Career Development Center guides students toward career paths

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By Graciela Becerra 

Reporting Correspondent

gbecerr1@jccc.edu

The beginning of spring enrollment has students rushing to put their schedules together, but for students without a declared major, the task can be much more difficult.

Sherry Davidson, career information specialist in the Career Development Center, said 60 percent of students aren’t sure about what they want to study, and of the 40 percent that are, half end up changing their minds.

“Their interests are all over the place,” said Crystal Stokes, who is also a career information specialist in the Career Development Center. “It’s hard to narrow it down to what they have a passion for, what energizes them.”

Student Victoria Flickner is studying hospitality and tourism management but had a difficult time choosing.

“I found it really hard because there’s so many things I’d want to study,” said Flickner. “There’s so many options and a million different jobs out there. You really have to decide what you’re going to make most of your money from, and that can be really stressful.”

However, many students decide to take their general education classes before figuring out a career.

“The school offers so much to explore,” said Davidson, in terms of classes that might help someone decide.

Student Faith Ross has recently decided on pursuing a psychology degree after taking her general education classes.

“I always leaned towards psych but decided to take my gen eds because I was home-schooled and didn’t feel like I had experienced as much as I should have. It wasn’t until I took a psychology class that I affirmed what I already thought about myself,” said Ross.

Stokes offers alternatives because she said that while taking classes sometimes helps, students get to their destinations in different ways.

“It all comes down to self-exploration,” she said. “Figuring out what your interests are, figuring out your likes and dislikes as well as taking career assessments.”

Stokes advises that students do research on the careers they have in mind.

“Have perception,” she said. “Research the time commitment some jobs require as well as the pay and figure out what’s important to you.”

However, both Stokes and Davidson agree that visiting the Career Development Center can help students save time and money.

“We’re really at the beginning and tail of a student’s education,” said Davidson. “We help direct them in choosing a career and then help with résumés, cover letters and even mock interviews.”

The Career Development Center also offers multiple “Discover Your Strengths” workshops throughout the semester as well as a job shadowing program in which students will be paired with a professional in their field of interest.

“Students that find out about the Career Development Center are always so appreciative,” said Stokes.

Books, computers, pamphlets and career counselors are always available and eager to help.

Students interested can go directly to the Career Development Center on a walk-in basis. It is located on the second floor of the Student Center in room 252. For more information, visit their website.

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