Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Students, alumni served by UA Career Center

The transition from college years at the University to the workforce can be stressful for some students – job searching, car payments, taxes, mortgages and discovering true independence. But for those looking to make a smoother switch, the Career Center offers tools and advice to facilitate new independence.

“What a lot of students don’t realize is that the Career Center offers the same services to alumni that they do to undergraduate students,” Mary Lowrey, assistant director of career education and development, said. “One-on-one consulting, resumé reviews, cover letter reviews, networking strategies, career fairs, employer information sessions, online services. They’re all available to UA alumni. I don’t know many other universities that do that.”

Despite the many services offered to UA alumni, Lowrey said only recently graduated students take advantage of them.

Most alumni who come to the Career Center are fairly recent graduates who spent their time as undergraduates focusing on graduating and then came looking for a job or a career change shortly after graduating.

“We meet with all alumni,” Lowrey said. “We identify where the student is in the career path. We identify which services will help fit their needs. It ranges from sitting down with a freshman trying to determine their major, interest skills and abilities all the way to an alumnus who decides to make a career change for whatever reason. So our services really do range from every part of the career process.”

UA alumnus Micah Russell graduated from the University in 2012 with a double major in computer science and media production. Russell said he had no problem making a change from the college lifestyle to independent adulthood.

“After I graduated, I got a job in Huntsville, where I did graphics programming for a missile defense company,” Russell said. “It was a good job, and I was definitely able to pay my bills and live independently without any help from my parents.”

While Russell was working in Huntsville, Industrial Light and Magic, a visual effects company that produced special effects for such classic films as “Star Wars,” “E.T.,” “The Goonies” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” contacted him.

“I filled out an application I had put in online while I was still in school,” Russell said. “Next thing I knew, they hired me. I am now currently living in San Francisco, Calif., working for the world’s leading visual effects house. All in all, the transition has been great.”

While Russell has experienced rapid success in his early post-graduate years, he said he believes his hard work in school helped him make the transition that could otherwise can be daunting for others.

“My main advice: learn some tangible skills that set you apart from other graduates,” Russell said. “All the work I put in in school really helped me leave with the skills to make this transition fun and easy.”

In addition to the Career Center services, Lowrey agrees the University offers a plethora of opportunities able to prepare students for the transition from school to work.

“The University offers services that no other universities, to my knowledge, offer,” Lowrey said. “The more experiences you have, the more things you do, the easier it is to find a job and thrive in the real world.”

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