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Career Development

UT Knoxville Human Resources is committed to supporting staff in their career development, recognizing our careers are an important part of our identities. Recognized by Forbes magazine as one of America’s best places to work and UT was designated a 2023 Best Place for Working Parents, we believe a strong career development program for staff can contribute to staff engagement, fulfillment, and productivity.

Career Development Coaching supports staff in designing careers of meaning and purpose. You will meet with your life design certified coach in individual sessions where you can speak freely and you will be treated with respect. Your coach will not share what you discussed without your permission. Your coach has no input or influence in hiring decisions at the university. You’ll work with your coach to:

  • envision possibilities together, exploring principles of life design to determine how you can learn and grow within your current role at the university;
  • identify opportunities at UT that will support your professional development and advancement; and
  • connect you with your network here, assist you in creating resumes and cover letters targeted for specific UT opportunities, and demonstrate how to articulate your strengths in the interview process

Ready to get started? You can schedule coaching appointments in the following areas:

  • Career Development Coaching | Let’s talk about your career goals at UT
  • Identifying Opportunities at UT Knoxville | Brainstorm ways to grow and advance within your current role and department or identify new opportunities within the university.
  • Resume and Cover Letter Development | Develop and edit your resume and cover letter to articulate your strengths and accomplishments when applying for an opportunity at UT Knoxville
  • Preparing for Your UT Knoxville Interview | Let’s practice a few interview questions so you feel comfortable and confident articulating your skills, strengths and accomplishments in your upcoming interview for a position at UT Knoxville

Meet your career coaches:

Cearra Sears
Book a coaching appointment with Cearra!

Cearra (she/her/hers) serves as a Career Development Coach on the Career Development team within UT Knoxville’s Human Resources. Her focus is to support staff in their career exploration and growth, hoping to develop goals for their future at UTK and discover a career path. Before serving in Knoxville, she was a counselor, career coach, and staffing specialist working to assist individuals in reaching their education and career aspirations. Cearra received a bachelor’s degree in human resources from Minnesota State University – Mankato before earning a Master of Education in Higher Education from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington. She looks forward to helping you reach your future aspirations at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville!

Nancy Burkett
Book a coaching appointment with Nancy

Nancy (she/her/hers) believes our careers are an essential part of our identities and can be the key to happiness and fulfillment in our lives. As a career coach for UT Knoxville staff, her mission is to help staff design careers of personal meaning and purpose. Together we will explore principles of life design to determine how to learn and grow within your current role and envision opportunities for your professional development and advancement. Nancy is a certified life design coach and has worked at colleges including William & Mary, Wagner, Swarthmore and Berry, and she is thrilled to support staff at her alma mater, UT Knoxville, in their career development and life design.

Career Development Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2023

Human Resources at UT Knoxville is committed to supporting staff in their career development, offering services and resources focused on staff development, engagement, advancement, and retention. This report provides insight into the Career Development activities and coaching clients. Career Development Report