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On Purpose: Portrait of Career Services

August 15, 2018
To commemorate our 150th anniversary in 2018, the College of Liberal Arts commissioned 60 photographs taken by Xavier Tavera. Departments and programs partnered with Tavera to envision their images and to write the narratives that accompany each photograph. View On Purpose: Portrait of the Liberal Arts.

A seated female student faces the camera with the city of Minneapolis behind her.
Pictured Myna Sharma

“She’s a superhero!”

That’s how recent CLA alumna Myna Sharma described Joyce Halverson, a career counselor in the CLA Career Services office.
But the real superheroes are CLA students and alumni like Sharma who leverage their liberal arts education and launch careers that will allow them to shape their communities and the world.

Sharma first visited Halverson in the Career Services office during her sophomore year. Over the next three years, after meeting with Halverson several times and using other services the office provides, she changed her major, zeroed in on what she was looking for in a career, improved her resume, completed two internships, interviewed with several potential employers, and landed a full-time job. She graduated from CLA in May 2018 and began working in June at Olson in account management, where she works with the brand team.

Sharma is an example of a CLA student who took full advantage of the career support available to her. The CLA Career Services staff are the supporting cast for our student superheroes, helping them learn more about themselves and connect with employers who appreciate the value that liberal arts students bring to the world. 

“Having a friend, mentor, and confidant in Career Services helped me navigate a somewhat anxiety-ridden and frustrating job search,” Sharma says. “Joyce helped me discover my personal career wants and needs, and helped me pick a career track that capitalizes on my skills. The job hunt can make you feel insecure and unsure. With CLA Career Services, I felt empowered to begin this next phase of life.

“I was able to use GoldPASS and LinkedIn to find jobs and learn about employers, but my work with CLA Career Services helped to add a human aspect to my job search. What separated me from other candidates was knowing about myself and being able to sell myself.”

Our vision is to prepare CLA undergraduate students to navigate the lifelong career development process and excel in their chosen fields by pursuing the “3 E’s”: 

  • Explore: discover their unique strengths, values, interests, and identities as they explore career pathways.
  • Experience: engage in experiential opportunities that foster thoughtful reflection, planning, decision-making, and professional growth.
  • Excel: launch from college to career by articulating and applying their liberal arts education in order to adapt, thrive, and be innovative leaders in a diverse and ever-changing world.

The entire CLA Career Services team is inspired by students like Myna Sharma, who are taking their liberal arts education and embarking upon successful careers.