By Edward Jansen
For anyone hoping to build their resumes with career experience while still in college, the university has two offices that provide everything from career advice to hands-on virtual and in-person work opportunities, both paying and for-credit, that are open to all students. The Center for Career and Professional Development located in room 225 in the Nexus Building and the Innovation Center located in Swirbul Library both have unique programs for students.
Adelphi’s Center for Career and Professional Development incorporates a team of career educators intent on preparing students for the job sector and making connections with opportunities beyond campus.
Junior Nina Tchavtchanidze, a teaching assistant in the Chemistry Department and Jaggars Community Fellowship Program student worker, explained that there are many different career opportunities available for students on and off campus.
“The Center for Career and Professional Development prepares students to network and land internships and jobs, starting from their freshman year to when they graduate,” Tchavtchanidze said. “We help students to prepare résumés, help to prepare for internships, teach them how to look for jobs and write cover letters. Anything that regards professional development can be found in our office.”
The Jaggars Community Fellows Program (JCFP) is a 10-week paid summer internship with nonprofit organizations open to every major that provides students with hands-on experience. JCFP has been in operation at Adelphi for over 12 years and has seen students off to internships in healthcare, business, education and museums, to name only a handful of destinations. The Center for Career & Professional Development is currently accepting student applications for this summer's Jaggar Community Fellows Program.
Speaking from personal experience, Tchavtchanidze said she believes, “students should choose based on both major and interest. You’ll want to do something you enjoy, while also furthering your career.”
In the particular interest of education majors--or for anyone who wants to gain experience in front of a classroom--America Reads/America Counts is a program that enables students to go to schools and teach subjects that they are knowledgeable in. America Reads is a national campaign among 1,200 universities that was initiated in 1997 intent on helping children learn to read well and independently by the end of elementary school.
The Center for Career and Professional Development also offers a one-credit internship preparation seminar. Tchavtchanidze, who has seen the instruction first-hand, firmly believes that it “prepares you to network, build a résumé, create a LinkedIn account and to be a professional while being a student.” Learn more at https://www.adelphi.edu/career-center/.
Another opportunity for students to build their resumes while getting hands-on professional experience is through the Innovation Center (IC). The IC, which launched in February 2020, prides itself on a steady history of getting students out of the classroom and into the front doors of corporations.
Zeynep Atabay, the IC operations manager, said, “The Innovation Center itself is basically a department that works with every college. So... our goal is to connect with every college and find ways to implement experiential learning. That’s a fancy way of saying ‘project-based learning,’ meaning we take things that are inside the curriculum or the class and then we design a project with a real company or organization.”
The IC has a licensed IBM course as well, specifically in artificial intelligence and design thinking. From this program, students can earn an IBM Artificial Intelligence Certificate, distributed by the company as a demarcation of skill that can be used on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. According to Atabay, this “gives you not only the opportunity to network, but to gain insight from people in the industry.”
Tchavtchanidze, who took the Design Thinking course virtually over the summer, said, “It was very helpful and open to all majors. The course was designed in a way that you don’t have to have a core understanding of calculus and mathematics. As a biochemistry major, I already know how to implement data. For students who don't know that, it was a great help.”
Atabay said that the Design Thinking Workshop is beneficial to students because “not only are you good at problem solving, but you’re going above and beyond to learn these techniques, something that many companies value greatly. The Innovation Center gives you the opportunity to build a résumé that has actual, applicable skills.”
At Adelphi, the IC is a pioneer of digital badges, being the first among all career-based institutions to offer them on campus. For Atabay, their mission is all about partnering with large companies and corporation leaders to enhance the education of students.
The IC has been particularly active with Adelphi’s Physics Department. ThorLabs, an optical equipment company in Newton, New Jersey, donated $15,000 worth of optics equipment to intensify research and create an IC Physics Lab. There are also programs in place with the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business.
Business analytics is another sphere that has found itself a niche in the IC. According to Atabay, “for business analytics, we worked with a company to sponsor two-graduate students for a full year for projects.” It’s an opportunity that can definitely be adapted for any hard-working business major.
The IC, much like the Center for Career and Professional Development, helps students attain internships, often an 11-week experience through the semester, consisting of three weeks of training and eight weeks of projects.
There are also LiveClasses in which students work with companies and organizations on specific projects under the guidance of professors. Because many experiences right now are virtual, that broadens the opportunities to international organizations as well, including those in Ecuador and Honduras.
The IC has been struggling to gain attention from Adelphi students, but for Atabay and her team, it is only a matter of time before the IC possesses a widespread reputation of success and dedication to students on and off campus. Learn more at https://www.adelphi.edu/innovation-center/.