“I think confidence is a big deal,” said Teresa Stuart, Career Success Center Coordinator at Front Range Community College’s Westminster campus. Stuart is hosting Career Success Week and a job fair on Tuesday, March 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Rocky Mountain Room.
According to Stuart, Career Success Week serves to prepare students for the job fair. “We talk about tips and things that they can do that will really help them talk to employers and potentially get jobs,” said Stuart.
All of the events planned for Career Success Week will help students prepare for the job fair. The first workshop is scheduled for Tuesday March 1 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Snowy Peaks Room.
“There is a resume writing workshop and [students] don’t need to have a résumé to come to the fair,” said Stuart. This applies to Career Success Week in general; participants do not need experience. In fact, the week is structured to provide the tools for people who are about to enter working-life.
On Thursday March 3 from noon to 1 p.m., and on Monday March 7 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Mike Nowicki is facilitating job fair prep sessions in room C0551. These prep sessions will allow students to ask questions, get help creating a resume and prepare for the job fair.
Also on March 7, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Snowy Peaks room, is a workshop specifically dedicated to job interviews. “We help them come up with their ‘60 second commercial,’ a tool that helps a prospective employees highlight some of their key skills and assets,” said Stuart. This session is also an opportunity for students to ask questions and get advice on all aspects of interviewing, such as attire and body language.
Career Success Week is structured to have a weekend fall in the middle of it. This allows participants to process information, complete their résumés and personal sales pitches, and ponder questions, then reconvene after the weekend for more practice.
“We suggest that students come to these events because it will help them to prepare for the Job Fair. Having a résumé does help. Having that ’60 second commercial’ so they know what to talk about helps. Some of the workshops help with these,” Stuart said.
A panel for careers in math and engineering will occur on Wednesday March 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Rocky Mountain Room. “We’re trying to help [students] connect the dots and see how their studies translate into industry and into work,” Stuart said.
The Math Department and the Career Success Center collaborated a flier that highlights the panel’s goals and the presenters. According to the flier, panelists include: “A technical consultant for CenturyLink (with a Ph.D. in Math from CU-Boulder) analyzing Internet traffic data, an engineer/program manager (with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas) working for the Sierra Nevada Corporation designing aircraft (spy planes), and a NCAR affiliate and scientist by training (with a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from CU-Boulder) turned science instructor for K-12 students, among others.”
Events such as this are popular among students. “We want students to see what they can do [with their education]. Already this year, we have hosted events about career opportunities in language studies and criminal justice,” said Stuart.
The job fair is the culmination of Career Success Week. “We invite 30 plus employers to come in and we choose those employers based on the programs that are here on campus,” Stuart said.
The job fair offers students the opportunity to learn about and earn careers or internships available in Colorado.
“They don’t even have to want a job to come to the fair (laughs). If they want to come practice talking to an employer or to network, or just to introduce themselves,” Stuart said. Mock interviews and professionalism practice are two major advantages of attending.
“If there is an employer that a student really wants to meet, we encourage them to go talk to a few other employers first, different ones, to warm up and then go ahead and talk to the one they really want the job with,” Stuart advised.
Some companies will actually hire on-site during the job fair, while others will send recruiters with instructions for the next steps, which still offers an in-person benefit as opposed to applying online.
“These businesses are here explicitly to talk to [students],” Stuart said. “They’re making a great effort to be here to make a good impression on students. I don’t think our students realize that [employers] want [students] as much as students want [employers].”
Career Success Week is a wonderful opportunity for students to prepare to enter the work-field and connect their studies to a career.
In Stuart’s words, “A job could present itself anywhere. If you go through this process, this career week, and you’re prepared and you already have a resume, you know what you want to talk about yourself, you’ve met a few companies and gotten a feel for that, you could be getting coffee and start talking to someone, they have your dream job, and you’re ready for it.”
Written by Alex Liethen
Photo by Alex Liethen