UWF sees positive results with the “College Liaison Model”

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Jennifer Hill M.P.A. M.Ed., University of West Florida

Career Services at the University of West Florida has utilized its College Liaison Model in a unique way this year.  Each Liaison has planned and executed a “Career Road Trip” to a local employer related to the majors in their college. These trips take approximately 25 students to a local employer and consist of a behind-the-scenes tour, talks on what a typical day looks like, career advice for students, and conclude with a networking session.
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The students sign-up to attend the free event and complete an online learning module that includes developing a One-Minute Commercial to assist them with networking at the event. Students are provided lunch by either Career Services or the Employer and provided transportation to the event by Career Services.

All UWF students/alumni are invited to attend the event, however seats are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.  A waitlist is also available when the available seats are filled and empty seats are offered to those on the waitlist through the morning of the event itself (in the case of no-shows).

Locations included:

  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car (College of Business)
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos Stadium (College of Education and Professional Studies)
  • Navy Federal Credit Union (Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering)
  • Andrew’s Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine (Usha Kundu, MD College of Health)
  • Pensacola Museum of Art (College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities)

At the conclusion of each trip, the employers and students are asked to complete a follow-up survey seeking feedback related to their experience.

The students are also asked about their confidence levels in their ability to effectively communicate with a potential employer prior to the event and then again at the conclusion of the event.

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In addition, 100% of students indicated they would recommend the Career Road Trips to other students and had the following to say about their experiences:

“The PMA road trip was a very eye opening experience. By seeing the behind the scenes of the museum, I learned that it takes an extensive collaborative effort to keep the institution afloat. This trip showed me that I would enjoy working in a museum type atmosphere. The networking opportunities were a tremendous help as well, it allowed me to gain valuable volunteer and internship experience to add to my resume.”-Pensacola Museum of Art Career Road Trip Attendee

“The Career Road Trip to the PMA provided me the opportunity to get an in depth, behind the scenes look at gallery studies and what it’s like to work in an art gallery. Although I am studying to be a practicing artist rather than an art historian, this opportunity opened my eyes to what a career in this particular field entails and gave me the opportunity to build relationships with influential community figures and potential mentors.”- Pensacola Museum of Art Career Road Trip Attendee

Employers also had very positive things to say about their experiences with the Road Trips:

“We feel that the road trip was a positive experience for both the students and the staff. The students were professional and motivated. We look forward to having those students take an active role in the museum and our relationship with future career service road trips.” –Pensacola Museum of Art

“Working to coordinate this event with Tim was seamless, and our employees were eager and willing to take time out of their day to speak with UWF undergraduate students. Our employees had great feedback from being involved with the event and are looking forward to the next opportunity.” –Andrew’s Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine

For more information on the Career Road Trips or our College Liaison Model, please feel free to contact me at jhill2@uwf.edu