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Graduating? University officials offer advice -- and job-search camp -- to help

By Nina Carter
On April 18, 2012


As UDM seniors approach graduation, they are preparing to take many different paths.

Some will be heading to graduate school, a co-op job or an internship. Others will be traveling.

But most will be plunging directly into their careers.

For them, the Career Education Center is an essential stop.

The center offers many services to students, including a three-day, job-search boot camp - the next of which is scheduled for May 1-3. The camp will give graduating seniors the opportunity to develop skills essential in a successful job search.

Elissa Clemons, assistant dean of the center, said the camp focuses on four steps: self-awareness, exploration, job/career focus and a job-search action plan. Employer volunteers and center staff lead the sessions.

UDM stresses a sense of community responsibility in all aspects of education, a quality that can impress employers, Clemons said.

"With this foundation UDM students from all majors are able to demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings as well as a sense of social responsibility to the metropolitan Detroit area," she said. "These are the skills that employers seek when recruiting new hires."

Roy Finkenbine, interim liberal arts and education dean,encourages students to take advantage of the help offered at UDM - not only at the center, but also by talking to your major professors, completing an internship or two in your college years and working summer jobs related to your career path.

"Experience is vital," said Finkenbine.

Clemons advises students not to take themselves too seriously but to stay committed to their plans and to manage their time effectively.                                                             

"Education better prepares you for the working world, and enables a richer, more-fulfilling life, for having engaged - and continuing to engage - the range of subjects and questions you encounter in college," said Finkenbine. "That's true no matter what career path you follow."

Students considering graduate school should begin by identifying the reason they want to continue their education, said Clemons.

The decision to attend grad school should be thoroughly considered, she said, adding that students should be certain that the return investment on time and money will take them in the desired direction.

If you head to graduate school, be prepared, said Finkenbine.

"Learn how to consistently practice self-discipline and the habits of mind that come from that, particularly analytic reading and writing," he said. "Don't expect to get by on what you did in high school and, perhaps, in your undergraduate years. You'll have to 'up your game' in graduate school."

Seniors may register for the job-search boot camp through TitanConnect or by emailing

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