By Duncan McIntyre
One of the most stressful aspects of college is figuring out what to do after you’re finished. From communications to STEM, students often wonder where their feet will lead them in today’s constantly shifting career landscape. Then they’ve got to think about resumés, interviews, cover letters – where to begin? Searching for a job can be overwhelming but fear not, Austin Community College’s Career Services has you covered.
“We’re here for [the students],” said ACC’s Career Resources Director, Trish Welch. During the week of October 24 through 29, Career Services is hosting Career Ready Week which is a full week of events to assist students with anything they might be having trouble with. From deciding on a major to dealing with anxiety in the job search, Career Ready Week has resources and events built specifically to help students succeed.
“We have a job fair; we have hundreds of employers who are excited to hire students, we have so many employers who have remote work and sign-on bonuses,” said Welch. Employers will be giving presentations and, for students actively looking for work, the job fair has full-time jobs, part-time jobs and internships.
There is also a session that examines the recent trend of working from home called Remote Control. “It’s how to find remote work. A lot of students are interested in remote work, but there are also hidden dangers,” said Welch. “We want to help you navigate that process.”
In order to make students more presentable to potential employers, there are sessions that help them look at their social media presence and credit reports. “Some jobs do pull your credit report,” said Welch. “It’s important to know what’s on your credit report, what your credit score is and how that may impact future employment.”
Career Services has a variety of tools available year-round as well. Edgar Medina is the supervisor of the first-of it’s kind Career and Transfer Center at ACC’s Highland campus. Medina said they offer, “career exploration, career guidance, job search, job readiness, resume reviews, interview preparation and mock interviews.”
The program also has counselors who can administer career assessments and help students decide on majors. For even more fine-tuning, there are specialists who work with students to research labor market information.
If you’re looking for even more help on your post-academic path, Career Services also offers the Strategies for Today’s jobs class. It is a 4-week intensive course that walks Riverbats through the job search process from start to finish. Katie McClendon is the Supervisory Coach for the class. She said the class is there to, “Identify a target job, prepare materials, build a network, negotiate a salary, be ready to interview and also to think a little about their career progression and development,” said Katie McClendon, supervisory coach of the class.
The instructors for Strategies for Today’s jobs are well-versed in the Austin job market and specific industries that students seek employment in. They also provide one-on-one coaching to make career obstacles more manageable.
Paige Swanton and Cristian Ortiz are two students who utilized Career Services to further their educational and career aspirations. Ortiz first enrolled at ACC in 2016. He took one class at a time until he decided to challenge himself academically.
Ortiz became a career scholar, which is a scholarship for students who are pursuing a career straight out of school. After receiving the scholarship, he decided to focus on his career and future.
Ortiz was given an opportunity to work with other career scholars on a job agency and has since pioneered a student-led peer-to-peer employment agency.
Swanton connected with Ortiz as a fellow career scholar. She learned about a job opportunity through a career scholar discord chat and now works for ACC as a tele-recruiter.
Swanton has high praise for Career Services and recommends them to other students. “Everybody helps, if you need something they have someone for you,” Swanton said.
For Riverbats looking towards the future, Cristian added, “None of us are perfect, and most of us have a lot of time to perfect ourselves. If you are worried like I was, we have time – it’s just a matter of building those skills.”
For more information on Career Ready Week, the Strategies for Today’s jobs class or anything related to finding a job, visit the Career Services website here.