Centre’s Career Services prepares students for success
September 2, 2010 By Leigh Ivey
(from left) are available to help students plan their futures
from day one.
During Centre’s first GOLD Rush, held last year in the Campus
Center, current students met with 30 young alumni for a “speed
Career Services helps students land internships all over the state,
region, country and world. Many students, like Kim Burke ’08,
above, take advantage of the internship opportunities available
at the Louisville Zoo.
Centre College promises its students personal education leading to extraordinary success. Among the numerous ways the College makes good on this promise is through the Office of Career Services.
One of the many beneficial Career Services offerings is Centre Futures, which begins on a student’s first day at the College. Students who choose to participate are assigned to a career counselor, who offers personalized attention throughout the students’ four years at Centre. These career counselors—Deb Jones, Joy Asher and Mindy Wilson—help with anything career-related, including choosing a major; gathering career information; and applying to jobs, internships and graduate school.
Jones, director of Career Services, says the office “helps students by teaching them the skills they need to conduct a job search both now and in the future. This is true for both internships and full-time jobs, and we seek to provide contacts and opportunities for them to pursue. We also help with all steps of the graduate school admission process.”
The Office of Career Services is now part of Centre’s Academic Affairs office, led by Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Stephanie Fabritius. “Centre’s Career Services Office is unique because it focuses intentionally on all four years of a student’s time at Centre through the Centre Futures Program rather than jumping in during the student’s junior or senior year,” she says. “This provides a more holistic approach for our students.”
Helping students land engaging internships is one of Wilson’s primary concerns. The College offers two types of internships: academic credit internships and non-credit internships. The College also offers a “Centre Internship Plus” program, which allows students to apply for special high-quality internship experiences—some of which are for academic credit—with extra financial support. Students whose internships are approved receive up to $1,500 to help with expenses.
“In addition to being able to test-drive a career, internships are great way for students to get valuable, professional experience to put on their resumes,” Wilson says. “These are terrific reasons to participate in an internship overall, but I also think that students who participate in internships during college get more out of their classes while at Centre. When students can see their majors in action, it makes what they learn in class so much more interesting and applicable. And when they get back to class, they are able to participate and contribute in new, meaningful ways.”
(Internships are guaranteed to Centre students under the terms of the Centre Commitment.)
The connections a graduate has during the job search play a significant role in landing a job. Fortunately, Centre alumni are often eager to meet with—and hire—fellow Centre graduates, and the Career Services Office makes it easy for current students (and all alumni) to connect with alums in their field.
Last year, Career Services and the Centre Alumni Office joined forces for the first GOLD Rush, an event similar to a speed-dating activity in which current students met with 30 young alumni for two-minute “interviews.” The event was a success, and the participating students agreed that it was helpful to get such snapshots of several alums’ experiences and to hear their advice.
Current students are also encouraged to shadow alumni, whether for a short amount of time one day or for a more formal externship, two- or three-day experiences which take place during winter break. During externships, many students not only accompany alumni to work but often stay in their homes throughout the experience.
The “Lifetime Guarantee”
The Career Services also helps alumni themselves—regardless of how long ago they graduated—during their job searches. “I hope that alumni know—and remember!—that as alumni they have access to all of the services that current students do at no charge,” Wilson says.