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U.Va. Career Office Changes Name To Reflect Today’s Labor Market

January 19, 2000 -- Recognizing that most adults now change jobs several times in their careers, a University of Virginia office is changing its name to reflect the times.

The former Office of Career Planning and Placement has become University Career Services, a name that reflects today’s reality of multiple job changes and the need for acquiring lifelong job-searching skills.

"With experts predicting that today’s graduates will work for as many as five different employers in as many as 10 different jobs, our emphasis is on empowering students to find jobs -- giving them solid job-search skills to use throughout a lifetime," said James McBride, director of University Career Services.

The 30 members of the University Career Services office and its affiliate offices work with students to build such skills as résumé writing, interviewing, networking and negotiating offers. They help students gain practice in these skills through numerous methods including holding mock interviews with follow-up critiques, staging career fairs, assisting recruiters in conducting on-Grounds interviews, holding alumni networking events, publishing how-to sheets, and posting a variety of advice on-line.

The office’s web site ( also helps students explore career options, research career fields, investigate internships, obtain information on employers, and join professional associations.

"Conducting a job search is something of a continuous-improvement process. The more students learn about the process, the faster and more effectively they can get started next time," McBride said.

"Twenty-five years ago our office added ‘placement’ to its name because we assisted students in gaining positions that would often lead to 20 or more years with the same firm," McBride said.

Students in previous eras would often not think about securing jobs until graduation, he noted.

Now the office begins educating students about job-search skills before they begin their first classes at U.Va. Career services personnel meet with incoming first-year students and their parents during summer orientation to learn about such opportunities as internships and "externships," periods of unpaid work during winter, spring and summer breaks that allow students to explore varied fields.

Another major reason for the name change is that the office serves as a central career service for students of all majors. In addition to providing information on internships and "externships" in all fields, it also advises students who are interested in pursuing graduate or professional schools.

For more information, contact James McBride at (804) 924-8904 or

Contact: Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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