Powerful, tech-savvy, networking partners, Wittenberg’s COMPASS: Sweet Success Center is pointing future Tigers in the right direction thanks to a reinvigorated and reimagined career preparation program.
Located on the main floor of the Thomas Library, COMPASS, in addition to supporting student success, serves as a career connector, guiding students in exploring their personal and professional goals, identifying internships, understanding their major, and networking with alumni. Special programs, including the latest “Why You Mock Interview” sessions and the forthcoming career-themed Tiger Time break day on March 10, also reflect the office’s commitment to student success as does COMPASS’ reimagined Career and Professional Development Office.
“Wittenberg’s Career and Professional Development office is undergoing an exciting transformation that focuses on how we can aid students in exploring a life of success personally and professionally,” said Jon Duraj, senior associate dean of students for student success and COMPASS director. “Focusing on how we help students explore career and vocational interests, not solely preparation for their first job, Career and Professional Development is equipping students to leverage the value of their Wittenberg liberal arts education as they chart their path into the world of work, graduate school, service, and a successful career.”
“We have long offered traditional one-to-one career advising opportunities and pre-planned events,” added Heath Queen, program lead and internship coordinator in the newly renamed office. “While we plan to continue this work, we are also trying to go live into the digital spaces that our students are familiar with by providing on-demand resources that can be available immediately to students. We are also trying to create a student resource directory featuring alumni who have been trained to advise students and serve as ambassadors to various industries, graduate programs, and roles."
Career exploration tools include Handshake, Pathway U, and Career Shift. Handshake is Wittenberg’s campus job board, offering students more than 4,000 positions. Pathway U is a platform used for career and personality assessments, helping students explore potential majors at Wittenberg and associated career fields, while also connecting their education to potential career areas. Career Shift is a networking database that provides a directory of contacts to thousands of companies worldwide.
This past fall semester, the Career and Professional Development team connected with more than 500 students on their career and major exploration plans and engaged in more than 170 individual meetings specifically for career exploration, job, and internship searches. Additionally, more than 300 students participated in career services workshops and programs resulting in 117 resume revisions, 57 cover letter revisions, 71 mock interviews, 35 internships conducted, and 127 total students in attendance at department events.
Examples of recent and forthcoming career-centered events include:
Resume, Cover Letter, & Mock Interview Sessions: Workshops are being offered throughout the semester for students to receive resume and cover letter reviews. “Why You Mock Interview” sessions featuring alumni interviewees will take place again on March 18-19. More information can be found on the Career and Professional Development events page. Students can schedule individual meetings to get assistance with these items, too. As Queen explains, "We're trying to offer students the opportunity to engage in a complete job search process, rather than simply advising on one specific component. They need experience in searching for positions, tailoring their documents for a specific role, and interviewing with people working in the field."
March 10 Tiger Time Respite Day: Focused on career and alumni networking to align with Wittenberg’s Founder’s Day and Commit 2 Witt Day of Giving on March 11, this program will offer students the chance to participate in virtual panels on careers in sustainability, tech, medicine, and law, along with workshops on major and career exploration. Providing a keynote address will be Damu McCoy, Wittenberg class of 1994 and vice president of talent acquisition at Target, speaking about the future of work, recruiting post-COVID, and discussing how students can best prepare for this new world. More details and a full schedule will be announced in later February.
Wittenberg Career Summit: Career and Professional Development will host a virtual career summit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 25. Information about registration and participating companies will be released in early March. This event will feature employers hosting short individual student meetings virtually to discuss open positions at their organizations.
For immediate resume or job search guidance: Check out the following Quick Reference Guides, developed to assist students in getting a head start on searching for professional opportunities or with creating a resume and cover letter. Searching for Job & Internship Opportunities; Resume Creation; Cover Letter Creation