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Finding career guidance through the career center

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For Brianna Figueroa, a senior majoring in political science and minoring in history, it was the first time in her four years at CSUN that she took advantage of the resources offered by the Career Center.

“I’m applying to an internship program in Washington D.C., so I wanted to make sure that I had a good cover letter,” Figueroa said. “I got exactly what I was looking for because they were clear and wrote notes I could incorporate on how to make it better.”

The fact that she will be graduating in the spring of 2017 prompted Figueroa to drop in for a 15-minute counseling session, seeking feedback on her resume but also receiving guidance on what types of jobs she can search for.

“I’m not exactly sure what my career path is yet, but they gave me a brochure and helped me know where to look online to find out what my interests are and be able to narrow it down,” Figueroa said.

For many, who like Figueroa, might be confused as to which specific career paths they can follow after graduating or which major to declare, the staff at the Career Center offer various options.

“Students are welcome to stop in and use our computers, read the books we have available to learn about different majors or stop in for mock interviews,” said Marleny Osorio, a student assistant at the center.

This fall, the center, located in Bayramian Hall, 413, will offer a series of workshops in which students can learn how to dress appropriately for an interview, practice their interview skills, receive critiques and learn how to apply for internships.

Online, students can also sign-up for two different platforms that can help them discover personal interests and offer internship and job listings.

After signing up for “Pathways,” students can take three interactive tests that will help match their interests, values and skills to a career path. SUNLink allows its users to create a personal profile with their resume, portfolio and gives a list of on-campus and off-campus jobs and internship opportunities.

Although the Career Center offers assistance in preparing for and finding jobs, they do not offer scholarship listings. Students interested in seeking help with scholarships need to visit CSUN’s Financial Aid and Scholarship.

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Department is located in Bayramian Hall’s first floor. There, financial aid counselors are available to help students with questions regarding anything related with how to pay for school, how to apply or submit a FAFSA application and about which scholarships are available.

However, in order to meet with a counselor, students must first visit the Financial Aid window in Bayramian Hall to get a referral slip and then go to their office, according to Destiny M. Johnson, a CSUN Financial Literacy Assistant.

Johnson also recommends for students to visit the department’s website which lists all the resources they offer, such as tutorials on how to accept a loan, how to view anticipated aid as well as a glossary that can help explain what certain terms mean.

A listing of on-campus and off-campus scholarships is also available. The on-campus listing includes scholarships offered directly by CSUN, by the California State University Foundation, and by CSUN colleges and departments, which offer their own independent scholarships.

The off-campus listing includes unique scholarship opportunities for first-generation college students, international students, LGBT students and many others.

According to the CSUN Financial Aid & Scholarship Department 2015 Annual Report, only $12,220,027 was given to students who took advantage of these opportunities during that time. However, $128,303,825 was loaned to students through federal and alternative loan, who might have been able to qualify for scholarships available.

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