The first day of classes, when the students have returned reminds me of starting a new job all over again each year.
I find the beginning of the semester to be filled with energy, excitement, and motivation. It is an opportunity to remind myself that everything we do is for the students. I also find myself, the night before the first day of class, reviewing the campus map as a memory refresher for any student who may ask me where their class is being held. All the preparation and planning that took place over the summer is starting to come to fruition. For example, the summer is relatively quiet with our office placing a larger focus on assessments, employer recruitment, and strategic planning. In addition our office remains proactive in engaging students who schedule career counseling appointments, first-year and transfer orientations, and updating the students on any changes taking place in career services.
Our team and the employers we work with are placing a heavier emphasis on early intervention. Our office is not only focused on being proactive to engage new students to the university, but also on all students as we conduct our outreach efforts. One of the biggest discussions our team has when we are thinking about the upcoming academic year is what is working? What can we change to increase student and employer participation to our upcoming events? This is a team building opportunity for our team to reflect, innovate, and create opportunities to better assist students and employers with their career development and recruiting needs.
A couple changes our team made for this upcoming semester include rebranding our Engineering Job Fair to the STEM Career Fair, which will incorporate additional majors and employers. We rebranded our All Major Job Fair to the Internship and Community Career Fair. These changes have increased employer participation for the upcoming semester. We are increasing our early awareness to the campus through social media, career programing, and activities that highlight career services. For example we hold our Patriot Palooza information table, where we take pictures of our students and ask them to write down their career goal or a skill they are working toward. As a result, our collaboration with student organizations, departments, faculty, and community partners is increasing through our sponsored programs.
What are some programs or ideas on how you are actively engaging students and employers during the first few days of the semester?
I hope all of you are having a great start to your academic year. I look forward to hearing from you.