Department Spotlight: Career Services
This month is a little different than the others. Instead of doing a classroom spotlight. We have decided to do a department spotlight and the department we have chosen is Career Services. Tucson College has a stellar career services team, which is made up of Etna Mares and Angelica Rodriguez. Mares, the director of Career Services, has been at Tucson College for over four and a half years and has worked in the field of career services for almost eight years. Rodriguez has been at TC for just over six years and in the career services department for four years this past May.
You may be asking yourself what career services is or what do they do. Those are very good questions. Career Services assist in the professional development for each Tucson College student. They help prepare students for employment opportunities in their field of study. You are probably wondering how they exactly do this. For medical students, Mares’ and Rodriguez’s initial engagement with students is in their first class, GS101. They provide three workshops for the students in the areas of professional branding, social media, and behavioral interviewing. “We discuss the importance of the three as they help prepare some of the students’ soft skills, both personal and professional.” Electrical students meet with them for the first time in 201 where Rodriguez reviews their resumes and skills and then again in 301 when they have a mid-point meeting with her. They also provide one-on-one meetings to review resume updates and mock interviews, not just for current students, but for alumni as well.
Career Services is involved in many events that occur throughout the year on and off TC’s campus. They perform what they like to call, Career Services Take Overs. “This is when we take over the class and review resumes, interviewing techniques, job classification and description, background checks, and professionals Dos and Don’ts.” They also put on two career fairs a year (one in the fall and one in the spring), hold two advisory board meetings on campus a year, and provide various classroom guest speakers. These events allow our students opportunities to network with various businesses and companies. “Twice a year we bring in 50-80 employers that provide employment opportunities for our students, alumni, and our community. We also bring in top employers for each program, for our advisory board meeting, to discuss current professional trends, skills, and certifications that will help make our students more employable. For these meetings one student and one graduate from each program is selected to attend.” Career services is also in charge of graduation, which includes not just the ceremonies held twice a year in April and October, but also all of the lead up events, such as the pre-graduation party.
Now that you know what this department does you are probably thinking, can I just go down to their area whenever I want to meet them. The short answer is yes. “Students can come meet with us as early as their first week of school. We want to get to know our students, this will allow us to provide them with employment opportunities suited to their specific needs. We are here to support them in anyway we can related to personal and professional growth.” They follow the school’s motto of “students come first.” This is also why their department is in charge of the monthly student appreciation events held on campus, where they provide tasty treats for the students.
Whenever I do these type of interviews I always ask whomever I am interviewing if there is anything extra they would like to add. This is what your career services teams said, “We are dedicated to your success and with that, Help Us Help You!”