University of Pikeville
Office of Career & Professional Development
(606) 218-4467

Sonia Smith
Campus Employment Specialist
(606) 218-5223

FAQ Quicklinks

Why the UPIKE Career & Professional Development Office
Student Engagement
Internships & Experiential Learning
Post-Graduate Plans
Alumni Engagement

Faculty Engagement

Why the UPIKE Career & Professional Development Office?

Career Development fulfills its educational mission through individual and group advising sessions and through the development and maintenance of partnerships with students, faculty, alumni, employers and graduate schools that share our goal for student success.

We are dedicated to providing students an engaging, personalized career and professional development experience including: Career Choice,  Experiential Education,  Networking,  Career Preparation/Job Search, Graduate/Professional School Advising, and Professional Development.

Ideally, you should start exploring careers as early as your first year, so that you can apply for internship and research opportunities well before you start your eventual job search. However, we can work with you at any time during your college years and beyond.

It depends. For answers to quick questions, or to have your resume briefly reviewed, you can often walk-in.

For more in-depth help, including discussion of self-assessment, career exploration, and job search strategies, as well as interview practice and assistance with your resumes, cover letters, you are welcome to make an appointment with a professional staff member

606-218-4467 or email

Graduate students may schedule appointments and activate their Handshake account to use our online database of jobs and internships at any time.  Our website also has a lot of helpful information and is available to all members of the UPIKE community.

With a good plan in place — there are many different careers open to someone in any major, no matter what it is. Some majors do not have a direct link to the world of work and many people do not pursue careers that relate directly to their degree.

Major in what you enjoy.  You will be happy, engaged, and you’ll perform better in class. What matters most are the skills you develop in completing your degree, your achievements, and the work-related experience that you gain along the way.

For career ideas, you can take the Focus 2 assessments. You can search majors and career opportunities to view examples of career options.

The job search, as most students imagine it (networking, researching employers, sending resumes, etc.), should begin by the end of Junior year or the beginning of Senior year.  But the career development efforts that will make your job search successful begin NOW.

Taking your career development seriously requires you to invest your time exploring potential careers, starting and expanding your professional network of contacts, and building your skills and experience through involvement in student clubs, community volunteerism, internships, part-time jobs, and summer experiences.  In many cases, it is through these opportunities that you will discover options for post-graduation jobs.

There are several resources for writing resumes and cover letters, including resume samples from different majors and a template for crafting cover letters, in our Student-Employment webpage section. You can revise an older resume or start by simply making a list of your experience and skills.  Check with Career Development to schedule a resume appointment and review meeting.

You will need a separate resume (and cover letter) for EACH opportunity to which you apply, and it will need to be customized to address the needs of that specific job or internship description.  If you upload your resumes into Bears@Work, only one version of your resume will remain “visible” on your Bears@Work public profile.

The Career Development Hub does NOT recommend using free “resume builder” templates that you may find online.  While they are easy to create, they are not easy to customize.  Using a resume builder also increases the risk that your resume will look just like other ones made from the same tool, when your goal is to stand out from other resumes.  Your best bet is to open a blank Word document and begin.

Student Engagement

Our outreach efforts include general announcements and targeted emails based on academic disciplines and career interests as well as collaborating with other departments to engage UPIKE’s diverse community. It is important that we provide responsive programs and resources that are improved through  student, faculty and employer feedback.

We also attempt to engage alumni who are typically eager to help students via professional presentations, employer information sessions, and internships. We encourage our students to connect with alumni who can offer career advice and mentor students.

Bears@Work is the student employment, internship and job database managed by UPIKE (only open to UPIKE students and alumni) to help you connect with employers, jobs, internships, and event information. Career Development sends targeted emails directly to students through Handshake based on student profiles. Therefore, we highly encourage every student to fill out their profile and update your career preferences in Handshake to the best of your ability in order to receive emails regarding career opportunities and internships of interest.

Upcoming important events and information sessions happening at UPIKE can be found on our LinkedIn page, Handshake, office website and Campus Groups Career Development page.

UPIKE’s Career Closet is a place for students to acquire new or gently used professional business attire to be used for presentations, conferences, competitions and job interviews. The clothing is FREE for students to keep.

Students can make an appointment with Career Development for the Career Closet Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by emailing

Call 606-218-4467, email

We can provide a general overview of the resources offered by Career & Professional Development and can provide one-on-one career counseling for all topics career-related and assist with resume and cover letter writing, job/internship search process, interviewing, LinkedIn/networking and more.

Internships & Experiential Learning

Students participate in a variety of internships that are related to their fields of interest–everything from non-profits to business to communication to social services. Although internships are not typically required, students are encouraged to make the most productive use of their summers and can help identify ways to do that–even if that doesn’t mean an “internship.” Structured internships aren’t the best fit for everyone–we work with each student individually to find what will be the best fit and most meaningful experience.

For more information

Career Development works with students to help you find meaningful opportunities.  Bears@Work and The Vault are good options for students to start their search. Combined, there are 100s of opportunities in a variety of industries and locations.


Post-Graduate Plans

Handshake, is a free UPIKE job search website that links UPIKE alumni and students to employers with part-time and full-time job opportunities and internships.


Although the percentage varies by year, 26% of the Class of 2020 enrolled immediately in Graduate or Professional School.

UPIKE students can be competitive applicants to programs all over the U.S. Career Development, in conjunction with faculty, can help students decide when/if graduate school is the next step and edit drafts of personal statements and other application material.

Graduating with an undergraduate education, UPIKE students enter a broad spectrum of careers in a variety of industries. Some destinations include social services, financial services, business, research, health professions, technology, nonprofit, public service, and teaching.

Alumni Engagement

Absolutely!  The University of Pikeville Career & Professional Development Office continues to serve students after graduation as they navigate career transitions.  Email to schedule an appointment.

Alternatively, Alumni can also help students in a variety of ways throughout their career development. Internship Programs and Alumni-Student Networking dinners are ways our alums offer workplace advice and networking opportunities with students. Alumni can also provide mentoring for current UPIKE students through our programming as well as for one-on-one interactions. Finally, alumni advocate for UPIKE University within their organizations and can be the driving force for getting employers to participate in recruiting UPIKE students. Each year we reach out to alumni to share job and internship postings with us and we welcome those opportunities at any time.



Support the university by connecting your organization or business to UPIKE’s Career and Professional Development Office.

Email, for more information.


Employers value the experience students gain inside and outside the classroom where they work in teams to solve challenging problems. UPIKE  students have a strong work ethic — they work to balance academic course loads with campus activities, community service, leadership roles, as well as student employment, community commitments, family and friends. The ability to learn can help solve employer problems and concerns. They are strong communicators, passionate in their beliefs and interested in making a difference.

Our employer development efforts include contacting major employers in fields of interest to our students as well as initiating contact with our parents and alumni, encouraging them to post jobs and internships for students on Bears@Work.

We are committed to preparing students for and connecting students with recruitment opportunities and do so through our on-campus Job & Internship Fair and a recruiting relationship with the Association of Independent Kentucky College and Universities (AIKCU) Spotlight Career Fair.

Faculty Engagement

Career Development understands the close-knit relationships of faculty and students. We work together to help students access resources that are useful. We also work with faculty to educate students about the world of work and career opportunities through collaborating on programming, inviting speakers, and hosting workshops. Academic departments also send us job openings to be posted in Bears@Work, help us to market career events, and refer students to us for career counseling.