Career development assistance is available to Patterson School students through five means: the James W. Stuckert Career Center, Devex, one-on-one mentor counseling with faculty, support and assistance from the Patterson School alumni network, and this website.
The Stuckert Career Center does an exceptional job assisting University of Kentucky students and alumni with career exploration and job search tools. The Center offers general career counseling, career workshops, mock interview training, and public and private sector recruitment events. While the career center can be an outstanding resource, we believe – in keeping with our specialized program of study – that career assistance must also be personalized.
Devex is a social enterprise that provides international development professionals with information and networking opportunities, and assists with job search and career services. They have partnered with the Patterson School to provide these services at no charge to current students and recent graduates engaged or seeking careers in development, humanitarian assistance, or global public health (Devex partnership details - PDF).
Patterson School faculty, staff, and alumni will offer insights on how to craft successful resumes and applications, on which internships best compliment your ambitions, and on how to negotiate the seemingly Byzantine federal job process. The economic environment in the United States continues to pose serious employment challenges and recent increases in hiring by public foreign affairs agencies (State, Commerce, intelligence) have diminished. While it is difficult to track the job market, our faculty often alert students and alumni to potentially promising opportunities that arise. Alumni are also known to peruse the Patterson School LinkedIn group site for possible candidates for internships and open positions.
As helpful as all this support is intended to be, it is no substitute for each student's own initiative, commitment, and drive. Students should decide how to package coursework, an internship, language ability, and prior experience to best pursue their goals. Students must also determine if a life bouncing from one continent to another as a Foreign Service officer is preferable to one working out of Tokyo or Paris as a sales manager. Or, whether they are prepared for the danger that could accompany living in the Middle East or the poverty that may surround them in West Africa or South Asia. Our faculty's decades of employment in global careers can be of valuable assistance here, as can the experience of our more recent graduates. But, once again, only the student knows what truly drives his or her heart and soul.