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Job hunt made easier

Fourth-year students quell anxieties with University resources

<p>This semester, College Dean Rachel Most and Associate Vice President of Career and Professional Development Everette Fortner are teaching a fourth-year class focused on the job search process.</p>

This semester, College Dean Rachel Most and Associate Vice President of Career and Professional Development Everette Fortner are teaching a fourth-year class focused on the job search process.

The excitement of fourth year often dwindles when the pressure of solidifying post-graduate plans reaches its peak. This semester, the pilot course professional and strategic career development offers fourth years the opportunity pave their post-grad paths.

The class is co-taught by College Dean Rachel Most and Associate Vice President of Career and Professional Development Everette Fortner, who also heads the Career Center. Most and Fortner collaborated to combine effective academic and career advising for fourth-year students.

Fortner said he and Most brought student career services into the academic arena because of the importance of career development skills.

“These days, you no longer work one job your whole life,” Fortner said. “Employers want students to be already trained.”

The inspiration for the course came from similar class geared toward first and second-year students. Graduates provided feedback to the Career Center saying they did not want to postpone the job hunt until after graduation.

“We want to engage students when they are ready and found that fourth years [are],” Fortner said.

The class is workshop-focused and speaks to a variety of student interests by emphasizing how major does not always correlate closely to career. The fundamentals required of employees across professional sectors are similar, and include job skills from dressing for success to moving to a new city and setting a budget.

The University’s Cornerstone Plan, which influenced planning for this class, includes career, personal and academic advising.

“Governments are looking for the allocation of state and federal funding for colleges based on outcomes of students not just admissions,” Fortner said. “Second, parents are stressed from the debt taken out and they want to make sure their child has a job.”

Fourth-year College student Chantal Madray, who works as a Career Center peer educator, said she works with fourth-years and sees a common misconceptions they face regarding career development.

“Usually people think major has to align well with graduate programs and jobs, but that’s not true,” Madray said. “At the Career Center, it’s more about transferable skills like critical, analytic, communication skills to jobs.”

The CEP, program, which functions as a bridge between students and Career Center counselors, is designed to empower students to customize their post-graduate plans.

“We try to tell students that they don’t need to go on the typical timeline,” Madray said. “Have a concept map of where you need to go, and it doesn’t need to be rigid.”

Madray, an environmental thought and practice major, said her unique position as a peer educator compliments her personal professional development.

“Environmental thought and practice is very interdisciplinary [and] a component of that is environmental advocacy and outreach, which requires communication and working in teams, which I do as a CEP,” Madray said.

Fortner advises anxious students to channel their energy to taking initiative.

“Don’t let your anxiety paralyze you, just get started,” Fortner said.

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