The Career and Professional Success (CaPS) office in the College of Liberal Arts (102C McConnell Hall) helps students establish career goals, explore employment opportunities, and brush-up on interviewing and resume-writing skills. Resources available include vocational interest testing, a computer career decision making package (FOCUS), a job locator program to help students locate part-time and summer jobs, and a network of alumni and parent career advisors. CaPS also coordinates a senior recruiting program (where employers come on campus and interview students that have submitted resumes) and a Career Fair (where dozens of employers are available to meet with students and answer questions). A list of job-related websites is available from CaPS. Communication faculty advisors may also provide insights into future career opportunities.
Career and Professional Success
Both UNH Career Services and the Dimond Library have copies of Peterson's Guide (a massive set of books, updated annually, with every graduate program in the United States listed in it, with names addresses and phones of contacts at each school). The bulletins for all North American undergraduate and graduate programs are available in the Dimond Library on microfiche (in the Micro Media Room). (Please note, however, that microfiche bulletins may be up to one year older than printed copies available directly from a school.) You might also want to check the Dimond Library's Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.) rates doctorate programs. Career Services runs a Graduate School Fair in the fall. Your faculty advisor and other professors in the department may have information about programs that might interest you. They may also be able to put you in touch with communication department alumni who are currently attending or have attended some of the schools you are considering. Keep an eye out as well for graduate-school related events sponsored by the faculty and the Communication Association.
Letters of Recommendation
Faculty members are generally very pleased to be able to write letters of recommendation for good students. Generic letter forms are available from Career Services (Hood House, Room 102.) Most graduate programs use their own forms. In addition, faculty are usually willing to send separate letters to different programs or employers. If you need letters for graduate school or a job, speak to the faculty members you think will be able to write you the strongest, most detailed letters. Don't use course grade as your only criterion. For example, if you received a good grade in a large lecture class, the instructor may not be able to say much more about you than what your grade on your transcript already says. Try to get letters from faculty members who know enough about you to comment on the quality of your critical thinking and your speaking and writing abilities. Typically, these will be instructors who have had you in small classes or who are familiar with your extra-curricular activities. Tell faculty members why you need the recommendation and ask if they feel they can write you strong letters. Check with faculty to see what information they would like to receive from you (some faculty request that you fill out a brief form with relevant information). Be prepared to provide faculty with a copy of your transcript and/or resume, if requested. And most important, always give faculty as much lead time as possible. Also note that most faculty will write only confidential letters of recommendation, because these are taken much more seriously by employers and graduate programs (i.e., you will need to sign the waiver of access that appears on most pre-printed recommendation forms).
We hope you will stay in touch with us after graduation and keep us posted on your career and educational advances (and your current address and phone numbers). You can use mail, fax, e-mail, or voice mail to keep in touch with your former Faculty Advisor, a particular professor, or the office staff. UNH has an active alumni association and we hope you participate in that. We hope that some of you return to participate in Communication Association panels and other events. We would also like to see the start of a Communication alumni group. Please contact the Department Chair or the department's academic advisor, Mr. Andrew Sharp, if you would like to be one of the founding alumni of such a group.