Career and Leadership Development offers services for graduating seniors


Dane Sheehan

Pictured from right to left: Career and Leadership Development Director Ron Buchholz with two customer service associates, Ben Boland and Aleyah Coleman. The three sit in the Career and Leadership Development office, ready to help students achieve current and future successes.

Brayden Lantta, Staff Reporter

Graduation can be both exciting and scary for seniors taking their first steps into the professional world. However, while they are leaving, there are still services open to them through UW-W. The Career and Leadership Development office (CLD), located in UC-146, offers four key services for students. Such services include centralized career development, opportunities for students to engage in leadership on campus, cultural support for students through the Warhawk Connection Center including the PB Poorman PRIDE Center and providing outreach services to employers. These services allow CLD to meet talent needs with graduates. These are all primarily self-help based services that students can access whenever needed. One of these services is called Handshake.

UW-W started using the service Handshake in March 2018. It is an online platform that UW-W, among hundreds of other schools, uses to assist students and alumni with career and internship searches. Handshake is most commonly used as a job posting board, with approximately 12,000 employers posting available internships and full-time and part-time jobs on it daily. Campus departments can also share on-campus jobs for students on the website and app. Currently, over 53,000 opportunities have been posted on the platform.

CLD also has dedicated on-campus staff career advisers who can meet one-on-one with students to discuss strategies for their future employment such as developing professional resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

“The success of seniors who use CLD career services is very high and part of the overall success of our graduates, as reflected by the rate of employment and continuing education, which for recent graduation cycles has been in the mid to upper 90 percent,” said Ron Buchholz, the director of Career and Leadership Development.

Many departments on campus also utilize CLD’s services to help their students connect with opportunities that match their majors. They use both on-campus, in-person meetings and Handshake as springboards to get their aspiring students, and specifically seniors, out into the job market.

Additionally, Handshake’s job listings typically do not require applicants to have five or more years of experience.  Employers on the platform are looking for students and seniors right away to begin training and fill positions. Students come to their advisers seeking guidance in many areas. From choosing a major their freshman year, to career readiness, polishing their resumes and cover letters – the CLD can help with almost any career crisis.

“I often try to figure out what the student is looking for and direct them in the right direction,” said Arts and Communications advisor, Isabella Virrueta.

The job market for seniors graduating with an Arts and Communications degree is full of opportunity, but it is also very competitive, according to Virrueta.

Students with this degree are adaptable, which enables Virrueta to connect them to professionals in many fields including industrial, corporate, creative, education, marketing and advertising, public relations, journalism, and video game-related industries.

“There are a lot of employers who are starting to look at sophomores for summer internship positions. This gives students a great opportunity to get one or more internship experiences during their undergraduate careers. This can make a big difference in landing a full-time job opportunity by graduation. Students should start their search process early each fall semester, but as we head into winter break, I would encourage students to use January as a prime opportunity to start applying for internships and full-time jobs,” said Frank Lanko, the senior business career advisor for CLD.

Students and seniors can find more information about Career and Leadership Development at CLD can still offer help to students pre- and post-graduation as well, so all students are encouraged to stop by and have a conversation about their professional futures.