Graduating with more than an understanding of an academic major has never been more important than now, as economic woes have affected today’s workforce.
The Career Center, created to assist students in transitioning from college to the workplace, is a resource students are using to connect themselves with prospective employers.
“The earlier you start and the broader you think, the better your chances,” said Rachel Brown, who has been the director at the Career Center for seven months.
The department has five “career ambassadors” who specialize with issues in the five major undergraduate schools on campus. Students who come in can consult with any of the ambassadors.
Senior STOC major James Wilson has been an ambassador at the Career Center for about four months.
“I actually went there for a résumé critique to help me get the job I quit to work at the Career Center,” he said.
The Career Center has been around in various forms for 20 years.
The center, located on the second floor of Mitten Hall, offers handouts for all majors and an assortment of free pamphlets on everything from networking to dressing professionally. The center also has its own computer lab.
Wilson assists other students with their résumés and cover letters and helps them make the most of their majors.
Nearly 900 students out of the 26,451 enrolled undergraduates contacted the center for assistance last semester. Approximately 1,800 attended larger events.
These figures are not good enough for Wilson.
“I believe that we just have to start connecting with students more and trying to meet them where they are,” he said.
Besides providing assistance in the office or on its Web site, the center hosts networking and professional development events throughout the year.
Résumé writing workshops are held once a week. There are also collaborative programs held for upperclassmen featuring employees from the Career Center.
The part-time job fair is held early in the fall and spring semesters. Brown emphasized the importance and stability of part-time positions.
“These jobs have been safe so far from the economy,” she said. “They hire smaller but steady numbers of students.”
Large-scale events like Career Week, which will take place the week of Feb. 16, are comprised of series that guide students in career development.
The Career Expo, which will be Feb. 17, targets juniors and seniors who have already prepared their résumés and are ready to meet with prospective employers.
An etiquette dinner, global career paths assembly and Temple alumni networking night are all events planned for Career Week.
University alumni who come from different professions also offer advice and information to students.
“They still care about Temple and want to give back, stay connected and just help current students,” Brown said.
Students can stop in from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and meet with a Career Center employee.
“Please come, meet with ambassadors. Just talk or get direction,” Brown said. “Everything we have in the office is available online, so one way or the other.”
Greg Adomaitis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.