Jayson Flores addresses students attending the Career Education mixer.
The student-run event connected freshmen to Career Education staff and services.
By JEN RETTER ’16 Photography KARA WRIGHT ’14
As students attending the Career Education Mixer sank comfortably into the Stein Fireplace Lounge's patterned chairs, Jayson Flores ’14 offered an energetic greeting and a few instructive words. “I just hope all students know that they do not need a club or organization to get involved,” he said. “If you want to make something happen, go out there and make it happen.”
Part of the Leadership Now Initiative, a student group formed to help peers develop leadership skills and take command of their education, Flores shared how the people and services that drive the Office of Career Education helped him find a major that suited his goals and interests: Communications. Helping to organize the mixer was one way he could say thanks to the staff and introduce new students to the opportunities that can open up by working with Career Education.
“We teach transferable skills in class to help you to apply your knowledge to other trades,” said Stephenie Wilson, Interim Director of Career Education, explaining that a given major can lead to employment in a variety of fields. Wilson is proof: The communication skills and commitment to detail that she developed as an English major help her excel at her current job.
One of the tools Career Education uses to help students explore possible career paths is the FOCUS assessment. It allows students to inventory their skills, interests and values on the way to determining an ideal occupation. “It’s useful in helping students to understand themselves,” explained Wilson.
Preparing for the future can be nerve-wracking, which is why students can schedule one-on-one meetings with either Wilson or Employee Relations Coordinator Cynthia Nichols. They can provide plenty of materials and advice that can help interested students plan their post-grad life, find job and internship opportunities, prepare professional documents and résumés, and apply to graduate school.
“I didn’t even know this resource was available before, but I’m definitely setting up an interview now,” said Allison O’Neil, a first-year student who was encouraged to attend the mixer by Flores, her peer mentor .
Grabbing event schedules and pamphlets on the way out, attendees responded positively to the information provided by the speakers. “I liked that [the mixer] showed me that your major doesn’t determine your job,” said Michelle Placentra, a History major who knows she does not want to be a History teacher. “Now, I’ll definitely go to see Stephenie.”
Although the mixer was geared towards first-years, all students are encouraged to take advantage of the services offered by the Office of Career Education. “Whether you know exactly what career you’d like and how to get there, or whether you have no clue, Career Education is a resource you must utilize,” said Flores.
Many of the resources and documents distributed at the mixer are available to all students online. Information about upcoming events and important tips can be found on the Career Education section of MyArcadia, as well as the office’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/arcadia.careers).