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Getting a degree helps students gain all kinds of skills and experience, but students often run into challenges when trying to land a job after graduation. Finding a major and a career may seem difficult, but it does not have to be.

“If you know who you are, it helps you with where you want to go and how you’re going to get there,” Winn Stanger, Weber State University Director of Career Services, said.

Stanger and his Career Services colleague, Robert Ameling, have put together career-focused events, every weekday, from Jan. 21 to Jan. 27. These smaller events lead up to the Spring Career & Internship Fair on Tuesday, Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Shepard Union Ballrooms. Employers will be looking for qualified students to recruit for jobs and internships.

Stanger and Ameling kicked things off with their “Why Internships Matter” event in the Career Library on Jan. 21.

At the event, Ameling said that in the early stages of his career, he worked as a hiring manager where he would see applicants’ “awful” resumes. So, Ameling would help applicants fix their resumes, free-of-charge. Even though he was not going to hire them, he he wanted their resumes to look better for the next potential recruiter.

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Pamphlets for R.E.A.L. sit on a table. (Nikki Dorber/The Signpost)

Ameling eventually realized his true passion was helping people get to the next step in their career.

Stanger explained that Career Services makes that “a-ha!” moment quicker and easier for students with the use of intuitive assessments, feedback in a group setting, one-on-one career mentoring, internships, interview practice and help with resumes, cover letters and applications.

Starting Feb. 3, students will be able to meet with mentors at Career Services in the Career Library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Stanger also said that Career Services partners with companies in the community who are dedicated to the students at Weber. Companies like R.C. Willey, Home Depot and Hill Air Force Base provide internship and career opportunities in areas like aerospace and outdoor recreation. According to Stanger, many of Career Services’ partners provide help with tuition and are flexible with students’ work schedules.

Stanger emphasized that internships are more than just jobs. He explained that internships must meet certain criteria, like having learning outcomes for students, be geared towards helping students in growth and development and have opportunities for advancement.

Stanger and Ameling said that they understand that many of the students at Weber are married, have kids, live off campus and need to work while going to school. They explained that their R.E.A.L. — Real Experience Applied Learning — classes are fantastic opportunities for all students, but especially ones who meet the non-traditional criteria.

R.E.A.L classes give students the type of internship experience that employers are looking for without having to leave campus, their families or their jobs. These classes partner with companies that submit projects for students.

The students work on these projects while only meeting in class, on average, six weeks out of the semester. R.E.A.L. class students also work with a group outside of class to get hands-on problem solving experience.

Last semester, one student received an on-the-spot offer for a position at her assigned company.

Stanger emphasized that he and Ameling, their team and the numerous resources at Career Services are committed to helping students find better opportunities for bigger careers.

Stanger wants students to know there are people willing to help with career goals and job placement. The last thing the Career Services team wants is for students to graduate with a degree after years of hard work and think, “What am I going to do now?”

For more information about Career Services and to learn more about their resources, go to https://www.weber.edu/careerservices or room 230 in the Student Services Building.

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