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Career Story: Career Serivces Counselor In Higher Education

Career Serivces Counselor In Higher Education

Job Title: Career Services Coordinator

Type of Company: I work in higher education.

Education: BA, English Literature, Iowa State University •• working on an MA, English, UMass-Boston

Previous Experience: I worked as a resident advisor and assistant for three years in the dorms while in college. That job helped me learn a lot about customer service and helping others. The experiences in that job motivated me to look for a job in higher education where I could continue to help students.

Job Tasks: I work with students on a one-on-one basis to help them with their job searches. I prepare them for interviews and review their cover letters and resumes. I also write a newsletter that goes out to student weekly in which we let them know about upcoming events, interesting career articles and any other career-related information.

I also plan career events for students. I take on the planning and execution of such events, from choosing the date, ordering the food, booking the room, advertising and marketing, all the way to setting up the day off.

I keep an online job database updated. I post jobs, career events and career articles to the database regularly. I also update our web pages and online announcements. I create marketing and informational materials for the office. These we distribute to students and alumnae as needed.

I interact with employers who want to post their job opportunities with us.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the knowledge that what I do is helping someone find a job and acquire valuable information. I like getting school vacation days off as well.

The worst part of the job -- and this applies to any job or life situation -- is that even when you have the best intentions and you do all you can do you don't always achieve the desired results.

Job Tips:
1.) Read newspapers and stay on top of business news.

2.) Know what your competition is doing. Research other people who have the same job; you can learn a lot from them.

3.) Always set up a structure you can follow next time around. There is no need to re-invent the wheel every time you are planning an event or writing a newsletter. Have templates and strategic plans.

Additional Thoughts: This is not my dream job and it is not what I want to do the rest of my life, but I have been able to use this job as an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience that I will be able to apply later on.

Never be afraid to take chances. Participate in committees and volunteer to do things outside your area of expertise.

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