Why is working in the Career Center so cool? Well for one thing, they have a ton of candy. But that’s just the beginning. Have you ever been a part of team that has really accomplished something? I don’t mean just any group project; I mean something that defied the odds. Over the past three years, I have accomplished something that amazing with the Career Center.
People have told me that the Career Center wasn’t that great before I came to Carleton. Students were not getting the help they needed, and that’s why the College decided to bring in Richard Berman as the new director, along with some other new staff members, to totally revamp the Career Center. Luckily, as part of the student employment (work study) program, I was assigned a front desk position in the Career Center, and my first year at Carleton coincided with the Career Center’s transition. Little did I know on my first day of work that the experiences I would have in the Career Center would teach me something far more important than anything I will ever learn in a Carleton classroom.
Above and beyond—that is how I would describe the efforts off the Career Center staff while I’ve worked with them. The Career Center was faced with a challenge to come up with new and innovative ways to help students figure out what they want to do in their life, even in the midst the current recession. So the staff fearlessly launched several new initiatives and focused on expanding our alumni network, because after all, “Carls Help Carls,” and the best way to help current students is to get former ones to give back. They created an alumni board, which oversees the Career Center’s aims and priorities. They saw a challenge, and went after it full-throttle.The results speak for themselves. In two years the Career Center went from a broken system ridiculed by students to being praised in the New York Times. The best part about the staff is that no matter how much the Career Center improves, they always want to get to the next level. Until every student graduates having done an externship or sponsored internship and with a dream job or graduate school slated for the next step, the career counselors won’t stop working. And that is the best part about working in the Career Center. They don’t just want to be good, they want to be great, and being a part of a team with that mindset has truly been an inspiring experience.
There are countless other pros to working in the Career Center, like learning how to prepare for interviews, or how to form connections with alumni, or how to tie a tie. But even cooler, I get to meet new Carleton students every day. Physics majors, music majors, frisbee players, future doctors, future lawyers, future nonprofit founders—I get to help them all get to where they want to be. Not only do I get to help my friends find jobs, but I get paid to do it. That’s why I think that my job at the Career Center is the best student job on campus.