Education - Page 3 - Creating a clear job path

- Page 3
Creating a clear job path
When choosing a college, it’s prudent to consider workforce readiness

By Megan Weeden, Contributing Writer

The purpose of college is largely for students to find a career path that will lead to a successful future – or a job. This often begins with the college’s career services office, where students can explore career opportunities during and after college and learn how to become a marketable job candidate.

At Stevenson University, career awareness starts as early as freshman year, when they are introduced to Stevenson’s Career Architecture process that is infused throughout their college career. This includes meeting with an “industry specialist.”

Industry specialists help coach students through the career assessment process and develop a personalized plan based on strengths, interests and values while creating a strategic plan to reach their goals.

“They begin to know the students and are better prepared to connect them with potential organizations that may have an interest in interns, as well as entry-level career professionals,” says Anne E. Scholl-Fiedler, vice president of the office career services. “They do this through referrals, weekly emails, newsletters with jobs or internships of interest and the creation of industry specific networking events.”

By the time Marisa Elrick finished her bachelor’s in business administration degree at Stevenson, she had already completed two internships, had a robust resume and had a better idea of what she wanted to do with her degree.

“Career services led to a job in my last semester of college and helped build my resume,” says Elrick, who graduated this past December. “I not only have my degree but mixed professional experience. I’m currently in the job market and I’ve had a lot of phone calls and interviews. I am confident that I will be hired soon.”

Elrick says another great thing about Stevenson is that alumni continue to have access to career services after they graduate.

Another way to gain exposure and experience in the professional world is through externships. Like internships, externships are short-term job shadowing experiences perfect to test out your interests.

University of Baltimore School of Law’s career development office offers students many opportunities to participate in a broad range of clinical programs and externships each year.

Students can apply for one of the clinics that, under the supervision of faculty, allows students to work with real clients. Clinics involve interviewing, counseling, planning case strategy and appearing in court or before administrative agencies.

Students can also apply for an attorney externship and get credit for legal work performed in the field, (combined with classwork), or for a judicial externship, where they’ll work closely with judges at the state and federal level for trial courts, appellate courts and administrative courts.

The school ranks among the top schools for the number of graduates securing judicial clerkships, consistently sending about 20 percent of each graduating class into these coveted positions.

“Our great employment rate is because of our externship programs,” says Jill Green, assistant dean of law career development. “They really give us great results because they’re practical and practice focused.”

Another externship opportunity at UB School of Law, the Experience in Legal Organizations (EXPLOR) program places students in a legal externship the summer after their first year of law school. Students get their first real legal experience by shadowing judges and attorneys in the government, nonprofit, public interest and private sectors.

“This is one of our biggest pipelines to jobs, with many getting job offers from that first summer placement,” Green says. “This is like being behind home plate with the umpire.”

Anne Arundel Community College’s Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute offers industry- specific job training for students interested in pursuing new opportunities or for those currently in the industry but requiring additional training. This includes certification in bartending, preparing to become a table dealer at a casino and food sanitation.

There are six casinos in Maryland, and AACC partnered with Maryland Live! Casino, MGM National Harbor casino and Horseshoe Baltimore casino to train table dealers through its Dealer School.

The Dealer School, located on the Arundel Mills campus, has certification in nine different table games. Training for each certificate consists of two noncredit courses, which are available mornings, afternoons and evenings.

While each casino has their own hiring guidelines, most require certifications in at least three games before auditioning for employment.

“There are significant job opportunities for casino dealers right now,” says Mary Ellen Mason, director of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute. “It comes with a good starting salary and benefits package. Students can work at any casino they want to.”

The bartending certification program is 21-hour course that takes place on the Glen Burnie campus and covers mixology, alcohol safety, bar preparation and customer service.

While AACC doesn’t provide direct placement, area bars and restaurants recognize the certificate and seek AACC graduates, Mason says. •

What career services offers

The career services center at a college is an invaluable resource available to students throughout their college career and beyond.

While the services offered can vary from campus to campus, virtually all career services offices provide a variety of career focused programs including career counseling by appointment, career workshops, assistance with internships, career assessment tools, career fairs, a career resource library and work with academic departments to assist intern-seeking students.

Career services offices often host workshops on resumes, cover letters and interviewing, maintain job listings and might provide alumni connections and help you consider graduate school. •