Job resources available for students and alumni at the Career Service Center

By: Nicholas Ratcliff

Multimedia Journalist

The Career Service Center at Tarleton State University opened up in 1994 and has been helping the students and graduates find employment ever since. Over the years, this department has grown and offers a wide variety of opportunities that could help any student figure out where they should go after graduation.

Located in Room 218 of the Thompson Student Center, the Career Service Center offers its students more than just job placement.

A lot of students enter college right out of high school and are unsure of what they would like to do.

As they get closer to graduation, students may become overwhelmed at the idea of picking their first career. According to the Director of Tarleton’s Career Service Center Alana Hefner, this is the most common way they assist their students.

Hefner said, “Whether it’s their [students] first year here, they are a senior or even if they are a nontraditional student who is in their 30s or 40s, we can always assist with career exploration because students don’t always know the depths and breaths that they can cover with their degree.”

It’s no secret to the working world that having a degree is more important than the type of degree you have. Many college students, however, are unaware that this is the case. This often causes students to feel stuck in a certain career after graduation, but the Career Service Center is here to help.

They have developed a whole system to help their students figure out what they would like to do. While this may sound like a lot of work, the department has made it very easy to start this process.

To get started, students or alumni must go to the Career Service’s page on Tarleton’s official website and click on the Focus2Career link on the right-hand side of the page. Under the section labeled Exploration, there will be a link for the student or alumni to create an account with the sign-in code that is also listed on the Career Service’s page. After the account is created, a dashboard will be presented to the user with a variety of tests that can help someone figure out more about themselves.

These tests include a work interest assessment, a personality assessment, a leisure assessment, a values assessment and a skill assessment that will help the career counselor determine what jobs the student may like. After the student has taken these assessments, they will have three options on what they can do with the information provided.

The first option is to go to the Career Services YouTube page where the department has multiple videos breaking down the different personality types and what they mean. This option does not require an appointment and is often used by students who already know what they want to do.

The second option requires the student to attend an online virtual zoom workshop hosted by the Career Service Center. This allows the student to connect directly with an advisor and ask them specific questions about their assessment results. While this option does provide more insight than the YouTube route, it still is somewhat limiting on the amount of time you have with your advisor.

The final option is to set an in-person appointment with a career service advisor. This allows the students to talk in-depth about their results, while also allowing ample time for the advisor to help them narrow down their career options. Students who go this route will often attend multiple advising sessions.

Once the center has helped a student determine what they want to do, they move on to the application process.

In the past, this was a tedious process, but thanks to Handshake, this part of the process is easier than ever.

According to Hefner, programs like Handshake allow students to have access to hundreds of thousands of employers at just the click of a button, similar to Monster and Indeed. This gives the users of Handshake a big advantage compared to the other websites mentioned because employers know they are reaching out to college students instead of just the general population. This means the jobs listed on Handshake are tailored for college students and often don’t require a lot of work experience, unlike the jobs on the other platforms.

Tarleton students who are currently enrolled already have a Handshake account created and simply need to log in to claim it. Details are provided on the Career Service’s website page to guide any student who needs help claiming their account.

On top of these services, the department also offers mock interviews, resume building courses, job hunting lessons, virtual job fairs and even seminars on proper dinner etiquette for work-related events. These services are free to use and information on the time and location of these events can be found by following the career services on any social media @TarletonCareers. 

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