Career Discovery Week is a three-ring affair this year, but it’s hardly a circus. The event, now in its seventh year, will give students, staff, alums and anyone else who’s interested a taste of a wide variety of careers, and it’s happening at UW Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma Jan. 23–28.
“It’s a real grassroots kind of event,” said Rebecca Levy, manager of events and job development in the UW’s Center for Career Services. “We have advisers and staff from across campus involved — 15 people — who have been meeting since summer to pull this thing together.” The Center for Career Services, UW Alumni Association and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs are the event sponsors.
The sessions, almost all of which are free, include general topics such as creating a resume and writing a statement of purpose for graduate school, as well as specific topics such as careers in economics, environmental science and other fields. Many sessions will feature alumni panelists involved in various aspects of a career field. Most sessions run about 90 minutes.
Levy said the committee members looked at evaluations from last year’s event as they planned which sessions to hold. They even pulled a student group together to make sure the program was on target.
So, what’s popular at the event? Forensics and entertainment careers are always a big draw, Levy says, as are international careers and government work.
New this year is a larger participation by the College of Engineering, which is sponsoring about 15 sessions.
The event is not so much about planning a specific career as it is getting a taste of what’s out there. “It’s a great opportunity for students to try something on,” Levy said. “Even though you’re an engineering major, you might be curious about marine science, or an economics major might have an idle interest in drama. It’s a way to learn about things.”
It’s also a way for students in particular to find out about campus resources available to them, according to Susan Terry, director of the Center for Career Services. “This is the splashiest program we have that looks at career,” she said. “This is to get people to see what the resources are and to use them. Unfortunately, there are some students who don’t think about careers until senior year.”
People who attend Career Discovery Week can register to win an Apple iPod, courtesy of University Book Store and/or a free comprehensive test preparation course, courtesy of Kaplan.
A complete list of the more than 100 sessions available, including a few that begin before or after the official Career Discovery Week, is available at www.careerweek.washington.edu. There are also paper booklets listing the sessions available at the Center for Career Services on the first floor of Mary Gates Hall.