Career Services Supports and Guides Students Throughout Their Careers
Career Services at Carrington College is dedicated to supporting and guiding students throughout their careers for life—from prospective students just getting started, to alumni seeking some guidance years after graduation. Career Services offers personalized, one-on-one help with resume preparation, workshops to develop or enhance real-life skills, assistance with job placement, career fairs, and more.
Resume Assistance & Workshops
Students at Carrington College are encouraged early on to work on and perfect their resume. Some have the opportunity to do so right away.
“We ask staff to bring prospective students in to meet us,” says Diana Jimenez, Career Services Advisor at the Mesa campus. “We want to let them know even if they need a resume for a part-time job now, during school, or job searching tips—we can help with that.”
During the third term of their program, students are required to take a resume writing workshop where they learn the blueprint of their resume, and Career Services advisors are available to provide additional one-on-one help with resumes as well.
“Once they complete the resume blueprint, we do additional edits together to perfect it,” says Diana. “We always want them to have their resume in hand when they go to externships.”
Students continue to learn how to build their resume throughout their course of study, adding to it their skills and experience in classes, labs, part-time job professional experience, and externships.
Learning interview skills can be tough if you have never been interviewed—and Career Services helps students prepare ahead of time with interview workshops.
“We help students prepare for interviews and help them practice—our main goal is to help students and graduates present themselves more professionally,” Diana says.
During interview workshops, advisors provide students with examples of good versus bad interviews, and tips on interviewing to get the job. During COVID-19, this can be done virtually, on-screen. For example, Nursing students are guided through perfecting their resume, cover letter, and professional nursing portfolio, which they could present during an interview. Some of the interview skills and tips covered include:
- Being on time
- Good posture
- How to respond to interview questions
- Practice in speaking clearly and confidently
- Proper interview attire and grooming
- How to follow-up with the employer after the interview
“Mock” interviews are held during students’ fifth and sixth terms, when they have the chance to review and practice these skills during a live interview with a Career Services advisor.
Career Services also offers professionalism workshops for students during their second term—this workshop helps students understand the impact professionalism can make with a potential employer or within the workplace. Some of the topics covered include:
- An overview of what it means to be professional
- How to dress professionally for an interview
- Professional conduct in the workplace
- How to handle drama on the job
- Creating a professional-sounding voicemail
- Creating a more professional email address
- For students to be mindful of their own social media presence, as it could prevent an employer from considering them
Professionalism workshops are important, because many people do not understand that even a seemingly small detail—such as an email address—can make an impression.
“We make sure they understand how they might come across in every way,” Diana explains. “Some people don’t realize, for example, that a fun-sounding personal email address might make an unprofessional first impression on an employer, and it’s easy to create and use a new, more professional email account for anything job-related.”
Externship Placement Assistance
One of main roles of Career Services Advisors is to help graduates find employment in their field and set students up with an externship during the last term of their program.
“Our ultimate goal is for students to find a direct hiring opportunity from their externship,” Diana explains.
Despite COVID-19 affecting some externship sites—some are cautious about bringing new people in, and so it can take a bit longer than usual to find a site—externships are still open to students. Career Services has relationships in place with local employers with whom they keep in touch with for student externships and future employment. They are also constantly working on reaching out to new employers for students and graduates, explaining how the externship program works, the skills students would bring, and the opportunities an externship-to-hire would offer both employer and student.
Career fairs—organized by Career Services—are a great resource for students to meet potential employers, and it is now done virtually for every program. Employers are often invited into classes to speak or help teach.
“We have a new employer featured every week, using Microsoft Teams or Zoom,” Diana explains. “Some of the local employers we invite include Banner Hospital, Abrazo Hospital, Dignity Health, skilled nursing facilities, and correctional facilities. The Dental Hygiene program recently had a virtual career fair.”
Career Services prides itself on being available to help students, in workshops or one-on-one. Students are welcome to reach out or stop by on campus or by phone, and since going virtual, Diana has noticed an even stronger connection with her students.
“I think it has to do with time,” Diana says. “When they were on campus, they were commuting, they were rushing off to be somewhere else. It’s easy now to make a phone call appointment or connect by email. Interviews are done by Microsoft Teams, and what we see is also what an employer will see, during an interview.”
Diana enjoys seeing her students and alumni succeed—from their first day at Carrington to when they call to tell her they got their first job.
“I love knowing that,” she says. “It gives me joy, finding out that they got the job.”