By Dan Fenyo
Step 1: Go to college
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Land your dream job and live a successful life
That’s the plan for most college prospects, right? There’s a pervasive myth that seems to imply that recent college graduates can flash their degree at the front door of any business and expect to be hired on the spot. While that would be nice, we know how absurd it seems. The job market certainly isn’t getting any easier to navigate; the population of degree-holding graduates is constantly increasing, causing competition for sought-after positions to intensify dramatically. A diploma alone isn’t enough to compete for employment. When 50 applicants all hold the same degree from equally respectable institutions, your child will need a competitive edge to stand out in the crowd. That’s where the MSMC Career Center comes in.
When your child wanders into Aquinas 151, what can they expect to find? Well, first off, flexibility! Students are welcome to make an appointment Monday through Friday as early at 8:30AM or, if they’re strapped for time, just drop in! Once they’re in the door though, they can check out any of these amazing resources offered free to students:
“What can I do with my degree?” is a common question from college students. For some majors like Nursing or Education, the employment prospects might seem fairly obvious whereas some majors like Public Relations, Criminology, Human Services, or Psychology might not seem to translate into eponymous professions in quite the same way. When a student sits down with one of our career counselors, they’ll have the opportunity to take a personality evaluation test like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator which can help suggest potential job prospects to which they’re well-suited. Is your child an ENFP? Maybe they’d make a great landscape architect! More of an INTJ? Perhaps working in a microbiology lab could suit them! Once a counselor identifies a student’s vocational strengths and aptitude, they’ll work one-on-one to find relevant internship opportunities in the local area.
Should you use Times New Roman or Comic Sans? Is it worth mentioning the clubs you were in during high school? How can you make part-time fast food service experience sound like you’ve run a Fortune 500 company?
These questions and more can be expertly answered during one of the Career Center’s regular Résumé Workshops! When your student is applying to his or her first job out of college, ensuring that his or her résumé or CV is going to give them a competitive advantage over the other applicants can make all the difference. Years down the line, when your student is ready to transition to another profession or place of employment, they’re welcome to return to the Mount to work on their résumé with a career counselor absolutely free. Our doors are always open to MSMC alumni, no matter how long they’ve been out of school.
Mock Interviews & Interview Strategies
If you’ve been through a job interview before, I don’t have to tell you how harrowing it can be. For college students who may not have the same experience, the dreaded job interview may seem like a veritable nightmare. It doesn’t have to be like that though! Mount students are encouraged to participate in mock interviews hosted by the Career Center to get a sense of what to expect when the stakes are much higher. Interviewees meet with Career Center staff as well as representatives from local organizations who conduct rigorous dialogues that can be expected in the real world.
Afterward, students are given advice and strategies on how to improve their interview prowess. The guidance offered doesn’t just cover the questions and responses prospective hires might encounter, but also the etiquette required to make a great impression and stay memorable to hiring managers. How firm should you handshake be? Should you email your interviewer to thank them later that day or wait until tomorrow? With help from the MSMC Career Center, your student won’t have to wonder.
Real World Connections
Once their résumé is picture-perfect and their tie is on straight, our career counselors can help your student make the essential connections that will place them in a job after graduation. By organizing events featuring representatives from some of the most lucrative businesses in the local area, the Career Center can help place students in relevant and exciting internships. With any luck, a part-time internship might turn into a full-time job! Real World Connection fairs are tailored to connect students to professions that suit their specific interests and strengths by organizing them around a theme like Sports & Entertainment or Non-Profit & Small Business.
If your student is looking for a sense of adventure in education, a study abroad experience might be right up their alley! With destinations such as Spain, England, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Japan, and many more, any student can find somewhere interesting to travel. Often, a major academic anxiety associated with study abroad programs is the fear of falling behind on credits, thereby delaying graduation. Fortunately, many of the courses offered abroad are able to fulfill a number of general education credits applicable to all students. Even highly regimented programs like Nursing can fit study abroad experiences into their curriculum without jeopardizing their graduation requirements.
By the time a student walks across the graduation stage, it’s the hope of parents and the college alike that they be prepared to walk off that stage and enter into the professional world with the skills and tools necessary for lifelong success. By utilizing the resources available through the MSMC Career Center, our students can walk away with confidence and a rich set of experiences essential to turning their diploma into a career. What are some of the resources you’d expect from a college career center? Is it always just about who you know? Let me know what you think by reaching out on Facebook or Instagram!
Daniel Fenyo has been an admissions counselor at the Mount since September 2018. A lifelong Hudson Valley resident, he enjoys reading, writing, and all things nerdy in his free time.
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