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Career Success Initiative Empowering All Students to Achieve Their Career Aspirations

Two new platforms launched this spring to improve career preparation and career exploration research

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Last fall at the State of the University address, President Jay Hartzell announced a University-wide initiative as part of Change Starts Here to elevate and expand career services campus-wide.

Student needs have evolved and over the past several decades, best-in-class career services have shifted from more manual, transactional models to holistic and scalable approaches, explained Daniel Liu, Executive Director in the Transformation and Strategy Office, which is leading the Career Success Initiative. The University is making deeper investments to ensure all UT students have the staff support and tools needed to achieve their career aspirations.

“This spring, an extensive listening tour was conducted with all deans, career services office directors and 1,800+ students,” Liu said. “With collaboration and partnership from each of the colleges and schools, two initial areas were prioritized for investment. This means investing in technology to increase access and empower students with deeper career resources and data, while also gathering insights from students so career services leaders can better understand their students’ internship and post-graduation plans and needs.”

The first resource introduced campus-wide is CareerSuccess@UTexas, a reporting and career research platform by third-party vendor 12twenty. Through this platform, students have direct access to insights through searchable salary databases, offer timelines, job source trends and benchmarking data from peer Longhorns and peer universities, including Harvard, University of Michigan, Yale and Rice University. In addition, this platform will significantly reduce the time it takes to generate reports and insights on students’ career outcomes.

Another essential feature of CareerSuccess@UTexas is securing data and insights from UT students. Through short, “first destination” surveys, colleges and schools can query students about their post-graduation plans, whether they have found a job or are still looking, going to graduate school, into the military or volunteering. Similarly, colleges and schools can also garner feedback from returning UT students about their internship and work experiences.

With Longhorn career information being collected in a standardized format, future students can search and benchmark salaries, offers and insights of their peers, said Robert Vega, Career Success Initiative co-lead.

“For the first time in UT’s history, all of the colleges and schools are now collecting and reporting on post-graduation outcomes on the same platform,” Vega said. “We are encouraging students to engage with CareerSuccess@UTexas, because the more students use the platform, the more valuable it becomes as a research tool with a repository of data across the entire University. Once we have a year of data, we’ll also be better able to tell a more holistic student career success story that transcends graduation outcomes.”

Whereas CareerSuccess@UTexas focuses on research and reporting, another new tool called Management Consulted elevates and expands student access to case interview preparation and consulting career resources.

All UT Austin students now have access to Management Consulted, which Nathan Langfitt, a Career Success Initiative workstream lead, describes as both “a partnership and a platform.”

The problem-solving modules within Management Consulted prepare students for case interviews, which have become ubiquitous across industries beyond consulting interviews. Developing these case interview skills also helps students further develop the type of critical thinking skills that are marketable across industries and functions.

To complement and amplify the use of this resource, a working group of UT career services offices, led by Langfitt, has collaborated in executing five campus-wide case workshops. In addition, more than 50 staff members from across 10 career services offices will also receive case interview training this May, enabling career services staff professional development to enhance student interview preparation services.

“The deployment of these two enterprise platforms in less than a year is only possible thanks to the partnership and commitment of colleges and schools across campus in supporting students’ career success,” Liu said. “It’s been amazing to see how we’ve come together under the shared vision of the Career Success Initiative. We all play a role in preparing students for their futures – whether in the classroom, through co-curricular and experiential programs or supporting the adoption of specific career tools like these.”