By ANDREW HANSON
KEARNEY – This is bigger than a traditional career center.
At the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the College of Business and Technology Career Center has added mentoring and business networking programs to help guide business students in their career paths.
Cover letters, resumes and interviewing tips all remain a focus, but the Career Center is becoming more specialized and focused on catering to specific student needs.
“Our office is dedicated toward professional development,” said CBT Career Center Director Dustin Favinger. “That’s anything from resume building to helping get students in touch with experiential learning opportunities like internships.”
Last year, the center unveiled a mentoring program that has more than doubled in size, expanding from eight student participants to 19 this fall. The program matches students with industry leaders based on their majors and where they’re at in their academic careers.
Stephanie Duennerman, a junior business administration major from Amherst, was mentored by UNK Marketing Director Kyle Means. She said she was able to expand her skillset by learning more about the different disciplines within the business world.
“Kyle gave me valuable feedback and advice that I was able to use throughout the year,” said Duennerman. “It was very beneficial to gain insights on the behind-the-scenes aspect of my mentor’s responsibilities.”
The CBT Career Center also started a program called Company Connections, which brings regional businesses to campus for students to network with. The eight companies currently participating include: First National Bank, GIX Logistics, Nebraska State Bank, Xpanxion, Fastenal, Sandhills Publishing, Buckle and Mead Lumber.
“It’s kind of like a mini career fair, but it’s a way for freshmen and sophomores – a demographic that’s probably not going to the career fair – to start that relationship-building process,” Favinger said.
Along with Favinger, the CBT Career Center has an internship director, Janice Woods, who not only helps students prepare for and find internships, but also assists businesses with creating internship opportunities and special projects for students to complete inside and outside of the classroom.
“We want our students to have as many experiential learning opportunities as they can get before they graduate,” Woods said. “These real-world experiences are extremely valuable in their overall education package.”
The Career Center recently relocated to rooms 119E and 121E in West Center, which is in a highly-visible area for students near classrooms. Since relocating, Favinger said traffic has increased along with stop-in appointments.
“What we’re trying to do is ensure that our community stakeholders are getting qualified candidates,” Favinger said. “We want to make sure our students have the tools that they need to find a career and present the best versions of themselves.”
- CBT Career Center Student Offerings
- Resume and cover letter critique
- Interview tips
- Negotiation strategies
- Internship opportunities
- Career planning and guidance
- Networking opportunities
- Professional development