On the third floor of Walton Hall resides an office that not many people visit – the Careers and Calling office. Headed by Director Tess Bradley and Assistant Director Sarah Todd, the office offers a variety of services for students and recent graduates. While Bradley works in a more administrative role with strategic planning and offers assistance with the Leadership Fellows Program, Todd offers career counseling, which is a form of advising, and sits down with students to talk about their goals, their current status, and working to develop goals for the next steps in a student’s career plan.
In an interview, Todd commented that that is the core focus of the Careers and Calling office – what’s the next step for you? This often involves figuring out which major to declare, finding internships, looking for summer jobs, and making a goal to pay off loans. Every service provided for those who seek guidance from the office is very individual-oriented. If a student comes with a problem and the office does not have an immediate answer, the staff is dedicated to finding the answers or making contacts with those who do know.
Although dubbed the Careers and Calling office, one commonly held misconception is that the office offers job placement. While the office does not operate in such a capacity (as the title “Careers” might suggest), the staff endeavors to come alongside students and alumni and work with them to develop the skills needed to do a job interview and find ideas for new job possibilities. People go through multiple careers, so it is inevitable that many will have to re-assess future plans eventually.
The Careers and Calling office sets out to equip people with the skills to plan out a future. Furthermore, no matter what stage students are in their college experience, the office can work with them. The staff in the office tries to develop a plan with students that encourages taking “baby steps,” so that they can feel confident about taking just one more step towards their future. The idea is to do a little bit every year so as to make senior year and beyond a little less stressful. As Todd said, “Start early so that you can make the choices that are best for you for your college career.”
Some students tend not to think of school as primarily a career, but it is indeed something to keep in mind, and the Careers and Calling office is available to help students with a variety of needs: assistance with choosing a major, what to do with your major (potential careers), resumes and cover letters, conducting a job or internship search, applications for grad school, and interview prep (including mock interviews), amongst other services.
The office also offers events throughout the semester that are open to all students in order to appeal to everyone, such as the Meet Your Major fair, the Just for Juniors seminars, Senior Week, and classroom visits, where a staff member comes and speaks about different opportunities in each major. One such upcoming event is the November 7th Intercollegiate Job and Internship Fair, at Rosemont College, where close to sixty employers or organizations will congregate. Students graduating in December or looking for a Spring internship are especially encouraged to attend.
Overall, the office’s goal is to be a hub on campus where students can come and be encouraged. “Students are incredibly scheduled,” said Todd. “They have family, friends, classes, jobs… Everybody is trying to figure out where they’re going to be in five years, where they’re going to be in ten years. And students need to feel empowered and lifted up.”
The Careers and Calling Office is located in Walton 202 and is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Although appointments are encouraged, students can drop by or send an email to email@example.com for more information. The office can also be reaching at 610-341-5827.
For more information about the November Job and Internship Fair, please contact Sarah Todd, at firstname.lastname@example.org. A van will be driving students to the fair, which is from 12-3 p.m. at Rosemont College, and students interested in going with the van must RSVP by November 5th.