If anyone is currently a senior at UIS and freaking out because they have to graduate in the middle of a global pandemic, there are many others that feel such pain. The increased level of uncertainty and reduced amount of job opportunities make it seem as if there are no good options available for those wanting to make major life decisions about the future. Luckily, there are still resources available for those who plan on graduating in the fall of 2020 or spring of 2021.
If completely unsure of where to start, the Career Development Center in Student Affairs Building (SAB) 50 at UIS has a plethora of options available. Their website (https://www.uis.edu/career/) contains links for students, faculty and staff; a Career Pathfinder that links a major of study to prospective careers; opportunities to schedule Career Counseling; DACA resources; a timeline of career-centered events; and resume-building tutorials, to name a few.
Career Suite call-in hours allow students to talk with a Career Advisor or other professional during designated times via Career Connect. For more information on Career Suite call-in hours or to set up a time, visit https://www.uis.edu/career/students/services/career-suite-drop-in-call-in-hours/ and follow the instructions.
On the main web page for the Career Development Center, the Career Toolbox offers advice, salary calculators, resume and mock interview tutorials, job links, career outlooks and more. To view a timeline of community career fairs and other career events, check out https://calendars.illinois.edu/list/1745#. Contact the Career Development Center at [email protected] or (217) 206-6508 for inquiries.
Another optimal place to seek guidance is The Office of Internships and Prior Learning (IPL) at UIS. Remote and in-person internships are still available at a variety of places to acquire field experience and having an office that specializes in helping students find them can be undeniably helpful during such a stress-inducing process. To book an appointment remotely via Zoom session, visit https://www.uis.edu/ipl/ and open the form at the bottom of the page. Remote office hours can be found at the top of the page. Questions can be directed to [email protected] or 217-206-6640.
This guidebook, accessible at https://resources.twc.edu/working-virtually/graduating-in-the-age-of-covid-19, is specifically directed at those who are graduating as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the nation. Plenty of useful information and resources, such as remote job opportunities, student loan payoff advice, virtual career fairs, and budgeting tips are laid out in a very organized, brochure-esque manner.
The UIS Office of Advancement has a program titled “Alumnihood Series” in which graduates can envision their futures with pragmatism. Educational videos and links relating to graduation, such as a quiz to test readiness for graduate school, can be found at https://www.uis.edu/advancement/alumni/alumni-resources/alumnihood-series/.
While the pressure may be on for seniors to make the best of a COVID-19 graduation, the pandemic does not have to stop them from completing this successful milestone. Staying flexible and prepared, knowing approximately what to expect regarding one’s prospective career and having a large number of supplemental tools can offset some additional difficulties.