Special to The Ledger
As an attempt to prepare students for success in their first job after graduation, the college provides internships, job shadows, mentors and other career resources.
Linda Dubar, internship employer and internship coordinator, Career Development Center, advises students on career goals and connects them with employers, both throughout college and after graduation.
“I work closely with faculty as well as employers,” said Dubar. “The focus is student success and employer engagement, and how we can keep that aligned so the student will be successful.”
As a former career coach, Dubar visits with an average of nearly 10 students per week about their short- and long-term career goals. She also works with potential employers to arrange internships and job shadowing for students.
“One of the things I strongly encourage students to do is job shadow,” said Dubar. “I encourage them to shadow first because that gives them a snapshot of what the workplace culture is like.”
WORK EXPERIENCE IN THE REAL WORLD
Olivia Rogers, former student, participated in an internship with the Kansas Legislature in Topeka for school credit during her time as a political science student at the college.
“Being able to see the legislative process up close taught me more than any class or book could have,” said Rogers. “Working with representatives showed me the impact everyday citizens can have on government.”
Laurie Chapkin, coordinator, Career Development Center, assists students in using the various resources offered by the center to polish their resumes, practice interview skills, determine their strengths and find a major.
“You’re building your resume starting your freshman year,” said Chapkin. “It’s the work, the volunteer experience, the clubs and activities and building those relationships. You’re going to need people to put on a job application as references and to get letters of recommendation.”
Sarah Evans, career information specialist, Career Development Center, recommends students reach out to their professors or instructors as a way to find a mentor, gain references and create connections in the industry.
“When I was doing adjunct teaching, I would just love it if a student reached out,” said Evans. “I was more than happy to help the student, but I wanted them to be able to show initiative and enthusiasm by reaching out.”
SarahGrace Ashworth, professor, economics, discusses employment with students. She encourages job applicants to find ways to show they are enthusiastic about the position when they apply and interview.
“Show you’ve done your research about the company,” said Ashworth. “Be able to ask intelligent questions expressing why you are enthusiastic about working for the company.”
RESOURCES AVAILABLE ON CAMPUS
The Career Development Center offers a strengths assessment quiz, a 16 personalities career test, tips on polishing resumes, mock interview practice and a job database specifically for students.
Students can walk in or schedule appointments to speak with an advisor. The office holds various brightly colored binders containing job postings as well as files of information packets on certificates, majors and sample resumes. Computers line the room with access to personality and strength assessments.
Because of her own positive internship experience, Rogers now encourages other students to intern during college to jump start their careers and create valuable professional connections within their field.
Rogers said, “Interning while in college gives you a head-start on life in a number of ways. It expands your personal network of connections, offers you a career preview and gives you applicable skills. It allows you to use what you’ve learned in the classroom in the real world.”