Career Services Recognized for Innovative Career Planning Programming
The Duquesne University Career Services Center was honored by the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE) for the Freshman Career Carnival, the center’s new approach to engaging freshmen in career development. Career Services Director Nicole Feldhues accepted the Award for Innovation at the EACE’s annual conference on June 16, in Baltimore, Md.,
Recognizing that a few information tables scattered around campus were not effective in helping students begin the career planning process early, the Career Services Center decided to develop a fun and interactive themed event.
“Too often, seniors about to graduate show up at Career Services for the first time in a panic, lacking a resume, an internship and having missed out on job fairs,” Feldhues explained. “We wanted to demonstrate the value of early engagement in the career development process through our resources.”
At the Freshman Career Carnival, held early in the fall semester, staff paired areas of career development—resume writing, internships and interest assessment—in fun, carnival-style booths with games and prizes. Among the activities, students learned how to “jump” into careers by besting their peers at frog bowling and how to “stand out from the crowd” at job interviews by decorating rubber ducks.
Now approaching its third year, the Freshman Career Carnival has become an anticipated annual event that attracts nearly 300 students. Feldhues and her staff report that feedback has been positive.
“The carnival is one lively step forward in helping students understand that career development is relevant and important, even at the freshman level,” Feldhues said. “It continues to evolve, strengthened by an expanding campus coalition of co-sponsors and supporters.”
The EACE is a professional association comprised of 13 member states and the District of Columbia that develops educational programs and services and connects employers with career services personnel, students and alumni.