Sep 15, 2021
While you're on the hunt for the right school, we're thinking about your life after college. We're so invested, in fact, that we have an entire department specifically designed to guide you on your path to the perfect career. With a mission to provide students and alumni with the tools, resources, and information needed to identify and accomplish their professional goals, Career Services is one of the most essential resources on campus!
They have you thinking about it as soon as you step on campus,” explains Colby Firestone who has already repeatedly met with career counselors, polished her résumé, and used some of her newly acquired professional development skills to land an internship in the marketing office of Capital Blue Cross, one of the largest health insurance providers in the Northeast. At Florida Southern, career readiness is a critical part of our students' education.
By placing emphasis on career preparation, Florida Southern has distinguished itself as a top-ranked institution that maximizes the potential of a liberal arts education to prepare students for success in the workplace. 95 percent of our alumni find jobs or enter graduate school within six months of graduation.
We spoke to Career Services Director Dr. Lauren Albaum to get a better understanding of how she and her staff help students identify and meet their professional goals.
How do students benefit from a resource like Career Services? Students don't often realize how much our office can help them. Job seekers pay hundreds of dollars for job search help that is provided to students at no cost! Our career counselors are here to guide you; they are your personal liaison to making a seamless transition to post-college life, so feel free to ask them just about anything!
What kinds of services are available through Career Services? We offer so much! Whether you need assistance in finding job opportunities or developing your LinkedIn profile, Career Services can provide practical advice on the application process, résumés, interviewing, and all of the other details that prepare students to be hired. My favorite part of the job, though, is helping students find the right career path. Deciding on a career is a major decision, and the answer isn't always obvious. From offering aptitude tests to providing impartial advice, our counselors help students weigh the pros and cons of a particular college major, graduate school program, or job opportunity — ensuring it's the right fit for their specific career goals.
When should students first visit Career Services? Too often, students don't think about visiting career services until the second semester of their senior year — when they're faced with planning for life after graduation. At Florida Southern, however, we encourage students to take a four-year approach. We hold career readiness workshops specifically for first-year students to help them identify their strengths. We also help students identify on-campus clubs and community organizations to explore their interests, and we provide many opportunities for students to connect with professionals in their field. By their senior year, they are confident in their career choices and well prepared to ace interview questions and land their first job. Internships are essential in gaining experience.
How does Career Services help students find internship opportunities? Along with assistance using online search tools such as Handshake, we host events throughout the semester that provide students opportunities to connect with prospective employers! They include "Moc" Interview Day, Career & Internship Expo, and field-specific networking events. Just follow our social channels to find out when they're happening! Additionally, the college has designated faculty members who help students identify internship opportunities; your department chair can connect you with the internship coordinator for your discipline. Once you've found something you're interested in applying for, we're here to help you draft your cover letter, tailor your résumé, and practice interviewing.
What if my plans include graduate school? Can you help me? Yes! We are here to help students with their graduate or professional school search and the application process. Those interested in applying to graduate school are encouraged to stop in and discuss their interests and skill sets to develop a plan specifically tailored to their area of interest.
Any tips for future professionals on how to prepare for the real world? Be able to talk about yourself; that's often tough for people to do. While it can feel awkward to talk about your strengths, it's an essential skill. I encourage students to develop an elevator pitch — a brief, well-articulated explanation of what skills you offer. Introducing yourself well sets the stage for a professional conversation, whether you're meeting a new colleague, at a networking event, or at an interview!
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