Have you seen the big yellow chair in Starvaggi Hall yet? When you first walk into the Career Services lobby, you will immediately be greeted by a large yellow chair in the shape of a cupped hand. Fascinating yes, and creative most definitely; this is what the Career Services office has set out to encourage students at Franciscan University of Steubenville to stop by and learn about the newest service offered called “Handshake.”
Nancy Ronevich, director of Career Services, has prepared numerous services of which she encourages all students to take advantage.
“Handshake,” for instance, was started this past summer as a service that focuses less on employers and more on building up a student’s professional profile. It can be compared to the well-known website “LinkedIn.” Ronevich highly encourages using this new resource, and the resumes, cover letters and references that will eventually make up the professional profile can all be put together with help from Ronevich and her team of experienced staff. Another resource is called “MyPlan,” which has four assessments on it: Myers-Briggs, interest inventory, values inventory and skills inventory.
“To the students who are undeclared,” said Ronevich, “or those who come in and say, ‘I am a biology student but I don’t know what I want,’ I would say, ‘that’s fine,’ but unless you start looking at possibilities you will miss a whole lot of steps that could have been taken. … We want to help them explore things. Where is God calling you?”
The fruit of using these services is reflected in alumni who are now successful in their fields. “Every time a student leaves here and does a good job in the field, they are paving the way for one of our other students to follow,” said Ronevich.
When is the right time to visit Career Services? This is a question many first or second-year students ask, but Ronevich assures that the time is now. There is no better time than immediately because the earlier a student makes an appointment the sooner he or she will receive valuable information that might lay down a cornerstone for his or her future profession.
According to Ronevich, the resource most beneficial for students is resume help. Her team enthusiastically desires to help students take the necessary steps toward success. “If you wait until you are a senior to seriously consider which direction to take, you will miss out on many opportunities,” said Ronevich. “Employers are looking for someone with a degree, who they know can perform the skills they are looking for. … This is where internship opportunities come in.”
Along with the many opportunities already mentioned, the Career Center also coordinates a more general outreach during the spring semester. Most students know this outreach as the Job and Internship Fair, during which around 55 to 60 employers come to campus and make themselves available for questions and inquiries. This fair “is a way for students to meet with the employers and find jobs or internships,” said Ronevich, who encourages even freshmen to attend because it can become an early networking opportunity for them.
The services are endless, said Ronevich. “Our job is to help students from the moment they consider Franciscan University … until the moment when they graduate or go into grad school,” she said.
But the collaboration does not stop there. Career Services reaches well into the alumni community of professional young adults who seek to gain a final thrust into the field for which they have prepared.
The importance of Franciscan University’s student success is high on Ronevich’s radar and one final suggestion she gives to all students is that they consider taking the “Business and Professional Writing” course offered on campus, saying “I wish every student could take it.” This course prepares students to write professional resumes, cover letters and memos and trains in the area of interview skills as well as proper professional etiquette in the workplace.
For more information or to set an appointment with Nancy Ronevich please visit the Career Services office on the first floor of Starvaggi Hall, call (740) 284-5232 or email [email protected].