Career Story: Career Counselor And Assistant Director For Internships At A Small Private College

Career Counselor And Assistant Director For Internships At A Small Private College

Job Title: Assistant Director For Internships And Counselor

Type of Company: A small liberal arts college with a co-ed enrollment of about 2400 students.

Education: attended, Regis College •• attended, Notre Dame College (Manchester, NH) •• BS, Elementary Education, Rivier College (Nashua, NH)

Previous Experience: I began my career in education as an elementary school teacher, teaching grades 6, 7, and 8 over the course of a decade. From the classroom I went into parish work as a Director of Religious Education in parishes in Massachusetts. I later moved to Louisiana where I continued that work for 10 years, the last 5 of which I served as an assistant pastor in a Catholic church. From Louisiana I moved to Vermont.

Job Tasks: The Assistant Director for Internships is an integral part of the Career Services Office and seeks to make internship opportunities available to the student population. Internships are key to a successful job search after a student graduates from college.

My main responsibilities have been to manage a number of internship programs. Winter term is a four-week period in January when a student can get academic credit for doing an internship. Students can either create their own or apply for any number of existing internships. Students who choose the former must submit a proposal for an internship that's deserving of credit. A process is in place for the assessing and approving these submissions. Reading and approving internship proposals, along with doing the follow-up with all the approved students, is one of my responsibilities.

I also manage the selection process for students who apply for funding for summer internships. Students who need financial assistance to do an unpaid summer internship can apply for it through a competitive process, but only x number of students receive subsidies. The follow-up during and at the end of the summer is also my responsibility.

Career counseling includes seeing students for appointments, but also unscheduled drop-ins. These help students find their way through the multitude of possible career paths. I try to provide workshops in various areas such as resume and cover letter writing, interviewing and networking to assist them in their quest for real jobs.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of this job is the contact with the students and the ability to open up worlds of possibilities to them about their future. Each students comes with his or her unique questions and it is our job to help direct them to the answers to the those questions, to help explore the possibilities of the directions their life can take after they leave college.

The worst part of the job is the absence of feedback. We rarely receive any from students once we've directed them to resources etc.

Job Tips:
1. Make sure you like to learn about as many career fields as possible. Each career has its pluses and minuses.

2. You've got to love to work with college age students. They are a breed all their own.

3. Get a good Liberal Arts education and enjoy whatever that liberal education offers you. Try a variety of course work and expand your horizons and experiences.

4. Know that it's not ever about you, but about the student.

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