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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA colleges: Help personalize students’ goals

    This past week, UA students may have noticed an influx of professional attire and hubbub on campus. On Wednesday, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences hosted an all-majors job fair and yesterday, the Eller College of Management held its 12th annual Career Showcase.

    According to Eller’s Web site, the Career Showcase “”serves as a foundation for those students seeking part-time and full-time opportunities, as well as for those companies wishing to recruit only the most exceptional students.””

    With over 5,000 undergraduate students, it seems only right that Eller would host an exclusive event aimed at preparing its students for the professional world.

    However, many UA colleges have larger undergraduate enrollments – such as the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, which is home to almost 6,000 students.

    While those colleges encourage their students to join clubs or get involved in research opportunities, they don’t hold exclusive events like the Career Showcase to help students find jobs or internships.

    Besma Alani, a physiological sciences junior, said she has had little help from her college in finding outside opportunities.

    “”When I got a job at a dentist’s office and enrolled in my (Dental Assistant Training Schools) course, it was all because of my independent research. It would be nice if my department helped me get a job, but you can only expect them to provide you with the coursework; the rest is on your own,”” said Alani.

    In many UA departments, there is a need for more events to not only point students in the right direction but also actually provide tangible opportunities. Though budget cuts and funding shortages are serious issues that many UA departments face, sometimes nonmonetary support is all students need.

    Ian Durnan, president of the Eller College Student Council, said the Career Showcase began as and continues to be a student-run event. “”I strongly believe that this is something that wouldn’t die if Eller’s support didn’t exist. We elect a special student officer for this event to ensure that we provide value.””

    Pamela Fick, the Eller College Career Initiatives Director, echoed Durnan’s statements and said Eller is able to put on events like the showcase because its students are willing and motivated, not because they are required to pay an enrollment fee.

    “”Our students want to show off their skills and are prepared to put events together. We are just here to help promote student-run initiatives,”” said Fick.

    Other colleges have attempted to provide similar events for students – for example, students not enrolled in Eller had the opportunity to attend the all-majors job fair sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Students in Free Enterprise.

    SIFE staff adviser Marcia Klipsch said that while retail jobs were emphasized at the fair, students of all majors were encouraged to attend. Sixty recruiters represented companies ranging from Ameriprise financial to the Water Conservation Management Program to the National Park Service to the Los Angeles Unified School District.

    “”We see the need to prepare not only our students, but all students who might be graduating or looking for a job,”” said Klipsch.

    However, such all-inclusive fairs have been unable to mimic the success of Eller’s event. While the attempt to include all UA students is admirable, it is not realistic.

    Eller students have found success in landing internships and jobs through the Career Showcase specifically because it is exclusive to the college.

    Dan O’Shea, president of Delta Sigma Pi, which co-sponsored the showcase, said, “”The closely knit Eller community makes organizing events like the Career Showcase much easier.””

    In order for students to feel like an event is important to their specific area of study, it needs to be organized by the people best able to understand their needs: the students and administrators of their college.

    If more UA departments recognized the importance of staging helpful events exclusive to their students, students, in turn, wouldn’t feel so neglected and would take it upon themselves to ensure the success of those events.

    Yusra Tekbali is a junior majoring in journalism and Near Eastern studies. She can be reached at

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