By: Colby Alvino, '19 

Have you ever considered career services as a potential career path? Byongho Lee, ’18, has, and after interning for the University of Richmond’s Office of Alumni and Career Services as an intern, a position he created himself, and by participating in their Spider Shadowing program that provided him the opportunity to shadow a Richmond alumna at the University of Virginia (UVA) Career Center, his passion was reaffirmed for helping students find a career that is best for them.

Lee began considering a profession as a career advisor last spring, but has been interested in what career services can do for students since the beginning of his journey at Richmond. Starting his freshman year, he began visiting advisors during drop-in hours for advice. Since then, he has attended every career expo and participated in multiple workshops, networking events, and information sessions. Lee believes that because Career Services has been such a valuable resource for him during his time at Richmond, he wants to be able to do the same for other students.

Interested in the career advising process, Lee created the Career Services Intern position this past fall at the Richmond office. His responsibilities were threefold: help advisors with ongoing projects, conduct informational interviews with faculty and staff, and provide support during sponsored events and expos.

On November 10th, Lee took a 5:30 a.m. bus to Charlottesville, feeling energized and excited for a full day of shadowing ahead. He shadowed Laura DelPrato, ’06, whose role on the Employer Relations team at the UVA Career Center involves providing customer service to employers, students, and affiliates. Her main responsibility as the Employer Relations Coordinator, however, is to facilitate the On-Grounds Interviewing process.

When Lee arrived, he was taken on a tour of the office, which happened to be located in the university’s football stadium. He sat in on meetings, one of which discussed details about setting up interviews and resume screening, had one-on-one interviews with a couple of people from the employer relations, career advising, and business development teams, and even met with a couple of students.
“My favorite part about shadowing was being able to take ownership of my experience,” Lee said. “Because I had been conducting interviews for my internship, I was able to have great conversations with the staff and advisors and they genuinely seemed interested in my career goals. They helped me get a better understanding of career services, especially at a big state school such as UVA, and I was able to tie it back to my internship. I also noticed a lot of similarities and differences between Richmond and UVA, such as financial support for projects, decentralized career offices, and size.”

Many of the advisors Lee encountered at UVA had the same aspirations and motivations that he did, which was comforting for Lee to discover firsthand. He found his shadowing experience to be one of the highlights of his semester, and he highly recommends Spider Shadowing to his classmates.

“It gave me a new perspective and I gained some confidence in my career path,” he said.

The best advice Lee can give to students is to not only stop by Richmond’s Office of Alumni and Career Services before they graduate, but to also visit the office with an open mind.