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Students and Alumni

Seeing Eagles Soar.

Students and Alumni

Making the most of Career Services for your path! From college to career, our office is here. 

Our goal is to ensure you are career-ready upon graduation. We can help you achieve this, and so much more! Unsure of where to start, read on to learn about how you work with Career Services to find success in your chosen career path. We encourage you to connect with us in your first year to discuss your career plans and aspirations, but it is never too late to focus on your future!

If you need assistance along the way, we are here to help. Schedule an appointment HERE!

To request a presentation to your group or organizations click HERE!

·       Research career or major options, using FOCUS2 (a career interest inventory) and What Can I Do With This Major to help learn about options for your interests and abilities. (Focus2 requires a free code which is available in Handshake under Career Center > Resources).

·       Visit our Online Resources for additional resources and helpful tools that can be used to research options.

·       Resume and cover letter formatting can be industry-specific, be familiar with the best ways to format and deliver information to potential employers.

·       Use the resume and cover letter examples in the Career Guide to get started.

 ·          Job searching is industry-specific. Be aware of the optimal way to find employment in a chosen field.

·          Attend campus networking events and job fairs. See what opportunities are available on our home page, at Virtual Events

·          Access jobs, internships, and career fairs in Handshake.

·          Other useful job search tools you can use are LinkedIn and Career Shift. (code is available in Handshake, under Resources)

·          For a part-time job, contact Job Location and Development.

·          We do not place students in jobs, we only provide information about job availability. It is up to the student to apply and follow up with the position. We offer referrals and are not responsible for any problems incurred as a result of such job referral.

·       Interviewing can be an intimidating process, becoming more confident with the process, and answers to commonly asked questions can help.

·       Practice interviewing by completing mock interviews, which can be done online in Big Interview.

UTILIZE HANDSHAKE TO ITS FULL POTENTIAL 

Handshake logo
Employers use Handshake to post jobs, review resumes, connect with students, and seek qualified candidates to fill job and intern opportunities.

ON CAMPUS access to Handshake HERE! Use your ID# email address to log in. (Ex. w123456@usm.edu%29 and your SOAR password.

OFF CAMPUS access to Handshake HERE! Use your name campus email to log in. (Ex. first.last@usm.edu%29 and your SOAR password.

DO NOT create a new account. Degree seeking, registered students, already have profiles in Handshake.
Complete, or update, your Handshake profile.
Upload a resume to Handshake. (this will auto populate your profile with that information).                Submit your resume for a critique with Career Services for review.
Make sure employers are able to see you by setting your privacy to Employers, or Community (follow steps in the 'View and change your profile' button below).

The links at the top of your Handshake page help you navigate easily throughout all the resources!
Jobs – You can create and save multiple searches, and even create email alerts for the job searches you create.
Events – All events, through Career Services, are listed here.
Q&A – You can search for FAQs, and ask questions about all things career related.
Students – You can search and see other student’s profiles to discover how to best market yourself.
Messages – Here you will see system messages, such as job opportunities that match your profile.
Career Center – This tab provides you access to, events and contact information for Career Services. You will also find Resources with links to a digital version of our Career Guide, and links to our online resources. A link to the First Destination survey will be viewable for graduating seniors focusing on where you are going, and what you are doing next. The Surveys tab is where we could post surveys for your opinions and needs.

Edit your profile by clicking on your initials in the top right corner of your profile and use the menu:
Documents - allows you to edit, upload, and delete documents as necessary.
Applications/My Interviews - track applications or interviews through the system.                                        Notifications - set what you want to receive notifications for, and how. Don't miss a thing!
Settings & Privacy - make your profile searchable and visible to employers, and other students.

Alumni

Do you know our services are FREE for alumni?

Interest inventories
Individual career coaching
Resume development
Cover letter writing
Interview preparation/Mock interviews
Job seeking assistance
Access all our online resources, in the menu on the left

*Alumni access, to log into or create your Handshake profile, click HERE! 

Policies

Southern Miss Career Services is a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and follows principles for professional conduct. For more information, visit www.naceweb.org.

If students do not show up for an on-campus interview, they will be classified as a no-show . Failure to keep interview appointments deprives other individuals of interviews, wastes the recruiter's time, and creates an unfavorable image of Southern Miss students and alumni.

If a student is unable to attend an interview, they are required to CALL our office at least two working days prior to the interview. This allows time to fill the available slot with someone from the wait list. If selected for an interview, failure to schedule the interview or decline the offer within 48 hours (2 business days) will result in your Handshake account being inactivated.

If a student misses an on-campus interview for any reason, access to their Handshake account will immediately be blocked, and they will have 10 working days from the date of the interview to write a letter of apology to the employer.  The letter, along with a pre-addressed, stamped envelope must be brought to the Career Services reception desk in McLemore Hall, Room 125. If students fail to submit the letter as directed, their Handshake profile will be blocked and any upcoming interviews will be canceled until they meet with either the director or assistant director of Career Services.  They must bring the letter of apology to that appointment.  Two no-shows on their record will terminate their on-campus interviewing privileges for one year.

The University of Southern Mississippi offers students equal access to all educational and programmatic activities that the university sponsors.  Students and employees participating in any University-sponsored program – including exchange programs, study abroad, cooperative learning experiences, field placement internships or student teaching – retain all rights and privileges in these off-campus experiences.   Similarly, they also are responsible for all university codes of conduct, including consensual relationships, alcohol use, etc. 

Employees and students who believe they are being treated differently in these settings because of age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability status may contact the USM Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity for assistance. This office may be contacted in the following ways:

Email:  affirmativeactionFREEMississippi  

Phone: 601-266-6118

Website:  www.usm.edu/aa-eeo  

Location: 310 McLemore Hall on the Hattiesburg campus

The University of Southern Mississippi Career Services

Cooperative Education Student Handbook

Welcome to The University of Southern Mississippi’s Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program, coordinated by Career Services. We look forward to working with you, and we know that your experience with this valuable educational program will be positive.

Definition of Cooperative Education

The Co-op Program is a combined effort of the university, employers, and students to enhance academic studies with work experience. This is a paid work experience, directly related to the student’s major. Work responsibilities are similar to what students might experience in their first jobs after graduation.

Students do not earn academic credit for their co-op work experience. If students need to, or would like to, earn academic credit they should contact their advisor or academic department.

Co-op is:

× A professional work experience related to academic major

× A paid position; students do not earn academic credit for experience

× An opportunity for students to maintain their full-time student status at Southern Miss while gaining valuable work experience

Co-op Program Requirements

All co-op candidates must meet the following criteria:

× Undergraduate students must have completed at least 30 class hours, graduate students must have completed at least 9 class hours

× Transfer students must complete at least one semester of full-time coursework at Southern Miss or get a letter from their academic department supporting their participation in the co-op program

× Students must have a cumulative Southern Miss GPA of 2.5 or above (Graduate students must have at least a 3.0 overall GPA)

× Have a declared major with the Registrar’s office

× Must be in good standing with the University

International students must provide proof of eligibility for paid work experience in the United States and work with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).

Students are not eligible for a co-op position after they graduate, unless they are enrolled at The University of Southern Mississippi in a degree program.

Getting Started

Students interested in the Co-op Program are encouraged to contact Career Services at least one semester before they would like to participate in a co-op.

Career Services requires that co-op candidates register with our office. Only registered students can view and apply for co-op positions posted on Jobs For Eagles, our online career center database.

When a company contacts Career Services with a co-op position, the position is posted on Jobs For Eagles and the employer can request resumes from this system of candidates who match the position’s qualifications. These resumes are sent directly to the company contact for their review.

Students are also encouraged to talk with faculty and networking contacts to inquire about co-op opportunities.

It is important for students to remember that they represent Southern Miss and Career Services. Students should accept an interview and a co-op position only if they are truly interested in the position.

Work Terms

Together, the employer, student, and the co-op coordinator agree on one of three work schedules outlined below. With the exception of a single-semester experience, the Southern Miss co-op program requires students to work multiple semesters.

× Alternating – The student works full-time for one semester, returns to school for a semester, and then works another semester. This is repeated until the commitment is completed.

× Parallel – The student works approximately 20 hours per week while attending classes.

× Single Semester – This opportunity qualifies as a type of co-op by virtue of its relationship to a student’s major and for-pay status. The work schedule is based on the employer’s needs.

The Walt Disney World College Program is classified as a single semester, alternating work term.

Financial Aid

Students are responsible for contacting the Southern Miss Financial Aid office and any other department that has awarded them a scholarship or financial assistance, and inform them of their co-op status.

If participating in an alternating work term, in most cases, financial aid and scholarships that were awarded prior to the co-op assignment will be deferred during the work term.

Students who participate in an alternating work term must register for a CED course to maintain their full-time student status and have any loan payments deferred while in the Co-op Program. Failure to register for a CED course may require payment on outstanding education loans.

Students on an alternating work term and not enrolled in any academic classes will NOT pay tuition or fees for the semester(s) they are in the co-op program.

Registering for CED 300 or 500

Registration for the CED class is limited to students who have officially accepted a co-op position.

The class associated with the Co-op Program is CED 300, for undergraduates, and 500 for graduate students. This class allows students to receive recognition for their work experience on their Southern Miss transcript and helps them maintain full-time student status for the semesters they are in a co-op position.

Students do not earn academic credit for their co-op experience. *see below

The CED class does not meet during the semester and appears on academic transcripts as 12 Audit hours.

Co-op students who do not take any additional classes during their co-op work term will not pay tuition or student fees to be enrolled in the co-op class.

Students are responsible for contacting the co-op coordinator and registering for a CED course every semester they are in a co-op position.

Registering for Classes during a Co-op Assignment

All co-op students are responsible for contacting their academic advisor to receive access to registration in SOAR. Registration information and class schedules are available on the Southern Miss Web site (www.usm.edu).

Work Reports

Sometime, mid- semester co-op students are responsible for completing a work report. This report will be e-mailed to all co-op participants by the co-op coordinator.

Completing a work report is a requirement of the Co-op Program.

*Failure to return a completed report to the co-op coordinator could result in receiving an “I” for the work term and affect the student’s ability to register for classes, receive financial aid, and/or graduate. After one semester the “I” will be converted to an “F”.

Academic Performance

All undergraduate co-op participants are required to maintain an overall Southern Miss GPA of 2.5 or above; graduate students must have at least a 3.0 overall GPA. An employer may require a student to have a higher GPA as part of their position qualifications.

A student with a GPA below 2.5 who is already in a co-op position will be placed on probation. The decision to allow the work assignment to continue will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

If a student’s GPA drops below 2.0, the student will be suspended from the program until his or her GPA is at least a 2.5. The student will be allowed to return to work on a probationary status if the employer, co-op coordinator, and the student believe that returning to work is in the student’s best interest.

A student may also be suspended from the program for failure to meet other requirements noted in the Cooperative Education Student Handbook.

Suggested Timeline for Candidates Looking for a Co-op Position

One semester prior to entering the Co-op program:

× Meet with the Co-op Program Coordinator

× Target specific companies and research co-op positions

× Register with Career Services/Jobs For Eagles

× Upload a accurate and targeted resume in Jobs For Eagles

× Attend the career fair and network with company representatives

× Log in to Jobs For Eagles to check the list of co-op opportunities and the on-campus interview schedules

× Submit resumes for co-op positions

× Complete a practice interview to polish interview skills

× Start interviewing for co-op positions as soon as the required class hours are completed (see “Co-op Program Requirements”)

Contact the co-op coordinator to register for CED 300 or 500 as soon as you accept a co-op position.

Students are responsible for contacting the co-op coordinator and ensuring registration for a CED course every semester they are in a co-op position.

Advantages to Participating in the Co-op Program

× Applies classroom learning to hands-on experience, which can lead to improved performance in class.

× Allows a student to “test drive” a particular career or employer without a long-term commitment.

× Connects classroom experience with the world of work

× Builds professional work experience and enhances a résumé.

× Provides marketable work experience and can lead to a more successful job search

× Develops a network of professional contacts that can be used for full-time job leads

× Assists with educational expenses by providing extra income

× May lead to a full-time job offer from the employer.

× Increases potential to earn more money after graduation. (Research indicates that students who participate in a co-op program tend to start at a higher salary than a colleague who did not participate in a co-op.)

× Strengthens transferrable skills such as oral and written communication, customer service, team building, problem solving and time management.

Non-discrimination policy

The University of Southern Mississippi offers students equal access to all educational and programmatic activities that the university sponsors. Students and employees participating in any University-sponsored program – including exchange programs, study abroad, cooperative learning experiences, field placement internships or student teaching – retain all rights and privileges in these off-campus experiences. Similarly, they also are responsible for all university codes of conduct, including consensual relationships, alcohol use, etc.

Employees and students who believe they are being treated differently in these settings because of age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability status may contact the USM Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity for assistance. This office may be contacted at:

McLemore Hall (MCL), 310
P:601.266.6618
affirmativeactionFREEMississippi
https://www.usm.edu/affirmative-action-equal-employment/
 

Code of Ethics

The Cooperative Education Program at The University of Southern Mississippi adheres to a Code of Professional Ethics provided by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). We are dedicated to maintaining high professional standards and for promoting those standards of professional behavior outlined in this code to both our students and employers.

If you require assistance of any kind from our office, please contact Kathy Killam, the Cooperative Education Coordinator, at the address or telephone number provided below.

Career Services

The University of Southern Mississippi

118 College Drive # 5014

McLemore Hall, Room 125

Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Telephone: 601.266.4153

Web site: www.usm.edu/cs E-mail: kathleen.killamFREEMississippi

 

Contact Us

Career Services
McLemore Hall 125

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map

Phone
601.266.4153

Contact Us

Career Services
Hardy Hall 240

Gulf Park Campus

Campus Map

Phone
228.214.3330