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Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration

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CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration) is a concentration of services for advising, careers and graduate school, internships, research, study abroad and more.

Professionals in each area work together and one-on-one with students throughout their four years on campus. CORE offices are located in the Olin Center at the heart of campus.

CORE prepares students to take ownership of their career paths, and prepares graduates to navigate a challenging future and complex job market with versatility and skill.


Viking Score worksheet

Using the Viking Score worksheet, students keep track of steps they can take to achieve a high level of professional preparation, such as attending career and graduate school fairs and workshops, meeting with career development staff, completing internships and creating a portfolio.

Augustana uses Handshake, an online tool for students to find jobs and internships, and for more than 65,000 recruiters to find students. Students and alumni get postings that are specific to their job interests, major, and preferences.

• Students and alumni: Use your Augustana email address and password to log in and get started.

Employers: Here are short, step-by-step instructions on using Handshake to recruit students

Alerik "Al" Vi
Alerik "Al" Vi '17 interning as an information tech at Triumph Bank.


An internship is the practical application of the skills, knowledge and talents that students gain at Augustana or discover about themselves in a work or volunteer setting.

Internships at Augustana carry learning goals and objectives, plus an assessment at the conclusion of the internship. Internships may be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, for academic credit or non-credit. 

Support in the Chicago area

CORE's Jim Connon helps students find good internships and jobs in the Chicago area, where he's based in Augustana's Chicagoland office. He also works with alumni in the area.

Profair and Graduate School Fair

Twice each year, Augustana and St. Ambrose University partner for the ProFair, bringing together students and alumni with prospective employers (both local and national), for job and internship opportunities.

Augustana also hosts the I-74 Graduate and Professional Schools Fair. Students have the opportunity to learn about various graduate programs and meet with representatives from universities across the country.


Augustana helps students gain new skills and build their portfolios through these opportunities:

Study abroad

Sixty percent of Augustana students study abroad, and the college has been recognized by the Institute of International Education as a leader in study abroad.

Augustana offers a wide range of international and off-campus programs, visiting seven continents. Most programs are open to any student regardless of major.

See a list of programs


Augustana offers a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Studies, awards grants for student ventures through the Creative Enterprise Fund, and provides real-world opportunity at its Entrepreneurial Center.

Learn more

Community outreach

CORE helps students with communities in meaningful ways. These include service learning, community-based research and community service through volunteering.

These kinds of experiences have been shown to increase students' intercultural sensitivity and civic engagement, even after graduation. Community outreach and service is an important part of students' academic experience and growth at Augustana as they practice skills learned in the classroom. Accordingly, students are encouraged to track their efforts using the college's co-curricular transcript.

Service learning "integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities," as defined by the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. Augustana develops these opportunities in many academic courses, and the community served may be local or international. For more information, contact Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain, 309-794-7331.

The Upper Mississippi Center uses Augustana's resources to help communities solve urban and rural sustainability challenges. The center creates opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to solve these challenges. One objective of the center is to combine research that integrates knowledge and perspectives from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to create solutions, community engagement and collaboration. For more information, contact the Upper Mississippi Center or visit the office in CORE (third floor, Olin Center).

Community service: Partnering with community organizations, Augustana's Greek organizations, residence hall organizations and others, students traditionally log more than 20,000 hours of volunteer service each year. For more information, contact Keri Bass in CORE (third floor, Olin Center).

The Entrepreneurial Center (EDGE) connects students with community organizations in need of communications, marketing and creative services, including web design. The students gain experience to enhance their portfolios and résumés. For more information, contact the Entrepreneurial Center or visit the center (first floor, Olin Center).

Funding and scholarships

Funds and resources are available for students to expand their academic opportunities, such as a summer research project at Augustana or an internship half a world away.

Some are available to all students, such as Augie Choice; others require an application and are competitive.

Augie Choice gives all students $2,000 to support a qualifying hands-on learning experience of their choice, such as international study, research or an internship.

Augustana offers funding for research and creative scholarship, including travel for conferences.

Students also can get advising support to apply for national grants and fellowships to support international study for current students and graduates.


All Augustana students complete a significant research or creative capstone project, plus students can gain research experience in these ways:

Upper Mississippi Center

The center uses Augustana’s resources to help communities solve sustainability challenges in urban and rural areas of the Upper Mississippi River. Students acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to solve 21st-century problems.

Student research grants and fellowships

Augustana offers five sources of funding for students to do research, undertake special projects and participate in professional conferences.

These funds are available to students in all disciplines, including the arts and humanities.

In previous years, students have used their funds to visit the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, work at the Field Museum in Chicago and study a folk tradition in Bermuda.


Exploration for Augustana student occurs in many ways, including:

Augie Choice

All students receive $2,000 from Augie Choice to support a qualifying hands-on learning experience they select. Students customize their experience, using the money in the way they feel will best prepare them for success.


Advising encompasses a student's entire educational experience. While each student has a primary advisor, there also is a unique network of support, including academic advisors, career counselors, residential life staff, coaches, instructors and peer mentors. 

First-year students are assigned a first-year advisor and a first-year mentor to help them successfully transition into life as a college student.  

Once students declare a major, they transition to a academic advisor in their area of study. This advisor will advise the student through graduation.

Vocational exploration

Students explore questions such as: Who am I? What's my place in the world? How can I make a difference?

Counselors help connects these questions to the process of exploring majors, internships, study abroad, volunteer service, graduate school and careers.

They offer retreats, individual appointments and workshops. The college has Servant Leader Internship Grants to support students who are exploring various career  options, including a focus on non-profit organizations.

Justin Fox
More Than I Imagined ​Justin Fox
“CORE helped me understand the framework of a résumé freshman year and provided me support all the way through senior year in evaluating job offers.”
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Jessica Zhou
More Than I Imagined ​Jessica Zhou
“CORE office helped me with my interviews, which made me realize who I am and my advantages. I would not get my internship/full time at PwC without listening to their advice.”
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