UCI Program Prepares Students for Post-Grad Careers

The University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education unveiled on Oct. 25 the UCI+One Program, a resource-based program designed to promote career preparation and success for recent UCI graduates and young alumni.

As of 2015, the average unemployment rate nationwide for college graduates was 11 percent, per the National Center for Education Statistics. According to UCI’s Division of Continuing Education, 52 percent of UCI graduates will be looking for employment immediately upon graduation.

The Division of Continuing Education notes that 70 percent of graduates with master’s degrees “land a full-time position in a traditional setting within six months of graduating,” and the average salary of a master’s graduate is 31 percent higher than the average bachelor’s graduate. The object of the UCI+One program, according to its founders and directors, is to provide a bridge for newly-graduated UCI students to career opportunities and continuing education immediately upon graduation, to ensure that UCI alumni find success in their fields of study.

Program participants will be sorted into cohorts and guided by trained advisors as they develop career plans including short and long-term goals, take on internships and mentorship opportunities in their fields of interest, and improve personal strengths. The ultimate goal of the program is, through intensive guidance and availability of career-based resources, to prepare students for either graduate school or a position in their chosen field.

“The implementation of UCI+One is a testament to the commitment for success UCI holds for their scholars,” said Leigh Poirier, director of the UCI+One Program, in a press statement. “By providing career exploration opportunities together with support for graduate school, or other relevant experiences, our participants will have a competitive advantage and greater career success after commencement. We hope to extend help and guidance to support lifelong success.”

The program is comprised of two separate “tracks:” Core and Advanced. The Core program will be facilitated both online and in person, and involves mentorship opportunities with alumni and professionals. In addition, mentors and advisors aim to help students manage and perfect their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters and personal budgets. Students will also be encouraged to enhance skills such as elevator pitching, networking, time management and business writing. Finally, the Core program curriculum will address the differences between graduate and professional programs, and the possibility of pursuing research, public service and travelling in an effort to enhance career development.

After completing the Core program curriculum, students may choose whether to pursue UCI+One’s Advance Tracks, which provide personalized advising in “graduate school preparation, entering the workforce, engaging in public service and meaningful travel.” As in the Core program, student participants will be paired with mentors related to their fields of study and personal career goals for individualized guidance.

UCI’s Division of Continuing Education will host a free information session on Dec. 6 to explain the UCI+One Program to interested students and alumni and connect prospective participants with resources.