BOONE, N.C. — To better support students and employers, Appalachian State University’s Career Development Center has moved to the heart of campus and enhanced its slate of services by adding more targeted career programming.
Dr. Susan McCracken, App State’s director of career development and economic engagement, said career services are integral to preparing students to transition from college to employment or enrollment in an advanced degree. “Our new location and enhanced schedule of events and opportunities provide what students and employers have asked for,” she said.
The center has expanded its hours and access for students. From Monday through Thursday, Career Studio is available to students until 6 p.m, and the center offers Career After Hours Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6–7 p.m. Each evening the after-hours programming covers a specific career and/or professional development topic — such as mastering resume and cover letter writing and how to manage personal and professional social media accounts.
Among the newer offerings:
- A series of small career fairs called Career.Connect. In February, the center will host two days of career fairs, with each focusing on a different industry sector. Students will meet with recruiters to explore job, internship and networking opportunities.
- More diversity-focused career initiatives, including the GenHERation® Campus Connection Tour. This annual networking event aims to empower young women by connecting them with women who serve as executives and leaders within their companies.
- A resources webpage designed for underrepresented students and identity groups.
According to McCracken, the center’s existing programming and coaching has helped students identify their core values, beliefs and skills and use them to:
- Articulate relatable career goals.
- Acquire transferable skills and relevant experiences for future professional endeavors.
- Cultivate professional networks.
“Students and organizations alike desire a more customized and personal experience to explore career opportunities and connect with each other,” McCracken said.
About the new programs
Career.Connect. is part of a larger series of events throughout the semester that include meet-ups, information sessions, panel discussions and more related to specific industry clusters.
Career clusters for spring 2022 include:
- Health care.
- Social services.
- Public safety and services.
- Renewable energy.
- Building sciences.
These smaller events, which drew a total of 3,726 students over the 2020–21 academic year, replace the single, large-scale Internship and Job Fair held each year in Holmes Convocation Center for all disciplines.
New resources for underrepresented students and identity groups
To better support traditionally underrepresented populations, the Career Development Center has compiled resource pages for students of color, international students, student-athletes, veterans, those identifying as LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities.
Students can sign up for a biweekly newsletter called My Fit My Future, which provides information on job and internship opportunities with employers seeking to enhance the diversity of their organizations, and recruiting and networking events at organizations that have been recognized for fostering an inclusive work environment.
Student leaders representing a variety of student organizations and programs serve as “Career Connectors” for the center, helping spread word about upcoming events and serving in an advisory role to the center.
Coming in March: GenHERation Campus Connection Tour
For the second consecutive year, App State will host the GenHERation® Campus Connection Tour. GenHERation is a network connecting young women and companies across the U.S. through its digital platform and national events.
App State’s hybrid GenHERation event — to be held both online and in person — will take place in March and is open to all students. The event will feature representatives who work in the fine and performing arts, as well as entertainment, communication and broadcasting. Participants will have the opportunity to:
- Meet successful women who are executives and leaders in their companies.
- Participate in skill-building simulations.
- Explore career opportunities.
- Learn how they can meet leaders at the most innovative companies in America.
In 2021, App State’s GenHERation event included panelists from Google, the Los Angeles Lakers, AllSaints, GlaxoSmithKline, management consulting firm Korn Ferry, insurance company NFP, Image Intelligence and WorldLink.
Dr. Linda Coutant ’01 ’17 contributed to this story.
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About the Career Development Center
The Career Development Center at Appalachian State University supports the mission of the university and its Division of Student Affairs in developing lifelong learners and leaders by engaging and challenging students within a culture of care and inclusion. Students who participate in the center’s services are able to identify core values, beliefs and skills and use them to articulate relatable career goals; acquire transferable skills and relevant experiences for future professional endeavors; and utilize resources that are available to gain experiential learning opportunities and cultivate professional networks. Learn more at https://careers.appstate.edu.
About the Division of Student Affairs
The Division of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University is committed to the development of lifelong learners and leaders by engaging and challenging students within a culture of care and inclusion. The division consists of 16 units that offer activities and services to help students develop more fully by becoming global learners, fostering healthy relationships, appreciating diversity and different perspectives, understanding community responsibility, enhancing self-awareness, developing autonomy and living ethically. These units include the Career Development Center, Campus Activities, Office of Community-Engaged Leadership, Wellness and Prevention Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Service, Parent and Family Services, University Housing, Student Conduct, University Recreation, Intercultural Student Affairs, Student Legal Clinic and Off-Campus Student Services, Electronic Student Services, Child Development Center, and Staff Development and Strategic Initiatives. Learn more at https://studentaffairs.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.