By Hussein Ali Rifath
Many students at Adelphi intend to enter the workforce directly after completing their college education. That incentivizes them to progressively build their resume as they go through college as doing so would allow them to distinguish themselves as promising job candidates.
However, it can be overwhelming to choose between the many different activities offered on campus. Students are not in this alone: Adelphi’s Career and Professional Development Center, located in room 225 of the Nexus building, assists students and alumni in looking and applying for employment or other extracurricular opportunities. It offers one-on-one assistance for resume writing and interview preparation and hosts professional development events geared towards networking and providing Panthers exposure to various career fields.
Gina Fries, an assistant director at the Center, teaches Adelphi’s one-credit Internship Preparation Seminar. The class meets an hour a week and is not intended to have a heavy workload. Jonathan Ivanoff, an associate director at the Center, explained: “In the 10 years plus that we have been teaching this, it seems that one hour has been enough to cover all the material. Because it is graded on a pass-fail basis, students who earn a 70 percent or higher on the course receive full credit; students who earn 90 percent or higher in the course will automatically qualify for a paid summer internship through Adelphi’s Jaggar Community Fellows program.”
The Center also provides one-on-one assistance to help students determine their strengths and next steps. “We go through a certain number of [professional] assessments,” said Ivanoff. “We take the Myers Briggs Personality Assessment and we do a skills assessment of competency. We provide interview prep. We go through a lot of foundational work to get the student to know how to look for opportunities, know what to look for in a position, know how to prepare for interviews, know how to apply, how to be competitive for a position, and things to be aware of once they get the job.”
When Hashir Zahoor-ur-Rahman, a first-year computer science major, needed help with updating his resume for a job application, he visited the Career Center. “It helped me a lot, and I ended up getting the job. Pretty successful when you think about it.”
He said his session took 45 minutes and left a positive impression; he plans on visiting the Career Center again, and shared this advice. “The first thing you should do is visit the Career Center because they can help you a lot. The resume that they are going to write is something way better than what you may be able to come up with. Honestly speaking, we are still students and we require experience. They are experienced professionals in the office, and it’s their job to help us out; their work would be way better. Ask for help whenever you get the chance … If you feel like you’re shy, I would suggest you look for an online session.”
Zoha Raja, a first-year biology major, also enjoyed working with the Career Center. “They are very passionate about guiding their students step-by-step through every turn. You will send them a resume and they will send you a revised version. They will give you advice on revising it, and they will tell you to send it to them again until you perfect it. That is a lot of dedication and time that they give to you.”
Raja stressed that she felt a strong personal connection with her career counselor. “It was a very personalized experience. They wanted to understand where I was coming from and why exactly I was making the choices that I was trying to make, and wanted to guide me through them. There were so many people that were so encouraging.”
The Center now also offers students the opportunity to participate in Kaplan's new Career Core program. “Think of Kaplan Career Core as a complement to what we already have in Career Services,” said Thomas Ward, assistant vice president at the Center.
The program consists of two components: asynchronous modules and optional live coaching sessions held over Zoom. Each module can take between 30 to 50 minutes to complete because it is left up to the student to determine how many practice exercises they wish to complete.
“It depends on the student and what the student wants to get out of it,” explained Fries. The asynchronous component of the program can be completed in less than a semester.
The program’s live coaching sessions are held on weekend evenings by Kaplan’s career coaches. Their small class sizes (sessions have a maximum of 25 slots) allow participants to interact one-on-one with these experts, many of whom are experienced in their targeted fields. “We promote the sessions weekly on the screens across campus,” said Fries.
The Center sees flexibility as a strong suit of Kaplan Career Core. “We want to meet the students where they are. It’s for their benefit because students are busy–a lot of them have part-time jobs, a full class schedule. This, they can do at their convenience,” explained Fries.
At Adelphi, the program has seen optimistic results: “Our university, out of the eight that started this program with Kaplan, has had the most students accessing the system–more than any other university. I was really excited about that,” said Fries.
Very few universities ultimately chose to partner with Kaplan to pilot the program. “Adelphi was excited to participate because it could then have a say in shaping it and the future of career services as a whole,” explained Ward. The Student Government Association played a leading role in bringing the program to Adelphi and dedicates a portion of its budget towards supporting it so that it remains free for all AU students to access.
Students interested can contact a career counselor at the Center to add them to the program at any time; admissions are on a rolling basis. There are no limits to how many students can take part in the program.
In addition, the Career Center offers students these steps to take in preparation for their future careers:
1. Create and maintain your foundational materials.
Prepare a resume, LinkedIn profile, Handshake profile and a template cover letter for job applications.
2. Get involved and develop your skills.
Participate in clubs and other campus organizations, and explore employment and volunteering opportunities. Complete the Center’s Prep for Success program to earn its Digital Badge.
“Those eight NASE core competencies are transferable skills. […] skills that employers from every single industry want in an individual, whether that’s a college graduate or someone older. You need to have these skills,” said Fries.
3. Take advantage of what the Career Center has to offer.
Ask a career counselor to help you assess your strengths, weaknesses and goals. Ask for guidance. “It is never too late to connect with us,” said Ward.
Students can visit the Center in Nexus Room 225. Those interested can alternatively send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to a career counselor through Handshake.