Preparing for what comes next
Between August 2009 and April 2010 the University Career Center has had over 314 meetings with students to provide them with advisement and information on employers, applications and interviews. The Career Center, located on the second floor of Lanier Hall, seeks to empower students of all ages to avidly pursue career and educational decisions that are the best for them.
With the economy teetering and many students nervous about finding places in the work force, the Career Center is a launching ground to aid them in their research for employers and graduate schools. Director Mary Roberts believes the center is having more students come in to seek advice, but she said it is hard to know for sure.
“As of right now we have seen more student appointments this year than last year and the year has not even ended,” Roberts said. “It is hard to tell if the economy is affecting this since in the spring we usually have more students come out to prepare for interviews and internships.”
The main workshop for spring 2010 is the Backpack-to-Briefcase Conference, taking place today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Atkinson classrooms. The Career Center requires students to sign up for this conference ahead of time in order to prepare the speakers, which this year includes representatives from GEICO, The Sherwin-Williams Company and The Hertz Corp.
Anna Bryson, a senior mass communication major, was offered an internship with Goodwill Industries International Inc. after attending a career fair hosted by the Career Center.
“The job fair was really helpful,” Bryson said. “I spoke with several different people and passed my resume around. The career fairs emphasize the importance of networking.”
Another student who benefitted from the Career Center is Samantha Carrick, a senior psychology major. When she was a sophomore, Carrick “had no clue” what career field she wanted to major in, so she went to the Career Center for help.
“I took the career aptitude test and a personality assessment,” Carrick said. “I had several meetings with a counselor. We discussed how my personality matched certain career fields. The meetings helped me discover what my strengths were and how I could refine those depending on the major I chose.”
Like Carrick, many other students take the opportunity to find out more about future employment possibilities. During the fall semester, the Career Center hosted events and seminars had an attendance rate of 288 attendees. Individual sessions are offered with coordinators as well. Internship coordinator Michelle Berg is one of the many advisers available to students, specifically to discuss the Career Connection job and internship database, to search and prepare for internships, and for transitioning from college into a career.
The last career fair of the semester is the Georgia Association of Colleges and Employer’s “College-to-College” fair in Atlanta at the Cobb Galleria Centre on April 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Career Center has had many students attend this event in the past, finding the day a great time to network and get criticism on their resume.
Bryson believes the workshops and fairs “help students by allowing (them) to help themselves.”
“Whether you are looking for a job, trying to figure out a career or looking for an internship the Career Center can help,” Bryson said. “The center offers a wide variety of services that any student can benefit from. The Career Center is not an intimidating place and is accessible to all students.”
Funded by state allocations, the center is also moving to give alumni and students a way to stay connected online. Career Connection is an online service serving at least 1,100 current students, according to Roberts. The site helps many access jobs and internships. Through this many alumni stay linked to GCSU and other students are able to hear the latest employer news releases first.