For most students, a major goal of undergraduate education is preparation for launching a successful career or going on to medical, law, or graduate school. Here at Wittenberg we recognize the importance of finding that first professional position or of gaining admission to the graduate school of your choice, so we provide an extensive array of resources and support services to help you succeed.
Planning a career is a lifelong journey. Studies by career planning experts predict that those in the generation now in college will experience an average of six career changes in their adult lives. The jobs we hold often define a large part of who we are, making wise career choices among the most important decisions of our lives.
Effective career planning melds personal interests, abilities and values with solid information about the work world. It requires making choices from an amazing array of alternatives, based on the best information available. This is best done after some “reality-testing” of tentative career choices via internships and other experiences. The Wittenberg student has the advantage of a career center both sophisticated in the use of technology and small enough to offer personalized career consulting and networking support.
Develop a Four-Year Plan
During their first year students hear about Wittenberg 's Power of Experience program. In a one-hour presentation, the Off-Campus Programs' staff introduces new students to the concept of building a Power Portfolio to maximize opportunities for personal and career growth during their four years at Wittenberg . A variety of carefully selected experiences will maximize this growth as well as create potential for a successful job search and graduate school admission:
Students are encouraged to make appointments with the Career Center staff, or a faculty adviser, who will assist them in developing a sense of career direction and determining the fields of study and experiences that might best prepare them for their target career fields. Personality, interest, and skill testing is available to assist students in making choices, including FOCUS – a career guidance program that is free to all Wittenberg students and easily accessible via the Career Center's web site.
Enhance Understanding of Career Options
The Career Center web site and the Patmos Career Library feature information about local and national internship sites, career fields, graduate schools, job search tools, starting salary averages, and employers who typically recruit on college campuses. A popular resource are the Witt Major Sheets, which are organized by academic major and list the job titles of graduates one, five, and ten years after they leave Wittenberg .
Although information about many career fields is just a click away, a deeper understanding of one's options is generally best developed through discussions with people about their work and periodic reflection of one's experiences that have tested skills, provided exposure to interest areas, or heightened awareness about work place values. Students can make connections via the Tiger Career Advisers Network (TCAN), which is an online database of alumni, parents, and friends of Wittenberg who have volunteered to field questions about their careers from students. Additionally, alumni also return to campus throughout the year to speak at Alumni Careers Day and other programs geared toward educating students about career options or assisting them with their internship or job searches.
Career consulting is available through all four years at Wittenberg , to assist students with the reflection process and to help them reach or revise the goals established their first year when completing the Power Portfolio.
Gain Experience and Learn How to Market Yourself
By making strategic choices of campus and summer employment, internships, volunteer work, and research and independent study projects, students gain the powerful experiences that give them that all-important edge in the job market or in graduate school acceptance. As part of the Power Portfolio experience, the Career Center directs students to campus, community, state and other resources that help them identify the experiences that can set them apart from the crowd of job seekers or grad school applicants.
How does one capture his/her key experiences to effectively promote him/herself on a resumé and during an interview for employment or an internship? These are challenges that many students face. The Career Center assists students by offering the following workshops each semester: Preparing Resumés: Write Until You Get it Right and Interview Success Factors: Managing First Impressions and Closing the Sale. Students can then sharpen their self-promotions skills by taking advantage of our resumé critique and mock interview services. Videotaping is an option during mock interviews.
Identify First Job Opportunities and Convert Them into Careers
The Career Center offers effective job search training through small group workshops, videotapes, and on-line resources to prepare students for the most current trends in assertive job search skills. This training is supported by:
Graduate School Placement
For students who plan to pursue a master’s or doctorate degree, Wittenberg is an ideal place to prepare for continued studies. Strong programs in the arts and sciences, skill-based general education requirements, and research experiences make the Wittenberg graduate attractive to top graduate and professional programs. In addition to graduate school advisers in each academic department, students can discuss graduate school plans with the Career Center staff and investigate options using the center’s library and web resources. Additionally, the Career Center hosts a graduate school planning program to assist students in understanding the application process, test preparation, and fellowship and assistantship opportunities. The Center also provides individual critiques of graduate school essays and offers a credentials service to keep reference letters on file – this is especially helpful for those students who plan on applying to graduate programs after graduation.
Medical and Law School Placement
Wittenberg faculty offer individual advising to assist students in making the transition to professional school, and they bring special knowledge, medical and law school contacts, and a detailed understanding of admission requirements to help you in your search for the right school. With their help, you can begin planning an appropriate course of study - right from your first year of college.
The student interested in a career in ministry, whether ordained or lay ministry as a youth worker, social worker, diaconal minister, or other vocation, can benefit from a pre-theological course of studies. Any major can be appropriate, with supporting classes in religion, philosophy, history, languages, English, and other disciplines. Advising for students interested in pre-theological studies at Wittenberg is provided principally by the University’s Pastors.
A word about our philosophy…
The Career Center strives to make available to all students, regardless of major, the widest possible range of professional career-related services. From career consulting to job search assistance, seeking out and using our services is the responsibility of each student. Our role is one of coaching and teaching – beginning in a student’s first year – those skills necessary to make the many career transitions a student will face in a lifetime.