Program offers career planning, advising services

Masatsugu Kon

A lot can be said in a name.
For example, the Office for Special Learning Opportunities, which was recently remodeled, changed its name to the Career and Community Learning Center, naming itself for what students can find there.
The center offers University students both fundamental and practical lessons, whether on or off campus, for their career planning and life experience.
One part of the center, located in 135 Johnston Hall, manages the Career and Internship Services; at its 345 Fraser Hall location, the center offers the Community Involvement Programs and the National Student Exchange.
With the career service, students might explore their possibilities and prepare for a career more easily and efficiently. It offers advising services and elective courses to seek suitable majors or jobs.
Through the Web site and office materials, students can access more than 1,000 internship opportunities. The College of Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor program is an example of services offered, in which students can learn more about particular jobs through yearlong, one-on-one meetings with professionals.
“We are proud of the offers,” said Paul Timmins, lead career services coordinator.
Through the community program, students join nonprofit or government organizations in the Twin Cities working with social problems, such as those in public health, education and the environment. There is an option to participate in this program as a part of academic courses for various departments.
Students who participate in this program are expected to have a good understanding of and commitment to civic life. Laurel Hirt, the coordinator of the community program, said it is a “win-win” program because it is not only a great learning opportunity, but also a benefit for society. In the last semester, about 500 students participated through 115 organizations.
The student exchange is a national program in which students can attend one of the 160 other public universities and colleges. According to the center’s brochures, 47 states have at least one member university.
The main advantage of this program is the access to academic and social experiences students can have through the exchange. In addition, the office has a program called Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs in which students learn urban studies and city arts with students from 14 other universities in the upper Midwest.
Though the center provides many options, its usefulness basically depends on students.
“It’s so important … to think about career questions early on,” said Timmins.
“We have a lot of offers. All they have to do is to come in, find out more,” Hirt said.
For further information, the center’s Web site can be found at