Career Development Center Aids Students

A small group of offices tucked together in Anne Arundel holds the resources to help students figure out what they want to do after graduation. The Career Development Center (CDC) has a large number of assets to help students figure out a major, find jobs on or off campus, set up a summer internship, or make connections to get into graduate school or professional work opportunities. The CDC can also give advice about resumes, cover letters, and how to interview well.

The CDC helps prepare students with career planning. “We are a good first step,” CDC director Dana Van Abbema said. “We can help even if you don’t know what major you want to pursue.” The CDC has made many changes and improvements from the past to improve its services and accessibility to students.

One major project that the CDC has been working on is its website. Since last year, the CDC has performed a complete overhaul of its website. It has been reorganized and now has a plethora of resources to help students find jobs that fit their interests. The site, http://www.smcm.edu/careercenter, offers a timeline to help with planning, a self-assessment test to gauge which jobs students with certain interests take, and links to employment opportunity sites. The CDC has been working hard to make this information available online in order to reduce paper usage and direct students toward valuable tools related to “any and all aspects of career development,” according to Van Abbema.

The CDC has also been renovating its internship program. This program helps students find internships that can be taken for academic credit. Van Abbema said the program will be “substantially more rigorous and structured” so that students can, “extract as much learning as possible from the internship experience.” She said the new internship programs will be an “opportunity to link curriculum to work outside campus.”   There has also been a major push to put all information about the program online so that students will have better questions and be able to use time more effectively when they meet with the staff in the CDC.

Another improvement the CDC has been updating is Mentornet. Mentornet is a service provided by the office that can connect students to alumni and parents, so the students have connections in the professional work force. This network is currently being repopulated by the staff at the CDC and should be completed by the end of October. Director Van Abbema said Mentornet is a “huge asset for students.” Becoming a mentor is one way alumni can give back to the school if they don’t have the financial means.

The CDC also gained 60 new books, raising the library’s count to over 400 print resources. The new books are fully updated and offer information on what to do with a liberal arts major, how to construct a resume, and practice tests for the GRE, GMAT, MCAT, and LSAT.

The CDC plans on moving to their new location on the second floor of Glendening Hall upon the completion of that building. CDC Coordinator Amanda Walker and Van Abbema are very excited about the move feel “it will allow us to do lot of things we can’t do here [in Anne Arundel Hall, rooms 113 and 119].” In Glendening, the CDC will be more centralized and have better access to computers and other resources.

The CDC hosts events all year to assist career planning, such as Bookbag to Briefcase, a senior transition conference that helps students prepare for finding jobs. Alumni attend to support and present. This week the CDC is sponsoring Internship week, which features information sessions, information tables, and student panels on how to find and be successful with internships.

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