Where do we go from here? This question has been asked countless times over the past year, and graduating college students have certainly been wondering the same thing. As juniors and seniors begin to make their preparations for graduation and beyond, it can be hard to imagine starting a career in the world’s current climate.
Thankfully, the Career Center and their advisors are still dedicated to helping students navigate their job searches. The Senior Associate Director of the Career Center, Rachel Becklin, works as a career advisor in addition to working with internship programming and internal operations.
“Many students come to college to increase their chances of finding a ‘good job,’” Becklin said. “Asking questions such as, what do I like to do, what skills do I have and enjoy using, what’s important to me; they’re all ways students can begin thinking about their future careers.”
In order to fully support students during their career search, the Career Center has transitioned into offering their services and events in digital formats, starting at the beginning of the pandemic. Assisant Director Meghan Veltri said she believes that the center has done a great job staying accessible to students over the trials of the past year.
“Thankfully, many of our Career Center resources were already available online and accessible to students on demand,” Veltri said. “We did have to transition our events and career fair to a virtual setting, but that lead to our Work Like a Laker Conference which was a huge success in the fall semester.”
Even though advising sessions have moved to a virtual setting, advisors are still able to connect with students. In fact, advisors have found that the virtual process has made it easier and more convenient for students overall, and the Center has been able to extend their hours into the evenings and weekends to meet student demand.
“In many ways, advising has stayed the same,” Veltri said. “I’m still able to connect students with resources and prepare them for the next steps in their career planning. I like that I can still see students and catch up with them.”
With events and advising still going strong, there is still another question that has been concerning students: how does the pandemic impact their job search? Becklin said many of the same strategies still apply in researching different employers, networking and building connections, and creating your own personal brand.
“There have been some changes to recruitment practices, such as virtual interviews and virtual networking events,” Becklin said. “As these practices shift, we continue to work with employer partners to make sure we are preparing our students for these new practices.”
The next Career Center event, the Work like a Laker Conference, will be happening March 8-18. Students will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of sessions and conclude by visiting the Virtual Career, Internship and Summer Job Fair. Check out www.gvsu.edu/careers/wlalconference and follow @gvsucareers for more information or to learn about the Career Center’s many resources.