By Ellen Loucks | Photo by Patil Khakhamian
During the school year, the Career Center is a hub of activity. Bits and pieces of conversations fill the air as staff members rush back and forth to coordinate schedules. Between the hours of noon and 5:00 p.m., Colorado College students frequent the Career Center for one-on-one appointments with Career Coaches, to attend programs, or to receive guided help on resumes or cover letters. And even though the Career Center is now virtual, the usual hustle and bustle of the office has not ceased.
The Career Center staff have always begun their workdays with face-to-face greetings. Now, the staff have adopted a rhythm of beginning each day with a virtual staff meeting. Although the meetings are short, they allow the staff to converse face-to-face, check in, and update one another on their respective projects.
Coaches are focusing their efforts on creating an archive of virtual resources so that students have remote access to material for their career search. Coaches encourage students who are fine-tuning resumes and drafting cover letters to familiarize themselves with the “Get Started” virtual programming, which provides students with tools for effectively searching for and applying to career positions. Coaches have also been continuing one-on-one appointments with students via WebEx, Zoom, and phone calls.
“People are creative. COVID has taught me that there isn’t a lot that can’t be done remotely,” said Career Center Office Manager Natalie Cepeda.
Since the onset of COVID-19, a popular program hosted by the Career Center has been the “Alumni Insights” series. Running throughout Block 8, the Alumni Insights series features CC alums who have worked in a wide range of industries, including Government and Policy, Sustainability, Finance, and music performance. The Career Center hopes for this programming to be relevant to CC students across all majors. On Thursday, May 7 at 3:30 p.m. MST, Alumni Insights will feature members from the Class of 2008 who will speak to CC students who might be feeling overwhelmed in their career search amid an economic downturn. These alumni will share advice, experiences, and insights from their own personal career path when they, too, graduated amid a recession.
The Career Center has also launched a growing YouTube page on which students can view On-Demand virtual programming. Current videos include interview advice, an info session with Monigle (a marketing consultant firm based in Denver), and strategies for launching a career search during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Career Center encourages students who are facing rescinded job or internship offers not to lose hope. Cepeda directs discouraged students to Handshake, which serves as CC’s online job board. On Handshake, scores of remote working offers are posted daily. Numerous alumni have also reached out to the Career Center and have extended a call for applicants for open positions within their companies, specifying that their hiring team is eager to receive CC students’ applications. Cepeda encourages students to reach out to the Career Coaches for guidance on networking and connecting with these alumni who are extending career opportunities to current CC students.
Although the future may seem uncertain, there are still job opportunities available. The Career Center emphasizes its commitment to the student body by ensuring that students have support and guidance as they plan for what may come ahead.
“Don’t let COVID deter you,” Cepeda said. “It is just a temporary obstacle. Keep plugging away at your job search. There are plenty of opportunities available and continue to seek them. This time will pass.”