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April 5, 2013
By Natalie Savidge
The scent of fresh paint and new carpet still linger on the first floor of the University of Nevada, Reno's Thompson Building where the newly renovated Nevada Career Studio opens for walk-in hours on April 8.
The Nevada Career Studio is the new hub of career services for all students at the University. In addition to extending career services through the Internet, the Career Studio's physical space features independent and collaborative work stations in a high-tech, multimedia environment, aimed at assisting undergraduate and graduate students in all areas of career planning, including exploring career-related interests, applying to graduate or professional schools and developing effective strategies for the pursuit of full-time employment, internships or other experiential learning opportunities.
Robyn Maitoza and Mary T. Calhoon, coordinators of the new Career Studio, were hired this spring and took the time before the studio was completed to meet with existing professional and career programs on campus.
"The University needed a centralization of career services, so the Nevada Career Studio is the new central hub, or one-stop-shop, for students, the campus community and the business community for internships, job shadow opportunities, resume-building resources and professional placement," Calhoon, career exploration coordinator, said.
Maitoza, internship and employer relations coordinator for the Nevada Career Studio, said she looks forward to continuing to build upon work already in place and coordinating efforts with all of the career professional on campus.
"We want to extend our gratitude and thanks to Jane Bessette, director of Career Connections for the College of Business, who has gone above and beyond to provide career services to all University students since the disbanding of the original career center in 2009," Maitoza said. "The College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science, the largest of the University's colleges, do not have a career center. We will now be able to assist those students as well as all other students."
The Career Studio hours will offer services and host an "open house" with raffle prizes and food on April 8, 9 and 10 from 1-3 p.m. Regular drop-in hours begin April 11 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. By fall, the department, under the direction of the Division of Student Services, will be open full time with expanded services and resources available.
"We will be hiring administrative and technical positions and we will share those positions, as well as the new space, with the new Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement," Calhoon said. "We will also be hiring a team of students as peer career advisors."
The Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement is a new department on campus under the Office of the Provost. The department provides students, University and community partners with service-learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and offers service-learning workshops throughout the year.
Service-Learning Coordinator Robin Bendig said the two departments in the new space share a common goal.
"We are focused on enriching the overall academic and University experience for all students through meaningful on-campus and community-based learning experiences."
The Nevada Career Studio and Office of Service-Learning are both partnering with the University Writing Center to provide writing support to all students working on career-related projects. Students can drop by the studio for instant writing help or to make an appointment for a more focused consultation.
Maitoza said one of the biggest challenges for the studio is getting students engaged and involved earlier in career planning.
"We are using a multi-pronged approach, going to student organizations and clubs, connecting with the deans and faculty and creating fun, student-coordinated events," Maitoza said. "We will be working with students, as early as their freshman year, to build their resumes and get job or internship experiences."
Maitoza said that they have also been connecting with businesses and want to continue to develop relationships with employers, graduate and professional schools, alumni and other community partners in order to provide a broad range of opportunities and experiences.
Students can apply online to be on the peer-to-peer Career Mentor Team now through April 16. Contact the Nevada Career Studio, by calling (775) 682-7112 or by stopping by the Thompson Building, Room101A to visit the new studio and new Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement.
Natalie Savidge is senior media relations specialist for University Media Relations.