Graduation ceremony is the stage in a student’s life after which arguably the most important decision has to be taken. The first question that pops up is what’s next? With students facing a tough market, universities all over the world have come up with a solution – career centers. Anglo –American University has implemented just such a resource to prepare students for future challenges.
The student Career Center is dedicated to helping students make the transition to the job market, and to get some practice before actually diving into real life. The preparation includes not only internships but also various talks with the representatives of corporations and businesses, meetings with alumni and sharing experiences.
The AAU center was established more than a year ago and the original contact person for students seeking help was Lucien Holmes, who oversaw resources for a number of students, many of whom landed internships. In February Holmes was offered a new job and Stephanie Lachman has taken his position.
In an interview, she describes ideas she has to improve the work of the career center. Lachman believes that it is important for internship and alumni pages to be updated on regular basis. “We want to be sure that the information we provide students with is up-to-date, accurate, and available only to our students and faculty,” she said.
Lachman also plans to make the center more than just an organization where students can seek help with internships for credit, Lachman’s plan is to turn the office into a multi-functional organization. “I can also help students find internships not for credit or assist in finding part-time or full-time jobs,” she explains, but adds, “this is something that will become more active once our internship system is up and running.”
Lachman has also met with student council representative Oliver Petrus to discuss company presentations, career days and workshops to help students with CVs. “We discussed how often these events should take place, who would be orchestrating them, and what types of presentations/workshops would bring the most benefit to students.”
So what exactly does the career center offer? And how can it be helpful? Advisers help students with career building, setting realistic and achievable goals and discover students’ skills that could be useful in finding a job. Mentoring includes building a better CV for particular fields of interest as well as designing cover letters. The center can also help students maintain a realistic grasp of what to expect after the graduation – useful because students often are not psychologically prepared for such a competitive and aggressive market.
The training and preparation assist students in coming up with an action plan, factoring in what they have learned and how they intend to achieve desired goals. Such a plan makes it possible for advisers to measure the progress of a graduating student.