Moving Forward with Your Career—No Matter the Challenge
On March 10, 2020, the Pleasant Hill, California campus hosted a career fair. Lasting about three hours, the fair had a wonderful turnout, with about 20 employers attending and all programs represented. Graduates who might still be looking for work were also invited.
The courtyard was set up with tables and canopies, where potential employers met students and handed out SWAG. They discussed possibilities for externships and employment together.
Some of the employers included:
- Integro Rehab Services (for Physical Therapy Technology program students)
- Sutter Health (for Medical Assisting program students)
- Walgreens (for Pharmacy Technology program students)
- Alamo Animal Hospital (for Veterinary Technology program students)
- La Clinica De La Raza (for Medical Assisting program students)
- Pacific Dental Services (for Dental Assisting program students)
Dominique Hans, Career Services Advisor for Carrington College, works as a liaison between students and potential employers. “The Career Fair was a great opportunity for students to get information on externships,” she explains. “For example, Sutter—one of the employers—has a new externship program and was taking resumes; they were interested in meeting students who can extern with them for an early onboarding program. We had a couple of students who spoke to them and plan to have an externship with them in the future.”
The stay-at-home order has affected current students in their career search differently, depending on where they are in their course of study. “They still need to complete their externship and clinical rotation in field, but the school has adjusted so many of the assignments have moved to an online format,” Dominique explains. “We’re still working on setting up externships for students, it’s just delayed. The students are so excited to go out. They have done the work; they are ready to get out there in the field and graduate. Things are changing week to week. There’s simply a lot of checking in right now.”
As clinical/medical offices open up or hours improve, employers are still taking Carrington College students—some on externship—and utilizing their help with televisits, prepping patients, and scheduling—where they gain exposure to the administrative side, such as organizing patient files and inputting data. One Medical Assisting student is externing at a medical lab, gaining valuable first-hand experience helping with COVID-19 antibody testing. “Our students are still out there,” Dominique says. “They’re still helping the offices out.”
Despite COVID-19 putting a delay on in-person events, Career Services is not missing a beat with providing support to their students. “Right now, we are hosting and promoting virtual hiring events,” Dominique says. “We are taking full advantage of remote capabilities use of the virtual classroom (such as Zoom). We can actually invite recruiters to speak to students about organization or hiring process, and that’s been a great opportunity.”
Career Services typically reaches out to employers to help students find career opportunities. “We are always scouring Indeed and Linked In for positions,” Dominique says. “We reach out and let them know we can facilitate hiring process. In turn, through relationships built over time, they often reach out to us and request resumes.”
Career Services also helps students with virtual interviewing—for both externships and careers—by setting everything up in Microsoft Teams. “Setting that up helps alleviate any extra work,” Dominique explains. “You can invite and coordinate everything; it bridges that gap. The employers are excited about it.”
Before the virtual interview itself, Career Services helps students and graduates test everything ahead of time with a mock interview, assuring the location is good, that the technology works, and that the student is fully prepared and confident. During a time when so much is unpredictable, students here still have the support that makes it possible to move forward in their career path.