Career services assists in job search

For most students, the core reason for pursuit of a college degree is to obtain a job. In today’s job market and economy, graduates sometimes struggle to find work. That is where OU career services comes in, helping students and alumni gain the competitive edge employers are looking for.

Career services strives to help students and alumni attain lifelong career success. The goal is to help the center’s clients, students, prepare for the job hunt.

“The mission of Career Services is to provide career readiness and career preparedness services for students and alumni,” said Wayne Thibodeau, director of career services.

According to Thibodeau, students can work with an adviser at any point in their academic career and after graduating. The adviser will help students meet their individual needs and goals.

“Career Consultants can help students develop a job search strategy, create a professional resume, practice interview skills, network for job leads and identify career events and programs to aid their job search,” Thibodeau said.

Stephen Parker, an OU graduate of mechanical engineering, found that using career services ultimately helped him land his job at Chrysler.

“Their (career services) staff is a group of specialists that know the in’s and out’s of the professional world,” Parker said.

Career services taught Parker the basics like resumé editing, and they helped him get his first internship as well.

“As an 18-year-old student coming in, I certainly was unaware of many of the strategies and techniques that were sometimes round one basics to them,” Parker said. “Even so, I still find myself learning from Career Services at every interaction and I have a feeling this likely applies to nearly all students, no matter the age.”

One thing that Thibodeau stressed is that the time is never too early to start thinking about the future. Students can go to career services at any point and also attend a wide variety of career-related events for free.

“As freshman and sophomores, students can begin to create a professional resumé and conduct informational interviews to assist them with defining their career aspirations,” Thibodeau said.

Rachel Reardon, a graduate of French language and literature with a minor in advertising, believes that all students should take advantage of the service. They helped her build a portfolio and gain confidence for her job hunt.

“I learned job search skills that helped me land a job that combines both my fields of study,” Reardon said. “I felt confident and prepared throughout the job search process because I had gone through practice interviews, resume critiques, had my questions answered and discussed networking strategies with career consultants.”

Students can also use a website called to seek full-time, part-time, or campus jobs and internships.

According to Thibodeau, internships are something that all college students should experience. Doing more than one internship can help your chances of landing a job.

“Employers expect students to attain 1-2 internships prior to graduation,” Thibodeau said.

Another move that all students should be making to increase their odds is networking. Thibodeau, Reardon and Parker all agreed that networking is key throughout an education and the progression to professionalism  — both on and off campus.

“Eighty percent of jobs today are found in the hidden job market.. developing connections with family, friends, peers, neighbors (and) professional organizations can help you learn about trends in a given industry but also establish contacts which could lead to more networking and job prospects in the future,” Thibodeau said.

Career services is located in 154 North Foundation Hall. Call 248-370-3250 for more information.