First Annual Sociology Career Day

Sociology Career Day 2The UCF Sociology Department hosted its first annual Career Day this week. The UCF chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, an international sociology honors society, planned and hosted the career day. The goal of this career day was to show students what job opportunities are available to them with a sociology major.  There were also agencies attending that had internship opportunities, volunteer opportunities and a lot of networking benefits.

“I had been wanting to have a career day for a long time; when I was at Kansas State University, I ran a career day there,” said Lin Huff-Corzine, the sociology undergraduate program director and adviser for AKD.

At Kansas State University, Huff-Corzine paired with students who wanted to know what they could do with their sociology degrees. She said the first year it was organized, there were only a few agencies, and the next year it grew. By the third year, agencies were asking to come and the fourth year, agencies were asking if they could sit next to certain agencies. She said it became a way for agencies to see each other and look for potential volunteers and interns. It also allowed students to see what was available to them for future employment. She said that students at UCF have the same question about what they can do with their degree and the career fair is a way to get that information out.

“It’s a recruitment tool for [agencies], and it’s a tool for us to get students the experience, perhaps, they need,” Huff-Corzine said.

She said that the fair is supposed to be fun and informative.

Interview tables were available for agencies that wanted to conduct an interview on the spot. Huff-Corzine also had internship paperwork so that students and agencies could fill the information out on the spot.  Huff-Corzine and other volunteers took down the names of students who came to the career day so that professors will know which of their students attended and so that she can see who is involved.

Getting the first career day started has been a struggle for Huff-Corzine. She said that it is the undergraduate director’s job, and previous undergraduate directors may not have been in the right place to get it started. She said that it takes someone who is serious about it and can put forth the time commitment. When she took the position, she said she wanted to have a career day.

“The importance of the first one is that you get it done the first time,” Huff-Corzine said. “You begin to put together a file of what you need and where you go for what.”

A committee consisting of Huff-Corzine and students worked on making the event a possibility. Marina Brandman, Jamie Thomas and Shane Moore, all seniors majoring in sociology, worked in coordination with Judy Froehlich, the college of sciences communication specialist, to get all of the agencies involved.

“In sociology, I like that you don’t feel like you’re limited,” said Alexi Minnick, a sociology senior and vice president of AKD. “You don’t feel like you’re in a box; you can go out and explore society.”

Minnick said that with a sociology degree, students can go anywhere. She said that students focus on crime, gender, domestic violence or education. She said that in Orlando, tourist companies look for research analysts, which is No. 4 out of the top 100 jobs. Minnick also helped coordinate volunteers to help at the career day.

UCF Victim Services also attended the career day encouraging students to apply for their internship program.

“The reason we’re going to be at the career fair is mostly for our internship program,” said Sarah Laake, the assistant coordinator for Victim Services. “We are looking for any students who are interested in learning more about victimization or have an interest in the criminal justice/victim advocacy side of the justice system.”

Victim Services is looking for sociology students, but it accepts students from a variety of majors. Laake said that careers in victim advocacy are requiring a bachelor’s or a master’s in sociology. The state of Florida has a special victim services advocacy training.

“Students who demonstrated particular interest, go above and beyond in volunteering, if they have experience with domestic violence, sexual violence, really anything like that, they might be interested in the internship,” Laake said.

To be eligible for the two-semester internship, students must have a 3.0 or higher GPA and must be available the week before fall classes. The application closes March 30. Laake said that Victim Services isn’t hiring at the moment, but it would consider graduates with a degree in sociology when positions become available.

“We also want our students to understand the breadth of the types of jobs they can get into, so this year we went after a variety of places,” Huff-Corzine said.

Some of the agencies in attendance were:  Apopka Family Learning Center, Coalition for the Homeless, Covenant House, Feeding Children Everywhere, Harbor House, Mental Health Association of Central Florida, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and UCF Victim Services.

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