Working for the future
UB continues to push new program to improve on-campus student work experience
UB is looking to transform the job search experience with a new program: Here to Career.
The program, which works directly with Student Life and Career Services, will give students on-campus jobs and pair them with advisers from multiple UB departments. This semester marks the launch of the program.
“[On-campus jobs] can be more purposeful for our students if we design them more as experiential learning experiences,” Vice President of Student Life A. Scott Weber said. “Students will be more inclined to talk about their job experiences instead of just saying, ‘It was a good experience.’”
The program started taking shape when Student Life started looking for ways to make on-campus jobs a more “valuable experience” for students. Weber hopes the program can get all departments on campus to provide jobs to students and said this would give students more options.
Student Life couldn't provide the specific number of job offerings or mentors in the program because the applications are still open, according to Phyllis Floro, director of Student Engagement.
“We are focusing on developing professional skills that are critical to employers,” said Arlene Kaukus, director of Career Services. “With us working together, students will have a better grasp on their skills and be more prepared for when they look for a job after school.”
The program aims to build skills in eight different areas, with leadership, intercultural relations, communications and critical thinking listed among them. Weber said no matter what job a student has in the program, these skills will always be emphasized. Every advisor in the program is trained to assure they are capable of teaching the program’s core eight values, according to Weber.
Shuron Jackson, a junior political science and history double major, works at Career Services and has a part-time job. Jackson said she thinks the new program is great for students, but wishes there was more advertising for it.
“You don’t see anything about it anywhere,” Jackson said. “Sure it’s in 1Capen and Student Life, but how many students are seeing that? I can’t see the turnout being that strong if not that many people know. That’s a shame too. I would recommend people look into campus jobs.”
Angelina Wallum, a sophomore electrical engineering major, wishes there was a program like Here to Career when she was looking for an on-campus job as a freshman. She said there is an advantage in working a part-time job and a full schedule.
“I work close to 20 hours at Wegmans each week,” Wallum said. “Before I started working, [time management] wasn’t something I ever thought about. You don’t think planning and time management are difficult, but you have to learn how to do it right.”
She credits her communication skills to her ability to manage both workloads.
“I meet a lot of people here who have never had a job at all,” Wallum said. “That is scary, I feel like you need to have worked a job or you’re not going to be ready for a career. There were so many things I was terrible at before I started working, it was hard for me to even talk to people.”
Students can apply to Here to Career on Bullseye and can visit Student Life’s office at 223 Student Union.
About the Author
Thomas Zafonte is a senior English major. He is a UB sports fan and enjoys traveling around Buffalo.