Q&A with Sammi Kaiser, director of the Academic & Career Development Center


Cassie Wade

For many college students, choosing a major and career path is a daunting task. Fortunately, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Academic and Career Development Center (ACDC) is always available to help students find a degree program they’ll love and a career field they’ll be more than prepared to enter.

To learn more about the services ACDC offers students and alumni, I spoke with ACDC Director Sammi Kaiser.

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Photo courtesy of Sammi Kaiser

CW: First, can you tell me about ACDC, like what you guys do and how you help students?

SK: The Academic and Career Development Center is an integrated academic and career advising office. What that means is we do both academic and career advising. Our goal is really to help connect students to opportunities. Sometimes, it’s getting you to your right major. Other times, it’s getting you to your right career fit for your first job after college. On the academic side, we advise students up to 36 credit hours who are undecided, exploring. We get them to their major confidently.

On the career side, we are career services for all current students and alumni. We do resume reviews, mock interviews, job search strategies, host the career fairs and the job board. The new job board, Handshake, actually launched for students June 26.

CW: What kinds of questions should students come to you with?

SK: All sorts of questions. We have major exploration appointments for students who maybe feel like they’re not in the right place. Or, students who maybe don’t’ know where to start with a career. They’ve maybe been told to get an internship but don’t know where to start. We’d be a great place to start. If we don’t know the answer or there’s questions outside of our scope, we have great connections on campus that we’ll connect students to.

CW: Why do you think it’s important to offer these types of services to students?

SK: I think these types of services help students connect their academic experience to what’s next, to their purpose, to why they’re doing this. There’s a bigger purpose, and that bigger purpose is finding that alignment with what you’re interested in, what you enjoy, what you’re good at, but then also what the world needs. UNO being a metropolitan university, we keep service top of mind and find that a lot of students want to connect that purpose somewhere in some way. I think our overall goal is to connect students to these opportunities. I think it’s important because otherwise, the students might not have these conversations if we’re not there.

CW: Going back to the new job board, are there any changes students should be aware of?

SK: They can use their net ID to login to Handshake. An account is sitting there waiting for them. They just have to activate it. I think that’s probably the biggest takeaway is just to get into handshake and take a look. There’s going to be ways you can connect with employers through the system, kind of like social media or LinkedIn. It’d be a way you could upload a resume and perhaps get targeted for an opportunity you wouldn’t maybe have thought of because employers, if you allow them to look at it, can have access to that. I think it just depends on how you want to craft your profile within the system.

CW: How should students set up an appointment with ACDC?

SK: For academic advising, students can go through MavTrack. For career advising, through Handshake. For all of our appointments, they can also call.

CW: And what are your office hours?

SK: Eight to five Monday through Friday.

CW: Is there anything you’d like to add or think I should know?

SK: I think our goal is to touch every UNO student before they graduate and so ultimately, our goal is to make sure our outreach is that broad so that students leave knowing we’re a service not only while they’re a current student but beyond. Students can also keep us in their back pocket as alumni.

ACDC is located in EAB 115. The office’s phone number is (402) 554-3672.