a counselor. Perhaps more problematic, however, is that the availability of individual counselors is often not even mentioned during the seminar. The issue here isn’t so much that the Career Center is keeping information from students, but rather that they seem to constantly be directing students away from potentially their most helpful service: one-on-one counseling.

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