Avila Now

May 26, 2022

Career Resources To Jumpstart Your Future

Shawna Pena-Downing
Shawna Pena-Downing.

Shawna Pena-Downing ‘12 is the Coordinator of Career Services at Avila. Her favorite thing about returning to campus in this job is “building and cultivating student relationships that focus on their lifelong and professional development.” 

“It’s interesting coming back as an employee. One thing it means is reconnecting with why I am here, and it is for the students – helping them see and possibly reach their potential in this part of their journey.”

Avila Career Services’ vision is to enhance individual resourcefulness and responsibility in career readiness by empowering students with support, knowledge, and opportunities to lead to valuable and meaningful professions. To identify and realize their career aspirations, we support individuals in their quest to explore the intersection of their education, values, goals, skills, and experiences.

“The mission of Avila University Career Services is to serve Avila’s students, alumni, and community with comprehensive preparation, inclusive opportunities, and professional partnerships to help build lifelong careers in the local and global community,” said Pena-Downing.

Career Services offers students and alumni many services and resources, including:

  • Career discovery and exploration
  • Resume and cover letter assistance
  • Career fair preparation
  • Attending events and workshops
  • Personal branding and assessment
  • Graduate school planning
  • Job or internship search best practices
  • Mock interviews
  • Job offer negotiation

Do you take walk-ins, or do they need an appointment? 

Yes. We do take walk-ins, but appointments are preferred. Appointments can be scheduled Tuesday – Thursday between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. You can schedule through Navigate or email careers@avila.edu. Appointments can be in person, over the phone, or virtually. 

Career Services recently partnered with Handshake. Can you describe what it is?

Handshake was created to ensure that all college students have equal access to meaningful careers. Within a few years, Handshake has become the leading early-career community in the US. It is where employers find students, students get jobs, and career centers enable student opportunity.

How do you see it benefiting Avila students? 

Avila is happy to partner with Handshake for our students. Handshake is designed to help students who are just starting out and may not yet have the experience or networks. It supports students on their entire career journey. There’s no fee for Avila University students. It provides access to the most extensive early talent network in the U.S. and personalized recommendations for jobs, events, and resources based on career interests, major, experience, and job search history.

Avila’s Career Services is ready to help undergraduates, graduates, and alumni on their professional journeys. Connect with a career advisor today and follow them on social for updates:

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