Setting Yourself Up for Success

Spring break is over and that means employment decisions lurk for graduating seniors and undergraduates looking for internships. James Madison University students have an advantage in the job market: the resources of the Career and Academic Planning office.

Mary Morsch, associate director of CAP encourages students and even recent graduates to take advantage of JMU's resources while they can. She gives the example of the career fairs and workshops sponsored by CAP and the Resource Center located in Wilson Hall.

CAP serves students from orientation to post-graduation. Morsch said that the guidance they are able to provide to students is greatly enhanced because of their emphasis on both academic and career planning. "In a student's mind it is all part of one big question: 'What should I major in?' leads right to 'What can I do with that major?'" said Morsch.

For graduating seniors who have not begun their job search Morsch recommends breaking it down into manageable pieces, including firming up your resume and references, networking and utilizing JMU tools and resources. However, if a student is stressed about finishing the semester, CAP is open all summer and starting a job search after graduation is always an option.


Join us to Be the Change


Undergraduates in search of an internship are encouraged to seek any opportunity that is good career-related experience. This may come from a curriculum-based internship or a less-formal, but still relevant, learning experience. Any for-credit internship has to be determined ahead of time, usually by the academic department's internship coordinator.

Students can take advantage of individual, group and online resources offered by CAP. Their extensive website features a calendar of events as well as numerous online resources.

CAP offers the following services for students conducting a job or internship search:

Recruit-A-Duke
Every JMU student is issued a Recruit-a-Duke account second semester of their freshman year. After logging in and taking the online tutorial, students electronically submit their resumes and can sign up for mock interviews or on-campus recruiting. A student can submit his resume to an employer or a company can seek out the student based on his resume.

Mock Interviews
Students practice-interview with real employers who volunteer their time to offer immediate feedback on the student's interviewing skills. A schedule of mock interviews is available on the CAP website.

The Resource Center
A large, relaxing, student-centered space on the third floor of Wilson Hall, the Resource Center offers peer-to-peer resume reviews, daily tours and access to their print and online subscriptions to help guide job and internship searches.

Resume Writing Workshop
This workshop goes step-by-step through the process of writing a resume. Students can also take advantage of the peer educators or professional staff to review their resumes.

True Life: I'm Graduating
JMU alumni share their thoughts and answer questions about life after graduation. The program takes place March 23, 6:30 p.m. in Room 105 of Showker Hall.

For detailed information and current schedule of services please check out Career and Academic Planning.

March 22, 2011