In college, you’ll take classes that align with your interests, join clubs and associations with like-minded peers, and discover your preferred lifestyle.
All of these will contribute to that satisfactory, ear-to-ear grin at graduation, with your diploma in hand, as you’re well-equipped with the personal and educational skills needed to proceed with your vocational calling.
According to a 2020-21 Strada-Gallup report, the vast majority of Americans said that gaining skills to be successful in work was extremely or very important when deciding whether to pursue their highest level of education.
While this newfound independence is exhilarating, it’s totally normal and expected to feel overwhelmed at the same time … and this goes for your entire college experience. Some students go into college not knowing what they want to do, others change their major, and many question their readiness for the professional world.
For this reason, the majority of colleges offer career services to equip students with skills, knowledge, and confidence for the workforce.
What Are Career Services?
Career Services is an office on college campuses that helps you with almost any aspect of your current and future professional goals.
Career Services provide:
- Career guidance
- Job and internship support
- Resumes and interview assistance
- Networking opportunities
But how is this service unique at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU)?
The Difference at PLNU
PLNU’s Office of Career Services is dedicated to serving and empowering all traditional undergraduate, graduate, degree completion, and online students in their respective journeys. However, PLNU’s advisors do so holistically and with a “career everywhere” mindset.
A Holistic Approach
PLNU Career Services offers a holistic approach to career guidance by associating career with vocation. When you come in for an advising session, Career Services advisors will ask you about your goals, interests, and vocational calling before discussing technical topics, such as resume-building and job search strategies.
This open dialogue is a safe space for you to express any uncertainties or anxieties about the workforce, and helps advisors better understand and support your goals.
A segment of PLNU’s mission explains that “we strive to be a learning community where grace is foundational, truth is pursued, and holiness is a way of life,” and the Office of Career Services embodies just that.
A “Career Everywhere” Mindset
PLNU Career Services focuses on the mindset of “career everywhere” to make sure their resources and services are equitable and accessible for all students. Acknowledging that not all students will engage with the office during their time at PLNU, Career Services advisors have worked with department heads and faculty to expand their services into the classroom.
Tré Watkins, senior program manager of PLNU’s Office of Career Services, explains how the team works hard at showing students the many opportunities available.
“We want to take the blinders off and have students imagine themselves in a lot of different areas and types of employment,” Watkins said. “It is really about finding the right connection between the student and an opportunity or employer.”
Focal Points of PLNU’s Career Services
Applying a holistic approach and “career everywhere” framework set up by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, PLNU Career Services focuses on:
- Talent development
- Strategic partnerships
- Student engagement
Whether you know it or not, as a student, you’re developing plenty of experience and skills in all that you do. If you’re not sure how that relates to what employers are looking for — or how to articulate them to employers in your resume or interviews — Career Services is always available to discuss those topics and help through questions like:
- What have you learned from your past classes and experiences?
- How can you apply what you’re learning to what an employer might be looking for?
Once identifying your experiences and skills, you’ll have an advanced understanding of how you can present yourself in the professional world. And PLNU’s Office of Career Services is happy to help you do so.
Since most employment opportunities come from networking, as a private liberal arts university, PLNU’s close-knit community offers a unique benefit for students advancing in their careers. With this in mind, PLNU’s Career Services is constantly developing meaningful connections with employers, alumni, faculty, staff, and students to help you cultivate and expand that network.
“We are a very relational campus and community, and we are very mindful and intentional about who we connect with each student. Our goal is to find the right opportunity within the students.”
— Peter Alkatib, PLNU Career Services senior program manager
According to The Atlantic, “fewer than 20% of undergraduate students reach out to their school’s career centers for advice.” A common misconception is that Career Services is only for students who are ready to either graduate or get their first job. However, PLNU’s Office of Career Services is for all students, wherever you are in your academic or professional tracks.
For this reason, PLNU Career Services is proactive about coming to you as a student by partnering with classes and clubs to provide professional development workshops and presentations. Advisors also bring employers into the classroom to share their perspectives on what it looks like to prepare for an interview, be career ready, structure a resume, and make connections.
PLNU Career Services senior program manager Peter Alkatib shares how student engagement is emphasized with a “Career Everywhere” mindset.
“A big thing for us is making sure that the opportunities we have are equitable and accessible [for] all of our students, so we use Handshake as our main platform for employers to engage with students and to post their job opportunities,” Alkatib said.
PLNU’s job and internship platform Handshake connects students and alumni to thousands of external jobs, employers, internships, and events with powerful search tools.
Based on individualized interests and connections, Handshake personalizes career recommendations and keeps students up to date with position openings. Students can also follow and message employers, attend virtual career events, apply for jobs and internships, and see real-time application statuses.
Via Handshake, students can schedule advising sessions with Career Services advisors on a wide variety of career-oriented topics, including:
- Career advising
- Career coaching
- Career exploration
- Prep/mock interviews
- Job search strategies
- LinkedIn profile reviews
- Resume reviews
Small-Group Advising Sessions
Career Services also offers open-invite, open-topic advising sessions both in person and via Zoom. During these sessions, you can ask any technical questions you may have about career guidance, network with other students, and give or receive feedback on resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and more.
Who are you called to be?
Pursue your purpose at PLNU.
How Can I Get Connected With PLNU’s Career Services?
Students are encouraged to take advantage of Career Services’ resources as soon as possible.
Below are ways that you can get connected with PLNU Career Services:
- Check out the “Events” tab of Handshake.
- Follow @plnucareerservices on Instagram.
- Follow @plnucs on Tiktok.
- Look for the monthly newsletter in your school email.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org.