Since its inception a year ago, the Institute’s Career Coaching Network has enhanced the ability of faculty and staff to assist students with job searches and provide advice regarding
important career decisions.
As tech students prepare to enter the workforce, many face tough decisions about their next career steps.
The Career Center exists to help with these choices, but students can seek other resources like their academic advisors
Wanting to better prepare these members of the Tech community for students’ career-search questions, the Career Center launched its Coaching Network last fall.
“It’s a ‘train the trainer’ concept,” said Laura Garcia, director of professional education at the
Technical Career Center.
“We realize that there aren’t enough people working in a career center who can always meet the needs of students and at the exact time they need them,” Garcia said. “The goal of the Career Coaching Network is to create a forum where you can share best practices and also inform faculty and staff of a variety of resources that students have available to them.”
The Career Center recognizes that there are not enough guidance counselors to serve all students individually, so they decided to follow a national trend of better preparing other faculty and staff to answer related questions. to the career.
Students may also feel more comfortable discussing important career decisions with their professors and advisors.
the advice they give.
Career Coaching Network training programs typically take place before and after semesters and are divided
in two sections.
The first half of the program is a presentation focused on supporting students in their job search and highlights how the Career Center generally helps students. Topics covered include major and career exploration, resumes and interviews.
The second half of the program has panelists from across campus to discuss different resources and types of student needs.
Garcia said this section aims to “bring together experts in different areas on campus so they can also share their experience and answer some of the questions that come from faculty and staff.”
Shorter sessions are also offered throughout the semesters to delve deeper into specific topics.
Garcia reported that many academic advisors and professors did not know how to answer student questions, especially when faced with
of the most complex.
“Our hope is that over time more faculty and staff will take the training so they know how we can help them and also give them information they can share directly with students,” Garcia said. .
More than 50 people attended the training sessions earlier this year, and Garcia expects more faculty and staff to continue joining the Career Coaching Network.
Many faculty and staff were grateful for the opportunity to learn more about career resources for students. In an article published by the Office of Undergraduate Education, a staff member said she “wasn’t convinced that [she] including the latest job search resources and strategies”, but the Career Coaching Network can inform its participants about these supports.
Garcia also said that all participants said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the program.
While each training session has a general structure and included resources, they are also customized based on what attendees most want to learn. Garcia said they provide faculty and staff with a frame of reference throughout the training and try to address more specific issues.
problems they faced.
She also reminds attendees that the Tech Career Center is another resource for them and students at all times.
Faculty and staff who have completed the training receive stickers to show they have completed the program, and Garcia hopes this will encourage students to reach out to those people more for career advice.
Although the students are not directly involved in the training, Garcia said they can recommend faculty and staff around them to attend a training session, and she hopes the students will be more
aware of this initiative.
“Our next hope is to start offering training [sessions] to colleges,” Garcia said, because it would allow programs to be more specific and the Career Center could also appeal to potential employers for college students to speak.
“We hope it will gain more traction and that it could
develop,” Garcia said.
The next training sessions will take place on December 14 and January 25.
Before that, there will be shorter Career Conversation sessions on October 27 and November 8 to discuss how students become the best candidates and which companies are hiring.