University of West Florida Career Services Engages Students through “On the Go” Services

 

The University of West Florida (UWF) Career Services Department partnered with the Department of Housing and Residence Life and several academic buildings to offer “On the Go” services during the 2014-2015 academic year. On the Go involves Career Services staff setting up a table in various locations throughout campus to answer student’s career-related questions, conduct on-the-spot resume and cover letter reviews, and provide interview tips. UWF Career Services has worked to become well informed about the populations in each location in an effort to better support these students in their career endeavors.

In an effort to make On the Go more interactive, themes which included engaging activities were established for each month. For example, in September, the theme was “Professional Dress” and the activity was “What Not to Wear.” Students drew an occupation from an envelope and then sorted through dozens of shirts, pants, and shoes to determine the most appropriate outfit for their candidate to wear to an interview. At a separate On the Go event, students answered career-related questions to receive up to three chances in a beanbag toss. If they successfully tossed at least one beanbag in the hole, they received a Career Services prize. These activities assisted in creating interest in our table allowing Career Services staff to engage with a larger number of students.

For 2014-2015, On the Go was conducted across the UWF campus 85 times with an average of two hours spent in each location. Career Services staff members engaged with 1,802 students and 120 follow-up appointments were made on the spot with the office. Based on an analysis of these results, adjustments have been made for the 2015-2016 academic year. We will be eliminating or cutting back the time spent in some locations due to low student engagement and adding new locations we believe may be more heavily utilized. Our monthly On the Go themes will also be aligned with our office newsletter and blog beginning this year.  Finally, we will be using sign in sheets instead of a tally system this year in an effort to keep track of students who do not make an on the spot appointment with our office, but choose to make one at a later date. Meeting students where they are continues to be critical to the marketing of our services and On the Go is one of the ways we meet this need.

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