West Virginia University students have hundreds of career opportunities at their fingertipsthanks to a new high-tech, interactive networking tool unveiled Thursday (April 17) at WVU .

Self-serve computer kiosks, linked to the Universitys MountaineerTRAK computer system, allow students to view job listings, match their skills to career opportunities and even apply for positions.

Our graduates are some of the most sought after in their fields, WVU President Mike Garrison said,and more and more companies are coming to campus because of the quality of our students and the reputation of our faculty and research programs.

In many cases, our programs have 100 percent placement ratesprograms in mining engineering, nursing and pharmacy,he added.Our goal is for every graduate to find career success, and with the addition of these computer kioskspart of our ongoing efforts to build networking opportunities for studentsI know we will get there.

The first kiosk will be located in the Mountainlair and will be fully operational by the start of the fall semester, Garrison said, with nine others to be installed in high-traffic student areas on campus such as the Downtown and Evansdale Campus libraries, Student Recreation Center and colleges and schools that are participating in the MountaineerTRAK program.

The kiosks, manufactured by iKS Technologies, feature LCD touch screens and a gold-and-blue Mountaineer design. To get started, students simply need to swipe their Mountaineer ID cards to activate the system, said David Durham, director of WVU s Career Services Center.

The kiosk is synced up with MountaineerTRAK, the Universitys new online career assistance software. Some 2,000 students have signed up to receive information about job opportunities through the system that came online in February.

Once registered with MountaineerTRAK, students can set up profiles, upload their resumes and cover letters, search job postings and job fairs, RSVP to career assistance activities and more. Alumni can also take advantage of MountaineerTRAK for free for one year after graduation, and they can stay connected for $25 per year.

Students and their parents have told me by the hundreds that they consider job placement assistance as a crucial part of the University experience,said Garrison.Now more than ever, employers are looking to hire WVU grads, and this improved system will help match up our students with the jobs that match their skills.

MountaineerTRAK offers the convenience of round-the-clock access to full-time and part-time job listings, Durham said. When the Mountainlair is closed, students will be able to log onto the system athttps://www.myinterfase.com/wvu/student/from their on- and off-campus residences.

We are very excited to offer this one-stop shop for students,Durham said.This is a custom-designed interactive tool that allows job seekers the ability to not only view job listings, but also receive information about upcoming job fairs and other events specific to the students major and career interests.

Lets say we have a student graduating in pharmacy who wants to work in North or South Carolina,he said.He can program the system to notify him when a job becomes available in that area.

Todays announcement marks a major step forward for improvements to Career Services and in new, innovative ways to match WVU graduates with jobs,said Jared Ramsey, a member of WVU s Student Government Association whose campaign platform focused on Career Services.

Working with David Durham has been a great experience for me,he said.I want to thank him for his commitment to moving the Career Services office forward and for incorporating students and student input into the process.

Those improvements have included a dramatic increase in the number of companies partnering with the University.

  • Nearly 470 employers visited the WVU campus during the fall and spring semestersabout twice as many employers as the 2006-07 academic year.
  • More than 7,500 employment opportunities have been posted since August, and numerous job fairs, mock interviews, resume-building sessions and career planning classes have taken place.

With more job offerings and career planning tools available to students, the Career Services Centerlocated in the student organization wing of the Mountainlair student unioncontinues to be a valuable resource for students whether theyre just finishing their freshman year or getting ready for graduation and beyond, Durham said.

Besides the new kiosks, students can look forward to other exciting changes at the center this spring and fall, he said.

  • Plans are in the works to expand state-of-the-art technologies in the main office, renovate the front lobby and add large exterior Career Services Center signs.
  • The reference library is being converted into a media room with space for employer information sessions, writing seminars and University 101 first-year orientation classes.
  • And rooms used for mock interviews have already received a makeover, with new tables and chairs, carpet and artwork.

Durham, who joined the Career Services Center team last August, has also created two new positions: an events coordinator and an employer relations specialist to attract new employers and improve the relationship with current ones.

Were going to become a lot more visible,he said.

In addition to the popular BIG EAST Job Fair, which WVU coordinates, and two University-wide career fairs, Durham hopes to offer as many as seven program-specific fairs annually. These include events for students in health sciences, engineering, human resources and education, business and economics, and agricultural sciences, forestry and consumer sciences.

Future plans also involve establishing online programs for resume writing and mock interviews and turning a successful open house, held for the first time during Family Weekend festivities this past fall, into an annual event.

For more information about WVU s Career Services Center, go tohttp://www.wvu.edu/~careersc/.