by Cade Webb
Tucked away on the second floor of the Student Center lies the Career Development Center. Located in SC 252, the center is designed to help students narrow down their potential majors, create résumés, prepare for job interviews and even get in contact with someone about an internship in an individual’s field of study.
“We have two branches. We help students decide on a major and help students with the job search process. We do a résumé critique and give them suggestions for improvements. We also do mock interviews by appointment … We really try to accommodate students as much as we can,” said Laurie Chapkin, coordinator for the Career Development Center.
The center also offers personality tests to narrow down a potential career field and free workshops to current students at the college that are based on finding the strengths that students possess and steering them in the right direction for their careers.
“The workshops are offered in order to help students choose a major. In the workshops, we explain realistically what the process is,” Chapkin said.
The job-shadowing program that the center offers is brand-new this semester and is offered to students with at least a 2.0 GPA, are 18 years old and are enrolled in a credit class at the college.
“We give them information on how to research the job market and the available employment opportunities … And now, we have the job-shadowing program to help them with that,” LeeAnn Cunningham, Employment Relations and Internship Coordinator, said.
JobLinks is the college’s online job database. Employers will list job openings both online and in paper, but Chapkin recommends that students check both.
“We also have companies who list internships with us on a regular basis, and they post their internships through the college … These companies are calling us and looking at us as a talent resource. We want to help supply that and supply the need for employment for students. It’s so easy for students to do this because of Job Links,” Cunningham said.
Currently, there are 271 available internships on JobLinks, according to Cunningham.
“Internships at JCCC are tied to career programs … Students are expected to find their own internships and do the job-searching part on their own. However, they come to us for guidance. We help them with resume building,” Cunningham said.
While the center is in a prime location and offers a valuable resource to students, the organization is finding it difficult to market itself to students.
“We have struggled in trying to get the word out for students … It’s talked about in orientation, but we are still trying to get the word out … We have been marketing ourselves through the college’s Facebook and Twitter pages,” Chapkin said.
Despite the struggles the center faces, Cunningham and Chapkin still find that the job is incredibly rewarding.
“That’s why we are here … When students are here, they always say ‘I wish I would’ve known about this earlier,’ and we see transformations in students. That’s why we do what we do,” Cunningham said. “We are very privileged to do what we do.”
Students can attend a strength workshop on Thursday, September 24 from 3:00-5:30 p.m. in the Career Development Center. For more information, contact Laurie Chapkin at email@example.com or visit their website.