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Membership Spotlight: Dawn Lazar

Excited for one of our 1st new #EACE member spotlights feat. Dawn Lazar of Cenlar FSB. #WeAreEACE

profile-pic_2What was your career path to get your current role? My career path is funny because I looped around a bit, but recruiting has always been the reoccurring theme.  As an undergrad at Florida State University (FSU), I had the unique opportunity to work in the admissions office as a telecounselor.  It was probably the coolest job ever at the time.  I called high school students and I spoke to them about the application process and why they should pick FSU as their school of choice.  From there, I did a stint in the staffing industry doing technical recruiting.  Agency wasn’t really my thing, so I moved back into higher education and spent 10 years of my career there focusing on admissions, academic advising, continuing education, and finally once I completed my master’s degree, I landed in career services.  After 5 years of building the undergraduate wing from the ground up as an assistant director in career services at the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU) I felt it was time for a change.  I spent so much time advising companies on campus recruiting best practices, I wanted to switch to the other side and just do it.  I worked at BlackBerry running their US Internship Program for 18 months, moved on from there to start the university relations program for the Retail Marketing Division of Bluegreen Vacations and personal reasons brought me to the Northeast earlier this year and now I truly get to merge my experience advising, coaching, training, and developing young career seekers with my love for recruitment as the Program Manager – Talent Development for Cenlar FSB.  My primary responsibilities include overseeing all program planning, development, and recruitment for our Summer Internship Program and Leadership Development Program.

What was your first job?  First job out of college – Technical Recruiter for TEKsystems / First job ever – cashier at Publix (grocery store in the South)

Why did you choose this career?  I love working with people, helping them discover their passion and coming up with a plan on how to get there.  I am especially drawn to working with those early in their career, because I feel college students and recently college grads are at such a pivotal point in life where the possibilities are endless if they just take advantage of the resources allotted to them.

What is the skill that is most important in your current role?  Listening intently and then taking action.  It seems simple, but I feel it’s really important in any role, not just mine.

How did you develop this skill and how do you fine-tune it regularly?  In every role, not just in our field, it’s important to listen in order to truly help someone get to where they want to be and truthfully in order for everyone to win.  I learned early in my career that in order to successfully recruit, coach, advise, develop someone you need to listen to what their wants and needs are before acting, otherwise you will sell someone on something that they don’t really want and in the end everybody loses.  Life moves so quickly sometimes things happen that remind you to go back to this basic principle in order to stay on track, so yes I would like to think I’m constantly evolving and trying to get better with it.

Did you have a mentor? Yes, I have several.  I think seeking out mentors and accepting those that offer mentorship is a key ingredient in being successful.

What is your biggest career accomplishment?   Building a department that didn’t exist prior to my arrival in a position.  I’ve done this 3 times in my career (2 at the university and once in corporate).  I think being able to leave a legacy behind is something I’m most proud of. 

What is your advice to students looking for their first job?  Take full advantage of the resources afforded to you at your college/university career center and NETWORK!  Get involved in organizations both inside and outside of school that are aligned with your interests and career goals.

What is your advice to young professionals in the field who aspire to your current role?  Network, ask a lot of questions, join professional organizations get involved as much as possible, set informational interviews with those that have the position that you aspire to have, and continue your education.  All these things will make you more visible and more marketable in the long run.  Be willing to take chances and open to relocating. 

What was the best career advice you have ever received? You don’t get what you don’t ask for….this goes with everything in life and I really try to live by it.

What would you like colleagues to know about your organization? Cenlar FSB, is a national leading loan servicing provider, engaged in mortgage loan servicing and subservicing as a core business for more than 40 years.  Located in the greater Trenton area, we are an employee owned company, that is currently growing exponentially.  As a result of this, talent development has become a major organizational focus which opens doors for not only internal employees but for recent grads and other driven newcomers that wish to truly have a career path.  Two college programs that are a part of these initiatives include the Summer Internship Program and Leadership Development Program which start each May/June.  Feel free to reach out to me with questions.

Bio: Dawn Lazar has dedicated over 15 years of her career to career services, recruiting and talent development roles. She’s had the pleasure of working on both sides of the house, spending 10 years of her career in student/employer services at Florida International University and later taking a leap over to corporate managing the US Internship Program for BlackBerry, building the University Relations Program for the Retail Marketing Division of Bluegreen Vacations and now managing the University Talent Development Program for Cenlar FSB.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from The Florida State University, Master of Science in Adult Education from Florida International University, and holds the SHRM recognized, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Certification from HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

You could be next! Tell us about yourself using this easy new Google form: http://ow.ly/ZcKU3065LdI

Cranky Director’s Corner – Post-Election Bonus Post

The past week has provided much material for emotional roller coasters, regardless of how you felt Wednesday morning. Sidestepping the overtly political (we’ll have plenty of that in the months and years to come), I’d like to address a couple majors contributors to the shock and surprise experienced by many over the last few days – data and bubbles.

In recent years we have raised data from a useful tool to a fetish to a nearly messianic thing that will cure our most pernicious diseases, solve our perennial social ills, improve our marketing and complexion, optimize our pipelines, and eliminate human error from all decision making! We’ve enshrined data-driven decision making in our policy and operational discussions, our personal and departmental goals, and our strategic plans. Big Data or Big Brother? Better data collection and analysis does offer more ways of capturing what has happened within our constituent populations. However, we should heed to the cautionary tale from this year’s election polls. Two lessons to remember:

  1. Data only tells us so much.
  2. Data is only as good as the assumptions we build into the collection and analysis processes.

The simplest way to avoid the first employs combining anecdotal evidence and our professional knowledge with the data. Does the data make sense? Does it align with the conversations we and our team (or others in our organizations) have with our constituents? Beware cherry picking stories to drive a preferred narrative. This leads us to tackling the second lesson. Humans are prone to an array of biases that affect our personal, professional, and political judgments, even as we strive to exercise objectivity. If data is to serve us, rather than us eventually serving it, we need to take clear steps to define data’s real role in our organization. Data’s role in our offices and the world is significant and a blog post is not suitable for a comprehensive discussion of this, but here are a few questions to get us started and regularly rehearse. Who are the consumers of the data, and can they speak back to it and us to challenge it? What are our goals? Where does data really fit into our regular processes, including our decision making? When do we gather, analyze, and share our data? Why do we need this piece of information from this source? How do we collect and share the data? Keep in mind the caveat Mark Twain attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” While we should not become enthralled to the data, neither should we manipulate it to our own short term ends.

Bubbles conjure memories of childhood and laughter. The US was also just blindsided (apparently we don’t know how to look in a sideview mirror) by different bubbles clashing in a way that demands attention. Politics aside, we do this in our offices. Do you serve all majors on your campus equally? Passive services like walk-in hours don’t count. Recruiters, do your organizations seriously entertain students with the right skill sets, regardless of major? Have you found you work more with some departments because they’re easier to work with? Has that compromised your own department’s reach and fulfillment of mission? Technology that encourages selective news consumption, mindsets born of behaviors on social media, and natural tendencies towards groupthink and herd mentality (Bay of Pigs anyone?) all isolate us from those that are other. And the human capacity to slice and dice who is “us” and “them” is nearly infinite. The best way to pop these kinds of bubbles is not with needles, but with bridges.

I’d like to close with a turn to one of the responses emerging from last week’s decision – safety pins. First used as a secret badge by the Dutch Resistance in World War II, then an emblem of the UK and US skinhead* and punk movements, now a sign of solidarity in the UK with those in fear of the uptick in racial attacks following Brexit, they are something to consider beyond being simple symbol. Since 1970s and 80s counterculture is lending us this, I recommend we take another step and hoist the 2 Tone flag.

*Skinheads were originally apolitical and non-racist and continue to mostly be so, but like Pepe the Frog, media coverage tended to allow the smaller racist element to define the whole in the public at large.

About the Author:  The cranky director will deliver rants on the economy, technology, social engineering, lack of a really good nearby falafel place, and idiot politicians (broadly defined)  to your computer desktop of preferred mobile device the fourth Friday of every month.

Cranky Director’s Corner – Ubering Our Livelihoods Away

Welcome to the “Happy Extortion Day” or Halloween edition of the Cranky Director’s Corner. While gratified that the editorial board of the Chronicle has chosen to follow the lead of my last post for their Innovation issue, there’s no resting on laurels around here. Onward. Forward! PROGRESS! What can possibly go wrong?

I’m glad you asked, so go grab your sabots and we’ll find out where to throw them. That does not mean this post or the Corner offer safe haven to Luddites. It is a blog after all. But as we venture into this month’s topic, let us reflect on the hard won lessons of the Industrial Revolution. It only took a matter of decades and incidents like the Triangle Shirt Fire to introduce reforms to protect workers. Of course these lessons don’t mean much in the American economy now that we’ve effectively off-shored much of our manufacturing. While off-shoring our consumer demand, we seem to have forgotten to send along our ethos on protecting workers from the predations of unscrupulous owners.

As globalization, outsourcing, and off-shoring encroached we pacified ourselves with things like Friedman’s The World is Flat, quietly thankful that the hardest hit employment sectors were not our own white collared ivory towers. Security by being knowledge workers or part of the creative class sounds wonderfully enlightened, yes?

Have you heard the one about the Uber driver? Imagine if you opened your news aggregator on your smart device and read your employer was investing heavily in putting you out of work within five years. What is your incentive for working hard and looking out for your employer? Of course, Uber drivers are part of the gig economy, so let’s consider the trucking industry. Similar timeline, though varying opinions abound, with a projected 3.5 million professional truck drivers potentially impacted. This amazing world we live in means these kinds of advances are not just coming to roads near us. Remember Foxconn from a few paragraphs ago? (you do click the links, don’t you?) Well, at least advances in AI and robotics means less people will be living that “dream”. Of course in the new economy, and in the old for that matter, it is the worker’s responsibility to retool for a new career. So what happens when the second half of creative destruction outpaces the first? What happens to a society when the pace of change is too rapid for people to make lateral or upward career shifts, or when jobs simply disappear without replacement opportunities emerging? If you think it cannot happen, you missed that it already has, and there are political implications for masses left behind.

What do Uber’s Otto, Facebook, AI, Drones, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have in common? (Hint: “really two things”)

  1. Most people weren’t asking for them.
  2. Everyone needs to adjust to their societal impact.

In every one of these cases someone or some small group of people had a vision that has, or is, overtaking broader society. Opting out becomes less of an option. When all cars are self-driving cars by fiat of market forces and/or regulatory action, will those refusing to buy get on the self-driving bus? Walk to work? (I hope no Mercedes are nearby.) Already the failure of IoT manufacturers to account for weak security in their appliances has enabled massive DDoS attacks like the one on October 21. Never mind the vulnerability of the power grid, they took away my Twitter! Now I like tech. It’s amazing to see what people come up with. Unfortunately, whether its high tech infrastructure in our homes, or robots, chatbots, and AI in the workplace, disruption carries a lot of costs. But we have over a century of experience with technology creating upheaval in the workforce. You’d think we would be getting a handle on how to minimize the negative impact so people don’t get left behind unless they choose to.

The question facing us as a professional community is where to start. Well, we are the braintrusts our schools and organizations have employed to think about and speak to these issues, whether they realize it or not. We start in our own backyards. Online tools should augment and extend our office capacities, not lead to reductions in staffing.  That tool or outsourced service that frees up a staff member today can be seen by your organization’s leadership as a potential cost saver by eliminating that position for the cheaper option. What our offices lose, what our students and applicants lose, is that crucial human element. I want my team constantly striving for the forward thinking, innovative, “what’s next” for our students, but I also know something simple like a resume review session is often that first point of contact or that important relationship builder that creates trust and leads to that student excitedly emailing when they got the interview/job/promotion. Tech always needs to be applied with wisdom, and we should never confuse fiscal concerns with actual wisdom. Slowly undermining the integrity of our offices, our teams, our quality of service for a short term technological band-aid is not innovation. Even if we’ve got a shiny new webtool, app, or gadget to show off.

So my doorstop haunting, cosplaying, candy fiends, here’s a trick and treat. The trick is if before you tuck into some turkey, you read the Chronicle articles and create a new initiative to serve your audience, you’ll get the treat of expanding your service and reputation. Great for annual reviews, budget discussions, and EACE conference proposals. Now get off my lawn!

About the Author:  The cranky director will deliver rants on the economy, technology, social engineering, lack of a really good nearby falafel place, and idiot politicians (broadly defined)  to your computer desktop of preferred mobile device the fourth Friday of every month.

EACE Call for Proposals Tip Sheet

The EACE Programming Committee is now accepting proposals to present at the 2017 Annual Conference. We are looking for proposals to cover a wide variety of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Assessment & Strategic Planning (best practices, new approaches to program assessment, learning outcomes, graduate outcomes)
  • Career Community Models
  • Career Coaching & Counseling (colleges: counseling students and their parents, employers: recruiting students and their parents)
  • Diversity & Global Issues
  • Marketing & Technology
  • Employer Relations & Recruiting (best practices for HR recruiters)
  • University Partnerships (faculty/academic & alumni affairs/development partnerships with career centers)

Tips for Submitting Your Proposal

  1.  GIVE IT TIME – A good proposal takes time to create! Set aside a few hours to review past proposals, draft out your presentation outline, and craft your title and session description.
  2. TAILOR YOUR SESSION – Increase your chances of being selected by aligning with one of our topics above and think about a format that involves the audience and stimulates discussions (instead of straight lecture).
  3. MAKE IT CATCHY – The title and description you create now will be listed in the app and booklet, so consider the audience, topic area and relevance to your presentation. Use action verbs and results-oriented words. Your title must be both attention-grabbing and give a good description of your session.
  4. GET CREDIT – Sessions that are NBCC or HRCI accredited have an increased likelihood of being selected for the conference, and tend to have higher attendance. Review the guidelines for HRCI (Human Resources Certification Institute) and NBCC (National Board for Certified Counselors).
  5. SHARE TAKEAWAYS – Think about the learning outcomes. What information will attendees learn? What new insights will you cultivate? What best practices or how-to’s will you share? Answer the following: “By attending this session, attendees will gain…”

CLICK HERE to download the EACE Call For Proposals Tip Sheet and view sample proposals.

 Additional Information 

  • Back by popular demand, EACE is offering ONE FREE conference registration per accepted break-out session. The free conference registration will be given to the lead presenter listed on this form and is non-transferable. This offer is not applicable to speed learning presenters. You MUST register by the early bird deadline (March 31, 2017) to take advantage of the complimentary registration.
  • Presentations are expected to stick closely to what is proposed on this form.
  • Presenters will not be compensated.
  • EACE provides presenters of break-out sessions with a projector and screen, but you should bring your own laptop and adaptor.

FAQs

Who can submit a proposal?
Anyone who has a relevant topic to share! We’ve had submissions from graduate assistants, faculty, career counselors, VPs, directors, recruiters and more.

Where is the Annual Conference?
Jun. 21-23, 2017
Sheraton at the Falls
300 Third St.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303

How long should my presentation be?
Break-out sessions are 60 minutes, speed-learning sessions are 20 minutes.

When are proposals due?
The deadline for submitting a proposal is Nov. 1, 2016.

When will I know if my proposal was accepted?
You will be notified by February 2017 on the status of your proposal and if it was accepted as a break-out session or will be offered as a speed-learning session.

Who should I contact with additional questions?
2017 EACE Annual Conference Programming Co-Chairs:
Katie Scheuer –  katie.scheuer@temple.edu
Ali Woodworth – alison.woodworth@bc.edueace-call-for-proposals-tip-sheet_page_2

 

5 Ways to Market “Road Trips to the Real World” on YOUR Campus!

rtrwbanner2017EACE’s Road Trips to the Real World offers your students the opportunity to attend employer site visits for ONE DAY between January 4 – 13, 2017. Host companies will talk about their organization, industry, internships, and job opportunities This is a chance for your students to get the inside scoop and literally get their foot in the door at 40 participating employers across the northeast…BUT space is limited and spots fill up VERY quickly, so encourage students to register now! Registration opens today, October 17th, and closes on December 9th. Students can register at: http://bit.ly/RTRW2017

Here are 5 ways you can spread the word about Road Trips on your campus:

  1. Social Media: Check out our Career Center Marketing Toolkit which has sample tweets and Facebook posts ready to go. Follow the suggested timeline, copy and paste, and boom – your students will catch wind of the great sites participating this year. Attach our infographic for a nice visual.
  2. Campus Announcements: Use your school’s campus wide announcement system to post a message about Road Trips. We’ve drafted up a sample campus announcement template which along with our infographic or flyer will catch their eye.
  3. Targeted Emails: Send targeted emails out to various student groups (specific majors, professional clubs, faculty and academic departments, special student leader groups like RA’s, OL’s, student workers, athletes and coaches, etc.) Use our Student Email template and tweak accordingly.
  4. Career Management System Messages: Whether you have CSO, Handshake, or Simplicity chances are you can send mass emails out to students. Use our campus announcement template and send it out using your Career Management System.
  5. Good Old Word of Mouth: Talk to students during your one-on-one appointments, at events, over the phone, or during a workshop. When you have their undivided attention, they’ll be more likely to hear all the great benefits of participating in Road Trips!

If you’d like more help in marketing the Road Trips program on your campus, please contact Committee Co-Chairs Katie Vagen at kvagen@bridgew.edu and Kelly Bellew at klb261@psu.edu. This program would not be successful without the help of our amazing EACE college and university members!

SHARE YOUR FAIR CONTEST

It’s that time again. Career Fair season is here. Many career offices have been or will be hosting their annual Career and Internships Fairs this fall. Wouldn’t be great to win a prize for all your hard work and planning?

sharefairThe EACE PR Committee is excited to be hosting our Share your Fair Contest, which will allow you to show off your hard work and career center pride with #EACE. The contest will run through November 1st.

To participate just snap and post pictures of your fall career fairs! Creativity counts.  The most creative posts that use #EACE will win a Starbucks gift card for their office!

Enter to win prize for your entire office. Here are this year’s prizes.

  • 1st place: $100 gift card
  • 2nd place: $25 gift card
  • 3rd place: $25 gift card

Not sure where to start? Get your students and employers involved. Snap some pictures showcasing your talented students interacting with your employer partners.  Photos must be uploaded to an individual or career center Twitter and/or Instagram account to enter the contest, and the body of the post or tweet must include #EACE & #SHAREYOURFAIR. Photos can also be edited to include #EACE somewhere on the image.

Winners will be announced during the week of Nov. 7 and featured in the EACE Digest E-Blast!

Promoting Your Career Center

By Jo-Ann Raines, Director, NJIT Career Development Services, Student/Alumni Career Development

Career Services staff on college campuses often lament that students are often clueless of the availability of career advisement and ancillary services and programs.  How many of us have heard, “I didn’t know you people were here!” or something similar, a couple of months before graduation.  Even with consistent marketing and outreach in various forms, engaging students can be a challenge.

Career Development Services at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) recently offered a new event for us, tied to the opening of our new office in a main campus building last December.  In the spring, we decided to hold an open house to show off the new digs and give students an opportunity to find us in our new spot or to find us for the first time.  As the planning progressed, we decided to include faculty and staff as part of the target audience and invited our advisory board members to take part.  This was not going to be a cookies-and-punch event with a ribbon cutting.  Instead it evolved into showcase of what we had to offer our multiple constituent groups.

Held on a Friday around common hour for 2 ½ hours, we utilized every available space in and around the office.  Registration was held in the outside hallway, where we also had a photo booth set up for photos with the Highlander, our school mascot.  As students entered, they were given a passport and offered a selection of activities using our interview rooms, civic engagement center, and work study student area.  For each activity they attended, they got a sticker for the passport which they could submit for a raffle for a raffle (gift card to the NJIT bookstore) as they were leaving. They had a choice of 5-10 minute presentations by staff on Big Interview, LinkedIn, and Creating a Strong Resume. Corporate partners gave 5 to 10 minute briefings in shifts on their companies and answered students’ questions.  In our Civic Engagement Center, students were invited to enter their employment information into our database, allowing us to gather information on internships and part time jobs we may not otherwise have obtained. They were also encouraged to sign up for volunteer activities for the semester. And of course, there was food.  We set up three food and beverage stations throughout the office that quickly ran out (if you feed them, they will come!).

In an adjacent conference room, two corporate advisory board members hosted separate panels on A Whole New World: Navigating the Workplace as a Young Professional.  In our Career Resource Center, three staff members interacted with faculty and university staff on services to students, employer engagement, and community service and how faculty could become more involved with our office.  Staff wore our uniform red shirts and name tags, and our work study students who acted as guides wore their black counterpart shirts.  After the guests had departed, we hosted the advisory board members with lunch in the executive director’s office.  They had earned it!

Needless to say, it was a jam-packed 2 ½ hours, literally and figuratively.  We registered over 300 students in attendance but missed many because of the crowd. This was a very collaborative event, greatly enhanced by the participation of our advisory board members.  You may want to consider hosting this event on a smaller or larger scale, if you haven’t had a similar one in the recent past.

Cranky Director’s Corner – Welcome Back Edition

Hello Gentlereaders. Welcome to the Cranky Director’s Corner. The CDC will offer periodic installments of grousing and grumping about the things that affect our profession. You know, those topics bouncing around the back of your mind, but you might not say aloud.

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Double Dog Dare

By Megan Wolleben, Assistant Director at Bucknell University and EACE Board Member. 

I know we are all in the middle crazy times for our members – from putting on career fairs (remember the #ShareYourFair social media campaign!) on the college side to going to them week after week recruiting on our employer side – and the last thing you want to do right now is to say yes to something else. But that’s exactly what I’m going to ask you to do. Do you remember how we wrapped up the EACE conference in June? With the amazingly energizing Lu Ann Cahn!  That energy has stayed with me and now I want to know if you’ve done what you dared yourself to do that day?

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First dare in the books and 1st in my age group!

At our table I shared my dare: complete a Sprint Triathlon. My brother-in-law had been bugging me to do one with him but the timing and the location was not working out. Saying no had left me with a nagging feeling that I was avoiding a challenge. So when I saw that I would be home for one in my own town I thought how could I say no? But I still hadn’t committed to it. Sharing my dare aloud made it real and after the conference I registered. That was actually the hardest part – well actually the run was pretty bad that day because of real feel temps pushing over 100! – but seriously taking the step to commit myself to this dare was the first challenge to overcome. I knew I could do it but I don’t like to “just do” things. I like to do them and do them well. I – like many millennials (and people) – get paralyzed by the fear of failure. But by daring myself I took off some of that pressure; my first step would now be trying it out. You can’t be bad at something you never try, right? (Try? Tri? The double entendres are endless.) It was freeing. I also had the pressure of returning to the EACE conference next year (Niagara Falls, who’s comin’?!) without having done my dare. No way that was happening.

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Second dare – and 102 miles – in the books!

And then a funny thing happened – before I even crossed the finish line for the Tri I had already found my next dare: biking 100 miles! This one I was so proud of and, if you let me, I could go on and on about it. But I know you are busy so let me just wrap it up and say Lu Ann was right!  One dare begets another; an inch out of your comfort zone once gives you confidence to go a mile out of it next time. I know my dares were more physically challenging than professional but the mindset – of saying yes before you say no, of not holding yourself back, of finally trying things you’ve said for years you wanted to do – all that can easily transfer over to work. Maybe it’s a new big idea you’ve been scared to bring up, maybe it’s a course you want to take, maybe it’s saying no to something that just isn’t working any more. The possibilities – the dares to try – are endless. 

Given that Lu Ann originally dared you consider this a double dog dare. Yeah, I am serious! Do your dare, share your dare, do another dare!

I know I’m not the only one out there, have you completed your dare? Share it with us by sending in details to the PR team. Want to write a post about it? Do that too by using this form. We can’t wait to hear from you, share your dare and celebrate your accomplishment!

 

Creating a Career Services/Classroom Partnership

By Jo-Ann Raines, Director, Career Development Services, NJ Institute of Technology

Another academic year is upon us.  One of the challenges often facing career services offices is building strong relationships with academic departments.  A strong relationship can help students to become aware of Career Services and career planning.  At NJIT we have formed an alliance with the College of Computing Sciences (CCS) that has been mutually beneficial for all.

In the fall of 2011, the undergraduate academic advisor in CCS expressed her concern that her second year students were not as strong as they could be in self-marketing skills and general business savvy.  She proposed a mandatory internship prep course for one credit that would include input from and interaction with Career Services.  Held in the spring of 2012, the first group of 90 students in three course sections attended Career Services workshops that focused on resume writing, interviewing skills, and career fair preparation.  Career Services staff visited each of the sections and critiqued each student’s resume.  Participants were also directed to online tutorials for interviewing. Mandatory attendance at the spring career fair was an additional requirement for the course.

Since 2011, the College of Computing Sciences and Career Services have worked closely to continue to grow this program.  The second-year course has grown to include internship and co-op preparation as well as mandatory attendance at Career Services’ programming such as the Sophomore Success Workshop Series.  As a final requirement, the students wrote reflection papers on their experience in the course and what they learned.

The program has also expanded to a mandatory senior level one-credit career development course.   As part of this course, students are required to participate in Career Services’ events such as Practice Interviews with Employers, Career Fair Preparation Workshops, and the Senior Workshop Series.  Career advisors facilitate some of the in-person class meetings and students are encouraged to meet with their career advisor.

CCS now has a means of exposing its students to career preparation that is tied to their course work and makes them better candidates for internships as well as full time positions.  Career Services has a cadre of students who are now aware of our services and programs through firsthand experience and also augmented its pool of students for computer-related co-op positions.  The students have grown in confidence in their ability to compete for positions they desire. Students now have a better idea of how the classroom and experiential learning interact.  The university’s reward is a new retention tool for second year students who are at risk of leaving but now have an incentive to remain.  Students understand the connection between classroom and career, and are motivated to succeed in co-op, internship, and full-time positions.

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