Building a path forward with Career Services
Thursday, March 24th, 2022
“Career preparedness” is sort of a buzz phrase that can mean lots of different things. Maybe you’re an art and design school student looking for a summer internship that will make the most of skills you already have while challenging you to build new ones. Maybe you’re a senior on the cusp of graduation and edging your way into the working world or graduate school, Or, perhaps you’re an art and design school graduate looking to switch gears, expand your connections, and dive deeper into your creative life.
Whatever stage you’re in, the College’s Career Services team has you in mind.
Career Service’s next upcoming event is Friday, April 8: Career Day (more on that below).
There’s also the opportunity to use the Career Services department to connect with alumni, to reach out to others already established in your field, to discover internships, and to start building those first post-college steps toward a creative career.
To combine all of those benefits, Career Services has announced Friday, April 8, as Career Day. Morning and afternoon sessions — some in person, some virtual — combine for a full day of advice and connection-building. The audience? All cohorts of the college, from Foundation students to alumni.
Staff-led sessions on the schedule include basic and advanced resumé advice; speed networking; how to ace an interview; how to build an eye-catching LinkedIn profile; an online Alumni Networking “lunch,” overviews of what Career Services can offer, and more.
Tapping into the College’s alumni network, Career Day also features programming from PCA&D grads on what it’s like to work everywhere from startups to the corporate world — to striking out on your own as an artist.
“These will be smaller, bite-sized experiences that repeat to work around class schedules,” says Justin Phillips, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs.
And making the event hybrid has significant benefits too, says Prof. Holly Mosher, Chair of Business Programs and Director of Distance Education: “It opens up Career Day possibilities, ” she says, “and we can pull from so many different resources.”
The 9 am to 5 pm event will be in the College’s 4th-floor Lookout, followed up by an Alumni Mixer, from 5-7 pm , in the College’s Main Gallery. RSVP for the mixer here.
What’s the purpose of PCA&D’s Career Services department?
Career Services’ overall goal, Phillips says, is part of the belief that colleges can “cultivate and mentor and coach students” toward realizing what they’d like their next steps to be — and then starting them on that path.
Put simply: “Opening minds to broader possibilities.”
And, because the population this department serves is so varied, from students seeking internships to alumni returning for career advice, that process of “opening minds” takes on many forms.
Sometimes members of the Career Services team — Phillips, Mosher, and Advisor for Student Success Maria Provencher — are directing students to the Writing Center to brush up their CVs. They may be helping them explore internships, linking alumni to others in their field, or showing students and alumni how the skill sets they’ve developed are in demand in the “real world.”
“We’re opening doors to the possibilities that all your skills qualify you for, that you may not realize,” Mosher says.
Faced with starting a career, Phillips says, soon-to-be graduates may feel like he did at the end of his undergraduate career: “Like I was an explorer going through the jungle with a machete,” he says. “I didn’t really have a clear path.” So, he says, “I’m here, and Career Services is here, to help demystify (the process) and help them realize that their dreams are achievable.
“We’re living in an age of entrepreneurship when they’ll have the ability to create the career they want. They don’t have to go through ‘gatekeepers’ like my generation did.”
What does the Career Services team offer?
- Resumé and CV advice and reviews
- Practice interviews
- Alumni Career Strategies
- Dress for Success closet
- Moving forward, two Career Days annually: a fall event focused on internship prep and a spring event with a job fair focus
What does the Career Services team want to accomplish? When they leave art and design school, Phillips says, Career Services wants to enable students to “have an open, nimble mind, and to be empowered with the tools they need” to pursue their next steps.
Other goals? To continue to build up a strong alumni network (Mosher calls that a “win/win for Career Services and our alumni”), and to continue to build Career Services programming so alumni are not on what Phillips calls “an island” after graduation.
“Once you graduate the book doesn’t close,” Phillips says. “We’re still here. We’re working with a 2021 graduate right now in the gap year before graduate school,” he adds by way of example.
“We recognize the first five years after graduation are pivotal,” Phillips says. “We want to give students that lift and build that scaffolding.”
“My passion is helping students find those internships and jobs,” Mosher adds. “It’s the most engaging thing I do with students.”
Contact the Career Services team via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow them on Instagram at @pcad_careerservices.