University of Cincinnati

01/16/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/17/2024 08:50

Shaping my path as an A&S student: On-campus co-op

Shaping my path as an A&S student: On-campus co-op

Bethany See gained skills, confidence to succeed after graduation through on-campus experience

5 minute readJanuary 16, 2024Share on facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Print StoryLike

It can be difficult to find a career path as an Arts and Sciences student. I've been interested in writing and its many applications for the greater part of my life. When I ultimately decided to go to the University of Cincinnati, I chose Rhetoric and Professional Writing (commonly known as RPW amongst the English department) as my track in the English BA. I very quickly discovered I wanted Creative Writing to be one of my majors and with an interest in editing and no specific direction, I added the Copyediting and Publishing certificate.

Now that I'm in my senior year and graduating this coming spring, I could say that trying everything was a wise choice. My classes combined professional writing, creative writing, editing, publishing, and other areas to set me up to have a broad and knowledgeable skillset. A little into my sophomore year, however, I realized this wouldn't be my guiding light post-graduation when it came to finding a career. I found an internship as a copyeditor and then a year later, as a marketing communications intern at a company in Cincinnati.

A&S student Bethany See. Photo provided.

My favorite experience so far has been as an on-campus co-op student. The convenience of being able to walk to my job in the same place where my classes are, makes my schedule just a little bit smoother. My hours are flexible, and the pay helps with expenses and tuition. I used Handshake as a resource to look for part-time on-campus co-op opportunities and because I had just done a marketing communications internship, I decided to apply to a Marketing Communications co-op position in the College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies (CCPS).

Having extensive writing and creativity skills is a valuable asset, but I didn't realize how practical those skills could be until I put them into use in a professional space like marketing. In my position, I'm able to make and collaborate on social media posts for the CCPS Instagram and LinkedIn pages, edit newsletters, write articles, promote career fairs, and assist with various communications tasks around the college. I also get hands-on guidance from my supervisor and the chance to take a career education and co-op class, allowing me to obtain even more professional guidance.

The most memorable part of my co-op so far was walking around the career fair with my supervisor and observing how she took photos and interacted with students, faculty, and employers. As an A&S English student, the UC Technical and Professional Career Fair seemed a bit elusive to me. I was intimidated and unsure as to how I could market my writing skills to employers. Being able to get insight through helping my supervisor has been helpful, as I was featured in a "How to introduce yourself to employers" video. During this I not only assisted with creating helpful content for students but I practiced my elevator speech with a real employer. After the career fair I helped with marketing and video compilation, which introduced me to a new skillset I hadn't practiced beforehand.

Seemingly small, but for me, overwhelming choices like professional clothing and etiquette were a mystery before my professional experiences-especially the on-campus co-op. The value of having real, tangible experience I can put on my resume is unmatched-to prove that I will not just have a degree after graduation, but I also have the experience to back it up. I have found there to be many opportunities to prepare myself for entering the professional world post-graduation. I can fully say, without any hesitation, that being able to work and learn on campus has made me confident in this next and quickly approaching chapter of my life.

Luckily, there are countless resources on campus to help A&S students like me find a path. The Bearcat Promise Career Studio, On-Campus and Service Learning Co-op opportunities via Handshake, and professional courses and certifications through the College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies. You just have to seek them out!

This article was written by Bethany See, College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2024.

Find on-campus co-ops using UC's career platform Handshake. After logging in, follow the link to Part Time On-Campus Co-ops, which updates daily with new postings

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