Career Advising and Experiential Learning (CAEL) aims to support students, postdocs, and recent alumni in their pursuit of a fulfilling career, including career pathways within, or at the intersection of, science, engineering, academia, industry, and public service.
CAEL offers a myriad of programs and services thoughtfully designed with the goal of meeting the career and professional development needs of Caltech students and postdocs, a group that is highly technical, often ambitious, and concurrently engaged in rigorous time-intensive academic and research programs. Importantly, CAEL, in partnership with the academic divisions, has adopted a hub-and-spoke model for career services. CAEL acts as the central hub, overseeing core services such as employer relations and career coaching while working closely with the academic divisions to develop and maintain joint, targeted programs. This model allows for both independent and embedded programming within the academic divisions, providing for a stronger bridge between traditional coursework and a meaningful career, whether that career be in academia, industry, or the public sector. Joint programs run by CAEL and an academic division(s) are open to all Caltech students, postdocs, and recent alumni regardless of option.
CAEL takes a holistic approach to student development and career education, partnering closely with faculty, student and postdoc leadership, Student Wellness Services, the Hixon Writing Center, the Caltech Alumni Association, the Caltech Center for Inclusion & Diversity, Student Faculty Programs, International Student Programs, the Office of Residential Experience, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach, and the Caltech Y, in order to provide relevant and timely professional development opportunities and programming.
CAREER SERVICES AND EMPLOYER RELATIONS
CAEL develops and maintains robust relationships with potential employers in areas of particular interest to Caltech students, postdocs, and recent alumni, such as science, engineering, technology, finance, consulting, and the public sector. Through on-campus and virtual recruiting programs, CAEL supports employer-student engagement. CAEL maintains a platform through which approved employers are able to post appropriate job and internship opportunities, view the profiles and resumes of participating students, postdocs, and alumni, and schedule information sessions and interviews. CAEL hosts a diverse range of companies who send representatives to campus to talk to Caltech students and postdocs about full-time employment and internship opportunities through career fairs, information sessions, and on-campus interviews. CAEL and the academic divisions, through joint programs, host employers for events such as industry days, tech talks, employer office hours, and dinners for eight. CAEL is also responsible for developing and enforcing recruiting guidelines, protecting the interests of students and postdocs, while respecting the needs of employers.
CAREER COACHING, MENTORSHIP, AND EDUCATION
CAEL offers programs and services targeted at each stage of the career development cycle including career exploration, job and internship search strategies and preparation, graduate and professional school preparation and application processes, career planning, and further professional development. Students, postdocs, and recent alumni can schedule individual appointments for career coaching, document review, and mock interviews; participate in workshops focused on skill building; and attend networking events. Career and vocational interest tests can be taken on the recommendation of a career coach. CAEL runs peer and alumni mentoring programs in addition to employing professional career coaches. Peer and alumni mentors provide additional perspectives and are a complementary resource available to students and postdocs.
CAEL partners with the academic divisions to offer curricular education and opportunities. CAEL assists with the organization and management of career related courses as well as arranging for guest speakers and supporting career related curriculum design.
CAEL provides advice on applying to Ph.D., master’s, and professional programs in the sciences or applied sciences, engineering, economics, medicine, public health, environmental sciences, business, law, and other fields. Workshops and individual advising are available on the graduate school admissions process, essay writing, and related topics. Students planning to apply to graduate or professional school are encouraged to plan ahead and to utilize the resources of CAEL in making and implementing choices related to graduate studies.
Students planning to apply to medical, dental, veterinary, or pharmaceutical graduate school have access to a wide range of advising services through CAEL. Students can obtain relevant medical research experience through the Caltech summer preceptorship program, which has placements with hospitals in the LA area. The pre-health adviser is available to work with students throughout the process from their first year to graduation. CAEL works closely with the academic divisions and option advisers to support availability and alignment of academic coursework with medical school requirements across multiple options.
ON-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT AND WORK-STUDY
On-campus employers including those within the academic divisions are encouraged to make use of CAEL’s job platform in order to advertise and recruit student employees. (See also Student Employment)