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career services

There’s a new obstacle to landing a job after college: Getting approved by AI

Some universities offer programs to help students with career preparation and AI interviews that teach them tricks and keywords.

This blog is a project of the NOVA Fellowship at TU.  


The NOVA Fellowship at The University of Tulsa (TU) has a mission to build and support the culture of innovation on campus and in our communities. We do this by providing small grants to help innovative student projects, faculty involved in innovative programs, and curating content related to current trends and recent developments in technology and innovation. This content includes topics relevant to the entire campus, including health sciences, economics, arts management, biology, computer science, finance, artificial intelligence (AI), communication, engineering, and global issues. Because NOVA students are studying in a variety of TU majors, our interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving is one of our great strengths.

NOVA also helps provide training to students and faculty in creativity, problem-solving, innovation, and entrepreneurship. We offer training on the TU campus in meetings and workshops, and through an exciting partnership with Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Every year since 2015, NOVA has sent several TU students and faculty to Stanford for 4-5 days of training with experts and interaction with fellow scholars from around the world. The student program is University Innovation Fellows ( and the program for faculty is the Teaching and Learning Studio Faculty Workshop (

In these ways, NOVA exposes TU faculty, staff, and students to many processes and tools used in modern companies related to creativity, problem-solving, innovation, and entrepreneurship. One of these is “design thinking.” It is one of the most well-known problem-solving approaches used around the world today, used to develop concepts for new products, education, buildings, machines, toys, healthcare services, social enterprises, and more. According to the people who developed this tool, Dave Kelley and Tim Brown of the design firm, IDEO:

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success…. Thinking like a designer can transform the way organizations develop products, services, processes, and strategy. This approach, which IDEO calls design thinking, brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. It also allows people who aren’t trained as designers to use creative tools to address a vast range of challenges.” (

As the innovation field develops, new perspectives are emerging. One promising approach we are beginning to bring into NOVA meetings and workshops is called “systems thinking,” which builds upon the emergent field of complexity research. Systems thinking recognizes the inherent interactivity of the dynamic processes in our world and focuses on problem-solving with that complexity in mind. This approach isn’t completely new, but recent work has made systems thinking more accessible to people interested in solving problems of most any type. For example, Derek Cabrera, Ph.D. (Cornell University) has proposed a useful taxonomy designed to improve systems thinking called DSRP (Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives). He defines it as: “The recursive distinguishing of things and their interrelationships and part-whole organization from various perspectives” ( Elsewhere, DSRP has been described as a particular way to think about problems, and that the use of these four patterns notably improves people’s problem-solving abilities – demonstrated in sessions with Kindergartners all the way to CEOs. The complex, adaptive mental models that are formed during systems thinking attempt to identify the most approachable and simplest explanations for phenomena. In his book with Laura Cabrera, Systems Thinking Made Simple, examples of the simplicity that drives complexity include: the interaction of CMYK colors in our world, the amazing biodiversity derived from combinations of DNA’s core nucleotides ATCG, the fundamentals of martial arts which practitioners use together to improvise during sparring matches, the almost infinite variety of models that can be built with modular Lego blocks, and the billions of possible moves in a chess match with just 6 unique pieces.

We invite you to join us and collaborate as we learn more about effective ways to solve problems that you and others care about in the community, in corporations, and on campus! Please visit or email Dr. Charles M. Wood, Professor of Marketing at TU:


Workplace diversity and career development

On March 3, the Office of Diversity and Engagement, the Business Career Center of the Collins College of Business and ConocoPhillips co-hosted Diversity in the Workplace. This event gave students an opportunity to think and talk about diversity and inclusion within the career development process. Participating students came from many different undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as law. Several faculty and staff also took part, as well as some students and staff from Tulsa Community College.

“One of the reasons I wanted to have this event was to gather students, employers/organizations, faculty and staff together to discuss diversity and inclusion as it relates to outcomes for students,” said Leonelle Thompson, director of the Business Career Center. “Many times, students seek career guidance outside of the career services offices and it is crucial that faculty and staff are equipped with the knowledge employers have. It is also important that employers, faculty and staff understand the types of questions/concerns students have in regards to transitioning to the workplace. I think we do a great job of helping students while they are in school, but the transition to the workplace can be extremely difficult.”

A large group of TU students and employers standing in front of a screenPlanning for Diversity in the Workplace began in fall 2019, and community partners were identified based on their diversity and inclusion efforts. One unexpected result of inviting certain partners, noted Thompson, was that they also began to invite others. This resulted in 27 representatives – including seven TU alumni – participating, including ConocoPhillips, Capital Advisors, ONEGas, Williams, TEKSystems, Workforce Tulsa, Eide Bailly, Union Public Schools, Teach for America, GableGotwals, Verizon, Koch Industries, Grant Thornton, Tenstreet, Deloitte, Vernon, OKC Thunder, Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores and Northwestern Mutual.

The representatives were assigned to various topics, including the following:

  • How to bring one’s authentic self to the workplace
  • How to communicate with different generations in the workplace
  • How to ask for accommodations for an interview
  • Whether a person should disclose anything on a résumé that identifies their unique identity.

Tom Vincent of the law firm GableGotwals provided an introduction by explaining that everyone has a “diversity story.” He then shared two examples – one professional and one personal.

Dozens of people seated at round tables during the Workplace Diversity meetingFollowing Vincent’s opening remarks, participants rotated every 20 minutes to a new table. “Many partners commented on how impressive our students are and how excited they were to have been part of the event,” Thompson remarked. “Many didn’t realize that students had so many questions about diversity and inclusion. The students, meanwhile, commented how great it was to talk about the issues in a relaxed setting and get to network at the same time.”