What is Career Coaching?

A 30 minute, one-on-one appointment with a trained Career Coach who can help with many different kinds of questions, including choosing a major, searching for internships, making a resume or writing a cover letter, getting hands-on work experience, applying to graduate school, the job search after graduation, and much more.


Who can make Career Coaching Appointments at The Career Center?

Current undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in an on-campus degree program are eligible and can make appointments using our online system.

Alumni are also eligible for one year post-graduation, but will need to call 217-333-0820 to schedule. Alumni pursuing health professions are eligible at any time after graduation (one year limit does not apply).
Profile of a Career Coach

Who will I meet with during the appointment?


Our Career Coaches have a wide variety of backgrounds and interests, just like you! Many have Master's Degrees or PhD's in Higher Education or College Student Services, but some have advanced degrees in other fields, like Animal Sciences or Library and Information Sciences. Occasionally, some Coaches will be Interns who are currently studying for Master's or PhD's and want to work in Career Services after graduation. Our coaches come from diverse backgrounds and belong to many different professional organizations. All coaches have profiles available in the Staff Directory.

All Career Coaches have spent many hours training in career development theory, so that they can help you explore your options and empower you to make decisions throughout the steps of your career journey during college and beyond.

What should I bring to my Career Coaching appointment?

You don't need to bring anything!

If you have any notes or want to write down questions ahead of time, you can feel free to bring those, but there is no advanced preparation required for a Career Coaching appointment.

What should I expect during my first Career Coaching appointment?

Your Career Coach will give you time to ask questions if you have any, and will also ask you questions about yourself as needed. They might want to know about how you like to spend your time, what classes you liked in high school and your favorite classes so far in college, whether you are in any clubs or play any sports, and other hobbies or activities you enjoy. They may also ask about any previous work experience you might have-- this can include jobs like babysitting, dog-walking, fast-food service, retail jobs, laboratory work, and volunteer experience. They will also want to understand your goals and your career interests, if you have any right now.

So, be prepared to share information about YOU. Don't worry if you don't have all the answers yet! That's why you're here...you and your Coach will explore together.

Need to talk to someone TODAY?

If you can't wait for an appointment, consider using our Career Drop-in Advising service. It is first-come, first-served, and you don't need to schedule in advance. Just visit during our drop-in hours and check in to get in line for a 10-15 min chat with one of our coaches.
I have career goals, what's next?

Schedule a follow-up appointment! Your Career Coach can help you with all the next steps in your career journey. You will need to know:

  • How to get more work experience related to your career goals and how to describe that experience on a resume and in a cover letter
  • Where to look for jobs and how to prepare for interviews.
  • How to navigate job offers and negotiate your salary
  • How to decide if graduate school is right for you, and how to apply
  • How to network with professionals in your chosen career or industry

We can't cover all of this in one 30 minute appointment, so we hope you'll return and continue to seek advice. Plus, your plans might change, and that's okay too! We're here to help if things don't go the way you originally expected.