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Raleigh William Peace University Helps Students Kickstart Their Careers ::

By Abbey Slattery, WRAL Digital Solutions

This article was written for our sponsor, William Peace University.

From a high school to a two-year women’s college, William Peace University has served as an educational institution in the heart of Raleigh since its founding in 1857. Now a coeducational four-year college, WPU offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 35 majors, minors and concentrations.

Almost all traditional WPU undergraduates complete an internship – many students get jobs directly through internships. The school’s academic and career counseling office helps connect students with networking and career opportunities, regardless of major.

“Our university’s mission is centered on preparing students for life after graduation, which includes meaningful careers. We have good relationships with businesses and organizations around the Triangle and beyond, so sometimes students find placements on their own, but we also have resources where we help connect students with placements,” said said Kasha Klinegores, Director of Academic and Career Counseling at WPU. “Because we are a small, well-connected institution, we know our students very well and can often connect them directly to opportunities that we know may match their interests and experience.”

The university is committed to helping students grow professionally in several ways. The first is to structure the curriculum and provide meaningful and immersive learning opportunities. In addition to the courses and curriculum, WPU also offers a wide range of career resources through the Office of Academic and Career Advice, including networking opportunities, events, workshops, one-on-one coaching and advice, access to alumni mentors, career fairs, employer tours and more.

In addition to subscribing to the nation’s leading careers platform called Handshake, the office also maintains an internal website for students where they post opportunities that have been shared directly with the school. There are also dedicated class hours and professional development courses required to prepare students for internship seeking and experience.

WPU student Cierra Baker is on track to graduate early and completed two internships during her time at the school. She credits WPU and its resources as a key influence in her personal and professional growth.

“I was recruited to come and play basketball, and on my tour, I didn’t know anything about William Peace University before. After touring here, I felt like home. I loved the environment and I thought I could excel here — it’s the best of both worlds,” Baker said. They want to see students succeed, help them, and become the person they want to be. You don’t always get this support from professional staff at other schools, but you do at William Peace.

Baker got her first internship with the help of a connection of WPU alumni, where she worked with the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and gained hands-on experience in each department. His second internship connection was through his teacher and freshman seminary counselor, Kasha Klinegores, now Director of Academic and Career Counseling. Through her internship with North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Phil Berger, Jr., she was inspired to pursue a career in law.

“I learned a lot during my second internship. On the one hand, it clarified what I want to do in my future, and then it also gave me hands-on experience to learn what legal processes look like and how much effort it takes to know how to do it and be successful. Every time I finished reading or editing a document, I gave it to one of the clerks and vice versa — so that we all worked together to make sure we produced the highest quality work,” Baker said. “I have been able to learn so many things that I have been able to refine my career path and discover what I specifically like. The experiences I have had during my internships have taught me so much and I plan to going to law school in 2023.”

In addition to internships, WPU offers a number of other career preparation seminars, events, and resources. Baker recommends that students keep in touch with WPU Academic and Career Advising for regular job and internship updates.

Each fall and spring semester, WPU hosts an Internship Showcase, where students who were in the internship course that semester present to an audience of employers, supervisors, faculty, staff, and other students what that they have learned through their internship experience.

“They reflect on the challenges they overcame, the memorable moments, the skills they developed and also how they will apply their experience to their future – whatever happens next after graduation. , they think about how their internship experience will help them prepare for it,” said Klinegorès. “It’s an exciting event where students can showcase their learning, but it’s also a great professional opportunity in oneself to practice public speaking skills in front of varied audiences.”

Through internships, classes, networking opportunities and more, Klinegores and his team hope to see students leave WPU fully equipped for their next step.

“Many students arrive at university not knowing exactly what they want to do, or they don’t know how they can get there. I see our students embracing the unknown. They lean into this sometimes difficult experience of career development, and once they’ve gone through the whole program and graduated, they’re much more confident. They can articulate their skills and abilities, and they know how to apply them in the future,” Klinegores said. “Whatever your level of knowledge of what you want to do in the future or not, you can succeed here and you will learn important skills to take to the next level, whether it’s work or go to graduate school. We do a great job of preparing students to be productive in their professional lives.”

This article was written for our sponsor, William Peace University.

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