Need help finding an internship? Are you prepared for the interview? Do you have something professional to wear?
All of these tasks and more can be answered at Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Career Services, located in Room 143 on the first level of the University Student Commons. VCU Career Services serves more than 26,000 students across both the Monroe Park and MCV Campuses and more than 100,000 alumni around the world. Career Services consists of a team of educators and student workers who strive to help students achieve their professional and career goals.
Jeanette Hickl, the arts and design advisor, has been part of Career Services for eleven years. Hickl found herself interested in career advising because of the impact she could have on students’ future.
“I found myself questioning, ‘Well, once a student goes to an academic advisor, what happens next to them?’ and that’s how I fell into Career Services and I’ve been in love ever since,” Hickl said.
Career Services offers many benefits and programs for students. One such program is “Suit Yourself,” where students who need professional clothing for an upcoming interview or career fair may visit Career Services and “shop” in the Suit Yourself closet. Students can also keep the items of clothing they choose for any future professional needs. The Suit Yourself closet has many items of donated clothing for all genders, including shirts, blazers, pants, skirts, dresses, shoes, ties, scarves, bags, etc.
“We were approached last January by an organization called Executive Placements of Virginia. They told us that they wanted to do a huge donor drive with their employees and that they wanted to give those donations to VCU students,” Hickl said.
After receiving those donations, Career Services decided to provide access to a mobile closet of those items two days prior to the Just in Time Career Fair in April 2016. Over 140 students came through during the two days the service was offered. The high demand and interest inspired Hickl and her staff to provide a permanent fixture for students – thus, the Suit Yourself closet was born.
“The most exciting thing for me about this role is being able to help students in the way that they need to be helped and we really pride ourselves on stopping to listen to what they’re asking for and making sure that we are advising, creating events and doing the work around what the students need,” Hickl said.
Advisors are available to help students with any questions they have regarding their futures, including picking a major, finding internships, choosing a career path and interviewing tips. Career Services also offers a LinkedIn photo booth, where students can have a professional picture taken by a photographer for use on their LinkedIn profile.
Students can either make an appointment or drop in to utilize the many services offered. Career Services is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended drop-in hours on Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m.
“Without students, we wouldn’t be here. Students are what make my day so exciting because every day a new student comes in and it’s a new journey we go on,” Hickl said.
For more information on all that Career Services has to offer, visit http://www.careers.vcu.edu/.