CU Denver students enjoy information, food and prizes at Career Center open house

Nena Gardner, a junior who hasn’t declared a major, hoped that a visit to the University of Colorado Denver Career Center would help clarify her interests and goals.

Within a few minutes of strolling into today’s open house, Gardner spun a prize wheel and won a “Strengths Quest Assessment,” a $15 value. She was already on her way, and the Career Center in the Tivoli Student Union rolled out free pizza and drinks to boot.

Students poured into the open house, getting an introduction to the center’s unique “Just ASK” approach. ASK stands for “access,” “search” and “knock,” and each applies to a different level of service to help students in moving into life after college.

The center is physically divided into the three areas, and as students filed in, they filled out a card that helped them determine where they fit on the ASK spectrum.

Students in the “assess” area are typically younger and don’t yet have a major or a career path, said Jonne Kraning, the center’s director. The “search” area is for students who have chosen a career direction, but need help with skills – such as resumes, cover letters, ways to find employers – that give them a leg up in the job market.

Finally, there’s the “knock” section of the center. “That’s where they start to connect with employers – start knocking on the doors of opportunity,” Kraning said.

With the open house, she said, “We want to raise the profile of the center. We also want people to know about our technology. We have a 24/7 career center.”

Kraning showed students in the “access” area how they could use the center’s “Certificate of Employability” online program. The nine-part video series is designed to maximize job-search success, from resume building and cover-letter writing to networking and interviewing.

“We want to teach you all of the angles at beginning to look for work, because it’s so much more than writing a resume,” Kraning told the students.

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