Career Center Looks To Attract Students Through Activities

Bethany Jopling, Reporter

The Insalaco Center for Career Development is adding a variety of new programs and activities in an attempt to attract more students.

This year, the center’s staff is offering new activities for students. The activities started as a way to promote their new system, Handshake, but have turned into a way of promoting the center as a whole.

Bernie Rushmer, director of the Insalaco Center for Career Development, said the decision to add more activities came when she, along with other members, were planning out the year and thought it would be a good idea to have different activities around Handshake and get more students activated in the system, so it can be utilized more to benefit the students.

“As we were talking, a lot of the activities were fun and they were meant to draw in students, and we decided let’s try extending that even beyond just Handshake, but letting students know that they’re always welcomed to come into our office,” said Rushmer. “Even if it’s a little question, a big question, we just want students to feel comfortable coming down and talking with us even if it’s just to pop in or if it’s for a longer appointment.”

Rushmer said a lot of the activities allow students to get to know the people in the Career Center on a personal level and to let them know they are welcome.

One of the new events is a “pop-in” with popcorn, a drop-in event for people to come in if they have a question or just to say hello. Other events include a coffee and donut hour, essential oils and the typical workshops of resumes, interviewing, job searches and etiquette.

“I think we’ve had a bit more traffic because of these events; students are stopping in,” Rushmer said.  “We’ve had students stop in for a cup of coffee and say, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize that your department did this other activity as well,’ so we think it is helping to get the word out about what kind of services we offer and what students can come to us and work on.”

She added the activities are helping to bring more students who didn’t know exactly what the Career Center had to offer, and these activities are helping students to understand that they are able to come down to talk about whatever they want.

The Career Center is widely known for the Guaranteed Placement Program, and the recent addition of these new events is bringing attention to other services it provides.

“We work with students that are not in the GPP; we work with students for internships, students looking to go to graduate school, maybe they’re just looking for some meaningful summer employment or an externship over the summer, and all of those things really happen outside of the GPP,” Rushmer said.   “They could be part of the program, but they don’t necessarily have to be.”

Jamie Sweeney, sophomore diagnostic medical sonography major, is one of many students who have attended a recent new activity hosted by the Career Center.  Sweeney went to the “pop in” activity and thought it was a very creative way to get more students to attend the job fair.

“I think that the Career Center is extremely helpful,” Sweeney said. “They provide a lot of help with preparation for interviews, resumes and provide an opportunity for at least an internship if you do not find employment within six months of graduating through the GPP.  These are all things that we should definitely be aware of in order to kickstart our careers on a good note.”

Sweeney is a member of the GPP and has attended multiple workshops and events offered by the Career Center.

“I have been to the resume workshop and the meeting for the new Handshake program,” she said.  “They have been very helpful by allowing me to gain experience with the things that are necessary for finding a career in my major.”

Students from all over campus are strongly encouraged to stop in the Career Center to say hello and find out what it has  to offer.  Rushmer she hopes students will feel comfortable enough to make an appointment because of all the new events.