Discover, Connect to Your Purpose Through Career Exploration and Development
Early and often.
That is the new approach taken by Career Exploration and Development, in Kent State’s University College, in its outreach to freshmen and sophomores.
It is important for university Career Exploration and Development to reach incoming students as early and often as possible to help them connect their interests and skills to majors and careers.
Because it is not just about what Kent State students do after graduation, it is about the journey that leads them to their purpose in life.
“We flipped our approach, not to eliminate services that we offer to juniors or seniors, but to increase the number of touch points that we make available to freshmen and sophomore students, where they are developmentally appropriate,” said Kristin Williams, executive director of Career Exploration and Development.
In the past, when the department was called Career Services, juniors and seniors accounted for the bulk of the students who used the department’s resources.
But now, Career Exploration and Development uses a more transformational process, which starts as soon as university students step foot on campus.
“Development and Exploration are not things you do one time, it connotes that it’s a process,” Ms. Williams said. “Career services can feel transactional. Across the field we’re seeing the language change. It didn’t seem like the name change would make a difference, but it has.”
Since the name changed to Career Exploration and Development last year, Ms. Williams has seen a steady stream of freshman and sophomore users. She said the new name may have made the program feel more welcoming.
That increase will continue through new programs that Career Exploration and Development has created for freshman and sophomores.
One such program, Flashternships, is a job shadow experience targeted to freshman and first-year sophomores. Another new program, Flash Meet-Ups, connects incoming freshman with each other and business opportunities during the month of August, shortly after they participate in Destination Kent State.
Don’t worry – Career Development and Exploration is still intently focused on offering career fairs and the other traditional programs that help students and alumni find internships and employment on campus and after graduation.
The department offers presentations on topics such as interviewing and networking at the request of student organizations, professional societies and the large number of faculty who want to incorporate career development skills into their course work.
During the time when the department’s home at Schwartz Center 261 was being renovated, staff began to offer the presentations in the Kent Student Center and other places frequented by students. That is when the department decided to expand its reach to include several drop-in locations across campus.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Williams said.
Students and Alumni
Career Exploration and Development is the university’s hub for students and alumni who need to:
• Write a resume, practice interviewing, and network using social media.
• Gain tips for locating internships, co-ops, part-time and professional work experiences.
• Find assistance from a regional campus staff member or the College of Business Career Services Office.
“It’s less important to me that you walk through the doors at the Schwartz Center and more important that you are seeing these offerings everywhere,” Ms. Williams said. “It’s more important that you’re out discovering, exploring and connecting with the right resources.”
Flashternships and Flash Meet-Ups are among the many programs making a difference in the lives of students and alumni under university Career Exploration and Development.
For more information about programs to help students succeed in the business world and beyond, visit www.kent.edu/career or call 330-672-2360.