Trends and Issues in Higher Ed

May 12, 2015

Career preparation at the college level


Benjamin Janicki, mechanical engineering master’s student (BS ‘14) consults with Jim Buttrick, Boeing employee, in the new Boeing Advanced Research Center that enables students to work collaboratively with Boeing engineers on aircraft and spacecraft assembly and manufacturing.
Photo credit: Brian DalBalcon

Designed for efficiency and collaboration, the new Career Center @ Engineering will be a branch of the Career Center housed in the College of Engineering. The joint center is scheduled to open to students in fall 2015 and will be located in Loew Hall. It will function as a single entry point for employers seeking to hire engineering professionals. The center aims to improve visibility and responsiveness to students and companies, to increase the number of companies hosted at career fairs and conducting on-campus interviews, and to provide students with more opportunities for internships and jobs.

As College of Engineering Dean Michael Bragg describes it, “The Career Center @ Engineering is an important initiative for the college — one that promises to enrich our students’ educational experience and deepen our industry partnerships. Our students develop strong technical skills in the classroom. This center will expand opportunities for experience-based learning through increased industry interaction, internships and training. This will allow our students to enter the workforce with confidence and, at the same time, meet the needs of industry.”

The Career Center @ Engineering will coach and prepare students in areas of career strategy and successful job search techniques, including:

Basic job search skills: Writing and tailoring a résumé to a specific opportunity, how to build and sustain a professional network, and how to conduct an excellent job interview.

Knowing future options: Familiarity with the variety of engineering careers and how to explore these options.

Connecting academics with professional experiences: Understanding of skills gained through leadership, research, community service, internships and other co-curricular and curricular experiences at UW.

Ability to articulate proficiencies: Concisely communicating about talents, strengths, values, transferrable skills and experiences in ways that align with various industries and engineering career options.


The College of Arts & Sciences is helping students learn how to translate their education to career applications through various college-to-career opportunities focused on job skills, networking, internships and strategic mentorship. Robert Stacey, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, says the goal is to “introduce students to the skills and attributes that employers are seeking, and to do so early in their UW careers. We want them to recognize that, regardless of major, they can increase the value of their education by starting to prepare now for the world of employment.” Students can add to their experiences beginning with the following options:

“I’d recommend Koru to anyone, whatever major. Whatever program you’re looking to go into, I would say Koru is for you. It gives you a new way to think about school and education, and your career path later in life.”

Gabriela Rojas-Luna
Sophomore, Philosophy major


Koru@UW A&S:

The College has partnered with Koru, a Seattle-based training company, to offer Koru@UW A&S, an intensive program that will introduce Arts & Sciences students to skills needed to be successful in the business world. Beginning in late summer 2015, students can enroll in a two-week long session on the UW’s Seattle campus. Students will learn about a range of businesses and will work in small teams to tackle real-life business problems presented to them by a local company. The Career Center is planning follow-up sessions specially tailored to take these students to the next level of professional development, including how to land an internship and refining LinkedIn profiles.

A&S Internships (under development):

The College is rethinking how students approach and take advantage of internship opportunities. From scope of work to location and duration, Arts & Sciences is piloting new ways students can integrate internships with their undergraduate experience. These might include novel forms such as “micro-internships” that last just a day or two, allowing students to quickly assess projects and organizations to more closely align with their skills and interests. Numerous partners, both on and off campus, are committed to reimagining what the internship experience could look like.

Mentorship Activities (under development):

The College is also working closely with the UW Alumni Association to develop a program pairing UW alumni with current students preparing to enter the world of work. Alumni/student mentorships will address a multitude of shared UW Arts & Sciences experiences such as tackling a challenging academic major, leveraging a diverse and ever-evolving undergraduate curriculum, and becoming informed citizens. The mentor/mentee relationship will help students connect their degree to their life and goals after graduation.

Learn More

Read the full Provost report on how to link academic passion to life and careers.