Front Range’s Buried Treasure

new-student-orientationBuried in the right corner of the testing center lies the career success center. Despite its effectiveness, few students know of the career success center’s existence- maybe because of the obscure location, or maybe because students overlook the importance of early career planning. Heading the charge to encourage career development are coordinator Teresa Stuart and counselor Colleen Toomey, who hope to shed light on the center’s richness.

Until 2012, academic advisors provided career advice to students, in addition to their plethora of other responsibilities. Fortunately, the college recognized that students needed a comprehensive career service center to answer career questions, provide job opportunities, and supply them with a treasure map to career success.

Teresa Stuart’s ambition to help students equipped her to undertake the responsibilities of operating the career success center. With an MBA in business and years of teaching on her rèsumè, Stuart delightedly agreed that students would flourish under the career success center’s careful guidance. She loves paving the road to favorable careers for students who are unsettled about their degrees. According to Stuart, “Students think that they can wait until they are ready to graduate to get a job. That’s not true; they should be doing career development.”

Luckily, the career success center offers an array of services that allow students to explore various careers. Career development sharpens students’ senses about themselves and available careers. Stuart and Toomey primarily focus on placing students into internships, but they also organize job shadows, host job fairs, connect students to potential employers, and facilitate workshops. Moreover, they help students manage their online personas, so that they can exhibit professionalism in all aspects of their lives. Front Range even owns a job bank, called Front Range Connect. Students who use it create an online profile and apply for jobs directly through the website. Plus, employers who use Front Range Connect have narrowed their searches to merely Front Range students. The career success center operates with a goal of helping students discover their passions.

Additionally, students can take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory assessments at the career success center. These assessments provide insights about one’s personality, one’s ideal working environment, and one’s most intriguing interests. Stuart says, “The misconception about the Myers-Briggs and the Strong is that they’re generic. [In reality,] they’re very well researched assessments.” The assessment results guide students to their ideal careers and uncover unique facets of their personalities.

Stuart and Toomey strive to help Front Range students find rewarding careers. They work closely with other college services to provide optimum assistance to students. For instance, students can spot Stuart working in the writing center. There, she helps students write rèsumès and cover letters and answer scholarship questions. “It’s good to develop relationships when you go to school,” Stuart advises. The career success center’s connectedness makes developing relationships effortless.

Although Front Range students most commonly seek careers in the medical, computing, accounting, and automotive fields, the career success center is a great resource in spite of one’s desired career. Stuart and Toomey stop at nothing to ensure student success. The services and connectivity that the career success center offers are unmatched. Furthermore, Stuart and Toomey are not only great resources for finding careers, but they can help students get hired with detailed letters of recommendation.

When an explorer unfolds a generic map, the treasure chest is not distinctly marked. After loads of taxing labor, he finds the treasure and rejoices in its riches. Similarly, the career success center is not a prominent feature on the college map. It is, however, Front Range’s buried treasure, and its discovery requires no labor but a walk down the hall. “People who use us,” Stuart says, “have a richer experience here.”

Written by Kayla Klein

Photo from Front Range Community College

Originally published in the print edition on September 30, 2015

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