‘Career Kickstart’ kicking off next year at Ogg Residence Hall

Career fair

Career Kickstart, a new career development program in Ogg Hall, will kick off next fall to help UW-Madison students gain skills for postgraduation life. The program is part of the new Letters & Science Career Initiative.

Original article by Käri Knutson, University Communications
Photos: Jeff Miller, Joel Ninmann

Dec. 11, 2014

Graduation is years away for many students, but it’s never too early to think about what comes next.

Starting fall 2015, Career Kickstart will offer a head start for thinking beyond the diploma. Available to students who have completed their first year, Ogg Residence Hall will provide tools for those eager to work on career preparation.

Ogg Residence Hall Enrollment has already begun for the new program, which was created to answer the requests of students looking for more career preparation earlier in their college experience.

“We want to contribute to students’ career development process,” says Cal Bergman, associate director of residence life. “This is building upon a winning trend that we’re noticing by helping students engage with their career development very intentionally.”

Career Kickstart will offer on-site academic and career advising; access to employers, alumni and resources on campus; information on how to land an internship or job; and resume and interview development.

The program is part of the Letters & Science Career Initiative, which was recently launched by College of L&S Dean John Karl Scholz. The initiative is creating a new, transformational career services model that ensures all L&S undergraduates are engaged early in the career development process.

“This also helps undergraduates better articulate the value that they are gaining as liberal arts students,” Bergman says. “It helps connect the dots between the liberal arts and a career.”

The idea for the program at Ogg came after University Housing heard about the L&S Career Initiative, says Jon Cleveland, assistant director of career education for the L&S Career Initiative.

“They proposed the idea of partnering to create a residential community for nonfreshmen that was centered on career development,” Cleveland says. “This has created a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students that choose to live in University Housing after their first year of college.”

Options include enrolling in the “L&S Second-Year Career Development: Taking Initiative” course, available to all second-year students on campus. Its personalized sections in Ogg Hall will be tailored to integrate the co-curricular experiences that will be a part of Career Kickstart. The course connects the liberal arts — which includes majors in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural and physical sciences — to academic and career preparation.

“Students are going to walk away from the year in Ogg feeling more confident about where they’re headed professionally and have a plan to meet those goals,” Cleveland says. “They’re going to be confident they have the skills to secure an internship and a job.”