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Photo by Samantha Kaiser

Charlotte Reilly

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Academic and Career Development Center (ACDC) helps students determine what field of study will help them achieve their career goals.

Staff, faculty and peer advisors meet with students who are unsure of what academic path they want to follow. Advising appointments can be made online, through email and with a phone call. Advising holds are placed on student accounts each semester to ensure students enroll in the right classes.

Samantha Kaiser, the assistant director of academic advising in ACDC, meets with undeclared students.

“What I like to remind students is: we are all a work in progress. I don’t have a crystal ball that will tell you what to do,” Kaiser said. “What we can do at ACDC is ask intentional questions. Often, students get their “aha” moments from us asking them questions they’ve never been asked before.”

It is common for students to be unsure of what to study and explore different majors, said Sarah Preston, a graduate student who works as an advisor.

“I changed my major unofficially six times,” Preston said. “If I could go back and tell myself as a student one thing it would be to take advantage of the resources. Advising, class and experience shape you and shape your career.”

Students need to be aware of the exploratory work they have to put in, Kaiser said. They need to come to advising appointments, look at the ACDC website, books and quizzes to learn about themselves.

“I would encourage students to at least try advising. The worst that can happen is you leave thinking ‘I don’t know,’” Kaiser said. “Really challenge yourself to take one good thing away from an appointment. We have a wealth of information. I am going to tell you new things that you’ve probably never heard before.”

The two main reasons students should take advantage of advising appointments are: to make sure they are on track for graduation and to connect with the university in a different way, Kaiser said.

“Advisors are trained to know different opportunities on campus,” Kaiser said. “We keep our ears open, and we like when we can give a student an opportunity to partner with an employer.”

Academic talk often branches into career talk, Kaiser explained. ACDC has connections to many
local and on-campus jobs, so talking to an ACDC advisor about academics could lead to a part-time job or internship.

UNO also has Career Connect, a job board with Omaha and regional jobs listed for students and alumni. On-campus employment is posted on the campus HR website.

“It’s a very fluid conversation,” Kaiser said. “That’s what makes our office so cool. Majors and careers work together.”

Advising appointments make people better students and better employees, Preston said. It allows staff to determine students’ strengths and goals, but it may take more than one advising session to decide what career path to follow.

“I like to remind students that we all don’t know what we want to be when we grow up, and that’s okay,” Kaiser said. “It may be frustrating sometimes, but it’s wonderful too because you’re always exploring. Every little step will get you further.”

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Trent Ostrom

Few things are as valuable to a college student as an internship that helps them grow professionally and lead to a future job, but how does a student who’s looking for their first internship stand out to an employer?

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s college of business hosts the annual CBA Career & Internship Fair where businesses set up booths and interact with students about career opportunities.

Students registered in advance, dressed professionally and extended a firm handshake to potential future employers. As they made eye contact and extended their hand, they had a resume in one hand and a notepad in the other.

The fair took place on Sept. 24 at UNO’s Mammel Hall and businesses had booths lined across the atrium and down the hallways where students could stop by, interact and pick up free merchandise from the companies.

This year’s fair boasted 49 businesses that represented multiple job markets including banking, retail and insurance. For students, this event is an excellent opportunity to learn more about companies they are interested in. Parnell Matthews, a junior studying business administration, came to the fair to look for potential companies he might want to apply to in the future.

“I’m looking to see what companies I might enjoy working for and hopefully get my foot in the door,” Matthews said. “It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to ask questions about positions and the company itself.”

Students asked meaningful questions that helped give them insight to what the companies’ values are and what work looks like day to day. While the fair is beneficial to students, it is equally beneficial for the employers who attend.

Mark Niedzwiecki, a business manager of Walgreens, explained how interacting with students at fairs helps him choose potential candidates.

“In the spring and summer we hire interns and host a 10- week course that helps develop management skills,” Niedzwiecki said. “Meeting students in person, and getting a gauge of what their interests are helps me see where we could help them develop. It also helps us explain potential career opportunities through Walgreens.”

An added benefit of the fair was many professors offered students extra credit for registering and attending the fair. Though this may have been motivation for some, many came simply for professional development and getting face time with professionals.

“It’s nice to have a break from looking online for job postings and to actually be able to interact with the company about what is available and what they’re looking for,” Matthews said.