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SMC Seniors make use of career facilities to prepare

Molly Lamping | Wednesday, September 14, 2005

For most Saint Mary’s students, the summer seems a long way off. But for many in the class of 2006, the time for entering the “real world” is rapidly approaching.

At the outset of the academic year, Saint Mary’s seniors have begun already to plan for life after college with help from various opportunities the College provides.

To help with that planning, students often turn to the Center for Career Opportunities (CCO). Created by the College to help students transition smoothly from Saint Mary’s into the working world, the CCO – located on the foundation level of the Student Center – works with students of all majors to search for jobs, make decisions about graduate school and improve their job-hunting skills.

“We’re not really placing people in jobs,” said Mike Sanders, the director of Indiana Careers at SMC. “While that’s not our responsibility, we help them find out what they’re interested in.”

Senior Lindsey Lozmack, a communications studies major, has used the Center’s resources to find direction.

“You know what’s out there,” Lozm-ack said of the working world, “but you don’t really know what you’re going to like.”

Although she has submitted her résumé to a number of companies nationwide due to opportunities provided by a summer internship, Lozmack consults the CCO’s director Jeff Roberts about her future career path.

“He really helps you sort out your priorities,” she said.

To aid students, the CCO offers multiple career fairs, workshops and internship opportunities each semester. The CCO’s best assets are the ones that help graduating Belles start their own professional network, Roberts said.

“The Center was really helpful,” said senior Kate Keating, an elementary education major. “I brought in my résumé and they helped me tweak it, which was how I landed my summer internship with Chicago Public School and my job for next year.”

“Go Belles” is an online system that allows SMC students to enter their résumés into a national referral system, posting the résumés of Saint Mary’s seniors for hundreds of employers across the U.S.

Another tool available to Saint Mary’s students is alumnae of the College. A database, called the Alumnae Resource Network, was created to feature 5,000 accesible Saint Mary’s alumnae, Roberts said.

A student can search by her major or a specific geographic area and gain access to hundreds of Saint Mary’s graduates and their contact information. This allows Belles to get in contact with women in the same field or same part of the country in which they themselves are interested, Roberts said.

“It’s not really meant for them to give you a job,” says Sanders of the ARN. “It’s meant to start networking.”

Students will be able to speak to alumnae about careers at “Grace Under Fire,” a panel discussion to be held Thursday, Oct. 13., in the Stapleton Lounge.