The Office of Career Planning and Development is an important resource for students year-round, but especially during Career Exploration Week. Career Exploration Week explores the opportunities given to students by the office with a weeklong schedule of events in room 210 of the University Center helping students prepare for life after UTM.
This week focused on demystifying common insecurities voiced by students, especially indecisiveness about the future. One of the programs was geared specifically toward freshman for this reason. On Tuesday, Oct. 30, CPADs Career Counselor, Melanie Young, provided assistance with CPAD’s new tool, TypeFocus. TypeFocus employs a series of self – examination surveys to help define what kind of career would best suit the personality of each individual student.
These assessments force applicants to prioritize their personal values, visualize their ideal work environment and learn more about themselves through a Myers-Brigg style test. Using the results, which are saved under each students account, advisors can make more informed decisions to help each student select an appropriate major or career path.
“The most important thing about these (assessments) is figuring out who you are,” Young emphasized during the seminar. “How can you sell yourself if you don’t know who you are?”
While the first half of the week was focused on new students, several other programs were offered to assist other students at different stations in their educational journey through UTM. Thursday, Nov. 2, offered two programs for upper classmen, with an 11 a.m. seminar dedicated to finding legitimate career opportunities online, and a resumé writing seminar later that afternoon at 2 p.m.
The final event of the week is set for 1 – 4:30 p.m. on Friday and will allow students the opportunity to meet with a CPAD employee for one – on – one personally customized career counseling. For students with scheduling conflicts unable to attend the programs offered during Career Exploration Week, personal appointments can be made by calling the Office of Career Planning and Development at (731)881 -7712, and the CPAD office is open during regular hours on the second floor of the University Center.
CPAD offers a lot of different instruments to help aid freshmen on their tour of self discovery, including one focused on getting students on the track to graduate in four years. The program, Soar in Four, “seeks to increase four – year graduation rates and improve career and professional skills to help graduates find profitable employment.” The plan has clear objectives in a checklist for each year, and an “E” assigned for each year. The four “E”s chronologically are “Explore”, Engage”, “Experience” and “Enhance”. CPAD also offers professional assistance with the following online programs: Handshake, CareerShift, LinkedIn and OrgSync.
For students looking for a slightly less traditional college experience, CPAD is also the contact for the study abroad / travel study programs.
Though a lot of this week focused on important information for a lower classmen to have, Young believes the knowledge that can be gained through CPAD is useful through a student’s college career and onward.
“You never stop exploring your career, and if you do, you’d better be retiring!” she said.
(Career Counselor Melanie Young helps student during Career Exploration Week. Photo credit: Laura Crossett)