The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith’s Career Services center has been evolving alongside the university, growing with the needs of the campus community, to support career-readiness goals of its students.
Originally the Placement Department, Career Services was founded a short time after UAFS joined the University of Arkansas system in 2003, and has progressed to include the Babb Center for Student Professional Development, founded in 2015.
Career Services operates with the goal of providing career guidance and services to current UAFS students and alumni and partners with many area employers to provide internships, opportunities for job shadowing, and service learning. Through the Babb Center, upperclassmen are able to develop both professional and interpersonal skills through workshops as well as mentoring and internship programs in collaborations with UAFS partners. These collaborations often pave the way for future career opportunities, as well.
Bailee Davis, an accounting student planning to graduate in 2019, said, “The Babb Center program has truly enhanced my resume writing, networking, and interview skills. These skills have allowed me to create impactful relationships with alumni and employers. My goals wouldn’t have been achievable if it wasn’t for the extremely help staff.”
Since beginning the Distinction in Professional Development program in 2012, the CSPD has awarded 89 Distinction in Professional Development Certificates. Approximately 95 percent of those in the program who earn Silver Level certificates are able to find immediate career opportunities, and 100 percent of those who earn Gold Level certificates with the program are successful at finding careers.
Career Services is run by five staff members under Executive Director Ron Orick. About 40 organizations and more than 100 employer representatives assist with workshops and events. Currently there are 687 students in the program. Students can either walk in to the center if they wish to utilize its services, or they can make an appointment at 479-788-7017.