Luddy Staff Spotlight: LP Ailes
Larry Ailes, referred to as “LP” by colleagues, is the Assistant Director of Luddy Career Services. LP started off as a Biochemistry major during his undergrad, but after working a few years as a resident assistant, he realized that he preferred working with people more than with molecules and switched over to Psychology and Sociology. After graduation, LP found work as a Residence Coordinator at IUPUI where he also decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Higher Education. Returning to Bloomington to reunite with his partner, and now wife, LP obtained a position to work as an advisor and programmer for graduate students.
“Ultimately, we’re really here to support students through every aspect of their job search.” says LP as he explains the nature of his current position, “It starts with these individual one-on-one meetings. I will meet with students as many times as they want. We will talk about resumes, cover letters, search methods, and different job platforms. For MLIS students — we might prep for first and second round interviews; I have listened to 45-minute job talks and teaching presentations. In the past I’ve had Special Library Association students ask what dinner is like for an on-campus interview. So, we’ve even hosted basic dinner etiquette sessions.”
Like much of campus over the past year, Luddy Careers has been forced to adapt to the pandemic by going completely remote. “In terms of programming, we have a couple networking events right now, for example, our ‘Connect with Tech Series’ where we host online talks with tech companies. We’re also working on what our career fair is going to look like during the spring, but part of that comes down to students’ level of Zoom fatigue. Some of the students have all of their classes online and spend a ton of time in Zoom rooms. Is it a good idea to push them into another hour long Zoom presentation?” muses LP, “We’re also trying to work with our undergraduate peer advisors to do more weekly videos on YouTube, and normally we would do workshops on basic stuff like resumes and cover letters, and we’re working on getting those workshops recorded so that people can view them whenever they want.”
Despite the difficulties that Covid-19 has placed on his work, there has been one benefit to the pandemic for LP, “The last seven months have been really interesting and a struggle, but it was really great to spend the extra time with my fourteen-month-old daughter. She’s at that age were she’s really interested in sounds and musical noises, so I’ve been forced to watch a lot of Moana and Frozen 2 to keep her happy.” laughs LP.
Ultimately, LP and the career services team are invested in the career success of students and encourages them to make use of their services. “Come and see us” says LP, “I think that is the one message I wish I could tell to all the students — I would scream it from the rooftops. I’ve had students in the past who didn’t meet with us because they felt like Career Services wouldn’t be helpful for their particular needs and goals. My response to that is, ‘Get to know us and let us have the opportunity to get to know you’. Because the more opportunities that we have to get to know you what you’re looking for, the easier it is to individualize our services to you.”
Like many IU services, Luddy Careers has gone fully remote for this semester. As a result, they can be contacted through Handshake or email for a free career consultation. Students and alumni also have access to Handshake, an online platform where you can access jobs, internships, and also set up appointments for resume reviews, mock interviews and numerous other services.