Career Services and You: How a Partnership with Vista College Can Boost Your Chances for Success
By Seana Wade, Director of Career Services
For most of my career, I’ve been working to bridge the gap between employers and job seekers, either helping companies find the candidate that best fulfills their needs or helping students at schools like Vista College find a great job opportunity after graduation. And there’s one thing I’ve discovered to be true across the board:
It’s all about communication.
The students who enroll in the career-driven education programs online at Vista College are all looking to graduate into new, better jobs, and our career services department is one of the most important tools at their disposal to help them hit that mark. But what do we do exactly? And what does Vista College online bring to the table that’s different from other schools?
You’ll find we’re more aggressive at helping you navigate the job-seeking world than a traditional college, where the focus tends to be just on earning your degree and less about what you do with that piece of paper after graduation. Vista College is committed to our students even well after they leave our classrooms, and we’re truly invested in helping them land a job after graduation. This includes:
• Integrating career readiness into every course
• Assisting with writing a resume
• Practicing via mock interviews
• Putting together a LinkedIn page
• Producing short videos with industry experts to answer students’ frequently asked questions
• Setting up workshops or live sessions with employers
We also make sure we’re keeping an eye out on how the job application process evolves and changes so we can advise accordingly. Recently, we signed on with Big Interview to implement their job interview preparation software across all our online programs. This is a product specifically designed to help students make their best first impression, whether that interview is in-person or through the growing trend of video interviews. Vista College online students can get on Big Interview at any given time and access a whole database of videos of professional people asking potential interview questions, both more generalized ones and those that are industry-specific. This is an incredible resource that we’re very excited to be able to offer our students in order to better prepare them for the job market.
But more than all of the tools and the techniques are the relationships we work to build. We have a number of different programs in different industries that we’re dealing with, so we meet with each student and develop an individualized plan. We talk with them about what their ultimate goals are, how they can achieve those, and then we reach out to employers on their behalf to try to network and find opportunities for them.
But that’s just our side of the equation. We want to see every Vista College graduate succeed, but we can’t do that all on our own. So what can you do, as a student, to help increase your prospects of finding a job that fits your needs, your wants, and your goals?
• Talk to us. This is something you can do starting your first week of class. Don’t wait until graduation is right around the corner. Contact us and let’s start having a conversation now about what you want for your future. It’s our job to know what employers are looking for in candidates, so we can help advise you on things you can do to make your resume as attractive as possible.
• Dream big and think long-term. It’s not just about what you want for your tomorrow. It’s about what you want for your next five years, your next ten years, your next twenty. Do you want to work in management? Do you want to supervise and run your own team? Set those long-term goals, and we can help you sort out what you can do today to gain the experience you need to make those dreams possible in the future.
• Be proactive. Our goal as your advisors and your advocates is to combine our strengths with yours in order to make your career search as streamlined and successful as possible. The more you get in the game — by filling out applications, by practicing for and scheduling interviews, by communicating back and forth with us about where you’re at and what you might need from us— the better we can use our knowledge, resources, and networks to help you get the position you really want.
Careers are truly about relationships; it’s at the heart of everything we do. If you’re ready to be a partner in your success, then you’re ready to come work with us here at Vista College.