With graduation approaching and summer jobs and internships opening up, a big thing on students’ minds is: “How do I get a job?” One way for them to figure out their next step is to pay a visit to Mouton to see Joanie Spain, the Career Services director.
In fact, it’s a new requirement this year that all graduating seniors must schedule an exit interview with Spain so she can get a handle on where students are headed next, keep them in the loop with possible job opportunities, and increase alumni relations.
“She is awesome,” says Rochelle Esquerra, a graduating senior in the Performing Arts department. “She has always helped me when I’ve needed advice on my resumé and portfolio. She has also helped me start looking into cruise lines and pointers of how to interview over the phone or on Skype. Plus, she is easy to talk to and knows how to help people out.”
Sitting in her office with a smile that never leaves her face, Spain speaks passionately about her desire to help students find success in the job market after graduating and helping them have the best edge they can have.
“Career services handles anything related to professional development and next steps for our graduates and our students,” says Spain.
Spain helps students in all areas of career services, including helping them craft top-notch resumes and cover letters, and enhancing alumni relations and assisting graduates in finding jobs by sending them “email blast lists” divided by graduating year and major about job opportunities.
“Resumes and cover letters are non-fiction creative writing projects that follow certain conventions, so my role is to provide resources that help the student research and identity how to do those,” says Spain, who understands that “resumes can be intimidating if you haven’t done one or updated one for a long time, so I have resources ready, such as templates, and students write a rough draft then come back and see me and we tweak it together.”
Spain also recommends that students cultivate a presence on social media.
“A good LinkedIn presence is important and understanding the strategic use of LinkedIn can make a huge difference,” she says, adding that Twitter and creating a personal website are also good mechanisms for self-promotion.
“Students should understand the different tools and have a presence where those tools are the most valuable to them,” she says.
In addition, Spain talked at length about two great internship opportunities available over the summer.
One great option for students wanting to stay in Santa Fe and work over the summer is the International Folk Art Market.
Now in its fourth year of collaboration with SFUAD, the Folk Art Market has eight openings for students to be a part of the Art Team. The Art Team is in charge of the “ambiance” of the world-renowned event by “creating and constructing” the “decorative and themed elements” of the event.
The jobs come with a $1,500 stipend, free on-campus housing, and requires a four-week commitment working six days a week. Spain says that students who have been involved in the past have loved the experience and highly recommend it.
Another wonderful opportunity that is available exclusively this summer is a chance to work with the Santa Fe art collective Meow Wolf.
Known for its inventive large-scale installations, such as the dimension-traveling ship The Due Return, Meow Wolf has teamed up with George R.R. Martin to convert the former Silva Lanes bowling alley into a permanent installation called “The House of Eternal Return.” This is part of an effort to keep youth in Santa Fe instead of moving elsewhere for bigger arts scenes.
Meow Wolf is looking for student volunteers to help over the summer, and are working with Career Services to offer for-credit internships across all majors for working on the project.
Members of the collective will be giving a talk on campus to the community and the SFUAD student body in the Forum at 6:30 p.m., April 6 to explain the project and look for interested parties.
Spain highly recommends having at least one internship—whether paid, unpaid, for credit, or for experience—under one’s belt before graduation.
“Having one or more internships are what differentiate entry level resumes from the rest, because it’s very hard to get hired with a student resume alone,” says Spain, adding that she strongly “believes in the power of internships.”
Spain is enthusiastic about promoting the talent coming out of SFUAD, saying that Santa Fe is a great place for artists to thrive and that SFUAD is an essential part of adding youthful energy to the local scene.
“We—meaning the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe businesses, and the university—have an obligation to help alumni be successful wherever,” she says. “We encourage a youthful feel that attracts and keeps people of all ages, and we have an obligation to provide something for everyone here and define what Santa Fe will be in the future.”