March 2, 2012 by Gabriella D. Ferrari NMSU@WORK
Students entering the job market need a strong support system, and Career Services is one of the many tools to help students become educated and confident in their talents and abilities. But at each of New Mexico State University’s campuses, Career Services turns to the faculty and staff to further assist students.
“Faculty and staff are an integral partner to encourage students to understand that career planning and the job search is a lifelong process,” said Roseanne Bensley, associate director for Career Services. “In addition, we appreciate their assistance to disseminate timely information concerning employers conducting campus interviews and offering extra credit to attend workshops and career fairs.”
If a faculty member cannot be in class, Career Services can serve as a guest speaker to present on resume writing tips, interview preparation, registration in AggieCAREER Manager and other employment related topics during times when a professor was intending to cancel class. As a courtesy, faculty are asked to schedule as far in advance as possible to determine if a staff member will be available on the date and time requested.
“Many faculty maintain contact with former students who advance to positions which allow them to recruit for vacancies with their organization. We hope those employment opportunities can be shared with us so we may post them in AggieCAREER Manager,” Bensley said.
Whether faculty know about job opportunities or can just encourage employers to attend the career fairs, Bensley said faculty can partner with Career Services.
Additionally, the Career Services website provides resources to help faculty understand some of the ethical and legal standards in student hiring. Bensley said often employers may reach out to faculty directly for “the best students in the program,” which can put faculty in a situation where they may be falsely accused of not allowing all students the same opportunity. The website offers specific examples and recommendations as well.
For faculty or staff members who are asked to write a letter of recommendation, the Career Services website also has a template on how to better prepare a letter on behalf of the student.
Visit careerservices.nmsu.edu for more information.
At NMSU-Alamogordo, their Career Services staff of three covers everything from academic advising and career counseling, which is why they utilize faculty assistance when they can.
The staff stays connected by sending a newsletter to the faculty on recent updates and also to remind faculty of the services they provide. Faculty also brings students into the office for a tour of the career center and a presentation on finding the resources they need whether it be for a career or college for transfer after students complete their associate’s degree.
Another service they offer is an interest inventory checklist to help students determine their career path. Bobi McDonald, advising coordinator, said they then use faculty as a resource, directing students to discuss their options with a faculty member in closest connection with that career.
Faculty, staff and students at New Mexico State University Carlsbad largely utilize the new AggieCAREER Manager offered at all the NMSU campuses. This service allows faculty, staff and employers to post cooperative opportunities, internships as well as regular job postings from the community and outside agencies. Students then access the service to apply for work-study on campus as well other employment opportunities.
“The unique thing is we can make it specific to our campus,” said Mario Carrasco, coordinator of Career Services in Carlsbad,” or we can post to all of the NMSU campuses.”
Carrasco also coordinates presentations with the Team Center or a “College 101” course.
Carrasco also teaches a finding and maintaining employment course, in which students take a personality assessment and research careers before creating a resume and submitting applications.
Doña Ana Community College
Dressed in white shirts, red ties and black slacks, Doña Ana Community College’s career services or “Job Squad” helps faculty and staff help students with career planning and preparation.
“Our mission is to assist the students, but also to assist the college, which includes faculty and staff, and the community to develop their employment strategies,” said Rosa De La Torre-Burmeister, director of Career Services at DACC.
Faculty can request the “Job Squad” come to their classroom and present on setting up their AggieCAREER Manager, crafting a resume or cover letter, dressing appropriately or conducting a job interview, all of which can be customized to the subject field of the class. De La Torre-Burmeister said faculty also request that the squad conducts mock interviews to prepare students.
Some classes at DACC require experiential learning, where students have to complete certain hours in a given field through internships and cooperative opportunities. For those classes, faculty and students can coordinate an internship and get assistance preparing for it.
Most of the students who begin at the Grants campus take a faculty taught college success course, but for when they are about to enter the job market, they see Brian Johnson in Career Services.
In addition to the resources provided in the class from organization to study skills, faculty help students who are still undecided determine their career options.
“I share with faculty and staff the resources I use with students,” Johnson said.
Those resources include figures on how much students spend on a degree to Bureau of Labor job and salary statistics.
Johnson also uses his volunteering connections at the Bureau of Land Management and park service to work on behalf of students to get internship opportunities and government experience because the Grants region has many public lands.