Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This page provides help with the most common questions about SuccessWorks.

You can also search all SuccessWorks’ pages using the search box to the right or contact us directly for any further questions. We would love to help in any way we can!

The Basics

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What does SuccessWorks do and who is it for?

We support YOU in figuring out your life after college by providing resources, programs, courses, events, and advising. Outside of working with our staff, we also have a variety of ways to get you connected to employers and alumni which can even include real interviews!

We serve L&S students (both declared and still exploring L&S) as well as alumni up to 1 year post graduation who want to better themselves and their career opportunities. In addition, some of our programs and events are open to all UW students and will be noted on our Event Calendar.

Is SuccessWorks just for resume/cover letter review?

No way! Many students do come to see us for resume/cover letter review but we do so much more!

Creating a strategy to gain experience and skills, interviewing prep, connecting you to alumni and employers, offer and salary negotiation coaching, programs, events, funding for internships, courses, and a closet of professional clothing are also ways that we help L&S students on their path to success.

How can SuccessWorks help me throughout my college career?

We have something for students at any stage in their college career.

For 1st and 2nd year students, our Inter-LS 210 course is a great way to get started as well as coming to a drop-in or some of our events geared toward underclassmen. In addition, we also offer Inter-LS 215 which is a 3 credit Comm B career development course.

The courses will help you write a great resume and cover letter, connect you with alumni, explore different fields and careers that match your interests, get the most value from your major and degree, and create a supportive network of professors, TAs, alumni and peers. Why not get credit for doing work that you know you should be doing anyway?

Looking For More

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Does SuccessWorks help with internships?

Yes! We will help you brainstorm industries you want to explore and skills you would like to attain to help narrow down the many, many options. So many options! Also, we know hiring timelines for different industries, can assist with your application materials (resume/cover letter), and prepare you for interviews.

We even have internship scholarships for those with unpaid/low pay internships over the summer, an online internship course offered every semester if you would like credit for the experience, and give tips on how to be successful while you are on your internship.

We also help with figuring out alternatives to internships because there are other ways to gain experience such as research, volunteering, and even gaining experience through student organizations.

Can you help with graduate/professional program decisions?

Yes! Although we won’t make the decision for you, we can provide a neutral perspective and ask questions to help you reflect on what is important to you, your goals for a future career, and what will be the best fit for you. We also provide advising on the general graduate school decision-making process: to go, not to go, or wait – based on your longer term goals.

Can you connect me to alumni who have been in my shoes?

Absolutely! Alumni can provide insight into the day-to-day work of a field you are interested in and some could even open doors for you connecting you to jobs or internships.

We try to integrate alumni into most everything we do and connect you directly to them. While it might seem intimidating to talk with full-blown ‘adults’, UW alumni want to help students and remember what it was like to be a student and the uncertainty that comes with that.

Just Starting Out

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What if I don't know where to start?

That’s perfectly ok! You’re allowed to feel that way, we know how overwhelming it all can be, and that’s why we are here. When we first meet, all we need is to know what you have an interest in or what fields you are curious about. No commitments, just a starting point is all.

Most often, L&S students have multiple interests and that’s great! Some students start by looking at our online resources, others come by for a drop-in, and some make an appointment with a career & internship specialist. Others may start by attending a program, event or taking one of our courses. Choose your own adventure!

You definitely do NOT have to have it all figured out to come see us. We are here to help you figure it out together.

I am not ready to think about careers yet, should I still visit?

Of course! “Career” can be such a loaded word and sometimes students think it means they are making a decision for the rest of their life. That couldn’t be any further from the truth because you will most likely have many jobs and careers in your lifetime. We will help you think through what types of experiences and skills you want to gain to help you make decisions.

Starting early is ideal because you might try something out and realize you don’t like it. If that’s the case, you’ll have time to try out something else and gain more skills and experience. Some students focus on what that first job out of college will be, while others have a more long term goal they are working toward and figure out what type of experience they need to get them there.

All are welcome no matter what stage you’re at!

Is SuccessWorks the same as the Career Exploration Center?

The Career Exploration Center is great for students who are exploring majors and for those who could really use an hour with an advisor or at a workshop to think through how their personality, skills, interests, and values connect to the world of work. It is truly self-exploration to help in decision-making about majors and careers.

SuccessWorks does exploration as well it is just more focused on the different Career Communities that you can explore. You don’t need to have a definite plan before you engage with our advising or programs, just some prospects of ideas and we can go from there.

Bonus

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Are there services for recent graduates or alumni?

Yes! L&S alumni can utilize our programs and services up to 1 year after graduation. If you don’t live in the area we offer 1:1 advising via phone or virtual. If you graduated more than a year ago, there is a fantastic office that can support you: Check it out here. Additionally, you will still have access to Handshake.

Is there a "right time" to visit SuccessWorks?

Any time is the right time! Your best bet is to start early so that you can test out your ideas with relative ease. You might be curious about a certain field but don’t know much about it – we can help with that! Maybe all you know about a particular field from a family member, from media, or some other source – we can help with that, too.

How do you know you will like it until you take a “test drive” like a job shadow, internship, or talking with an alumnus working in that field? We’ve got your back! Sometimes, we come to decisions like these a little later than our friends or roommates and that’s ok! We’re here for you every step of the way and you don’t have to do it alone.

How do SuccessWorks staff differ from academic advisors?

Both academic and career advisors care about you, your success as a student, and beyond. How we differ is in the assignment: you are assigned an academic advisor(s) from the university whereas you are not assigned to an advisor at SuccessWorks.

Academic advisors are very well-versed in course sequences, policies, keeping you on track to graduate, offering strategies if you are running into academic issues and/or you are in need of other support services. Your academic advisors may ask you career and internship related questions and refer you to us and some academic advisors may be pretty well-versed in career topics. Some L&S departments may even have their own career advisors, so you have an even bigger career support network!

At SuccessWorks, we specialize in helping you think through how your academics translate into the world of work, what types of experiences and skills you need to gain to get you closer to your goal, give feedback on application materials and interviewing, and support you all the way through job offer and even salary negotiations.

We have knowledge in a variety of industries that are not tied to any specific L&S major and connections to alumni and employers who want to help you be successful as well.

For those students ready to gain experience through internships or other experiential activities, we can help you too! We provide guidance for students through the internship and job processes, gap year decisions, timelines, applications, interviewing, and all the way through job offer and salary negotiation.

For those considering grad school, we can help you decide what to do based on your long term goals.

Didn't find what you're looking for?

Stop in for a visit

University Bookstore Building
711 State Street, Suite 300
Madison, WI 53703

Send us an email:

SuccessWorks@ls.wisc.edu

Give us a call:

608-262-3921