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Career Center Initiates Program to Help Students get #SVCBearcatReady

Photo: Genna Niemiec

The Career Center has unveiled a new marketing initiative titled #SVCBearcatReady, designed to help students evaluate their career readiness skills before graduation. One of the goals of the #SVCBearcatReady program is to increase student awareness of the services that the Career Center offers.

“Our hope is that this will get students more involved in the Career Center, that they utilize our services early and often, and then use the information provided to strengthen their skills,” Courney Baum, director of the Career Center, said.

At the office, students of every major are assigned a Career Consultant, with whom they can schedule one-on-one appointments with regularly. Students then have the opportunity to have their resumes reviewed, to get help finding an internship or full-time job and are able to participate in mock interviews. The level at which current students utilize the services offered by the office varies.

“The Career Center does a great job helping students transition into the workforce through a variety of services, including mock interviews and resume reviews,” Sean Jackson, a senior sociology major, said.

Luke Good, a senior marketing major, also felt he has benefited from visiting the Career Center. “It’s effective because it opens doors for college students to create relationships with employers before they even graduate,” Good said. “They provide all the tools necessary for students to succeed.”

Jenny Hogan, a junior sociology major, has used the Career Center for a resume review in the past. “I feel like the Career Center is able to help students looking for a job and give them advice,” Hogan said.

Meanwhile, according to freshman undecided major Andrew Speraw, many underclassmen are unaware of what services the Career Center offers — a response the office hopes will be changed through the #SVCBearcatReady program.

The Career Center spent the summer preparing to implement the #SVCBearcatReady program. Erika Hudock, a senior communication major, collaborated with Baum and the Marketing and Communication Office to create materials before students returned to campus.

“I wanted to use bright colors and interesting graphics to draw people in and make them want to look at our information,” Hudock said.

George Fetkovich, Saint Vincent’s art director, created a new logo for the Career Center office — Vinny the Bearcat topped with a graduation cap. The logo was added to all #SVCBearcatReady marketing materials and will also be placed on future information distributed by the Career Center.

After final edits were made, Hudock sent the materials to be printed, and they are now ready to be presented to students. The office gave an information sheet to each student who visited the Career Carnival during the club fair on Sept. 6, and again at the McKenna Town Hall meeting on Sept. 13.

The Career Center hopes students use the #SVCBearcatReady initiative to learn about the eight competencies of career readiness that employers are expecting from their hires. The Career Center also wants to increase student awareness of the office through use of the program, and intends on helping students connect with potential employers.

The #SVCBearcatReady program introduces students to the eight career competencies defined by The National Association of College and Employers (NACE).

NACE is an organization which connects thousands of career service centers at colleges and universities across the country. The competencies defined by NACE include: critical thinking, oral and written communications, teamwork, digital technology, leadership, work ethic and professionalism, career management and global and intercultural fluency.

NACE believes these skills will connect the ideas that are learned in the classroom to the requirements in the workplace, after graduation.

Baum believes each competency also pertains to the eleven Benedictine hallmarks that Saint Vincent professes.

“Employers are impressed with Saint Vincent’s commitment to our values and how they affect student experiences in and out of the classroom,” Baum said.

Baum also noted the importance of understanding each competency, but emphasized that mastering each at the highest level is not necessary.

“The program focuses on educating students over their four years and as they enter the post-grad world,” Baum said. “Employers are seeking candidates with a grasp on each skill.”

The information will also be presented when employers visit campus, with certain companies discussing different competencies in their “Employer Spotlight” presentations. Baum hopes students learn the importance of each skill from the company representatives themselves.

Photo: Genna Niemiec

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