5 Ways Christian Colleges Prepare You for the Perfect Career Path
How will college help me land the job I want?
Although there’s not one right path that will lead you straight to your dream job, career counselors have a wealth of experience to guide you towards your goal.
Kay Schwob, Director of the Enterprise Resource Center at Huntington University, explains five ways career opportunities will enhance your experience at a Christian college and prepare you for getting your dream job.
1. Career opportunities connect classroom learning to real world experience.
Most colleges offer career counseling, where students are given resources and career opportunities, like internships, to prepare them for the future.
Through these opportunities, “students are able to put into practice the theories and book knowledge that they learn in the classroom,” Kay Schwob explains. “This might be the first time a student is connecting the two together. Professors have said that a student sometimes comes back more ‘on fire’ for their learning and it’s exciting to see the changes in the students.”
Career counselors help students with resumes, cover letters, mock interviews, and obtaining an internship in the area they want.
“If a student can think it, we try to make it happen,” she adds.
2. Career opportunities can increase your chances of landing a job.
At Huntington University, 87% of the May 2016 graduates completed some form of an experiential learning opportunity in their college career.
“We have found that the more experience a student has, the easier it is for them to find a good job after college. They start to make the transition from college student to working professional. They are learning the skills that employers want to see, like the ability to work in team, how to negotiate conflict with a coworker, develop a professional appearance and being able to prioritize work. Nationally, employers offer positions to over 70% of their interns. ”
3. Career opportunities develop a student’s sense of self.
Although the classroom learning experience develops a student’s sense of self, a career experience continues that process.
“They start to realize their sense of self and then articulate it, both through written and oral communication, in terms of strengths, values, interests, accomplishments, and their life and career goals,” Kay adds.
4. Career opportunities give you a hidden advantage.
Students get a surprising perk when they do an internship—an opportunity to build their professional network.
“Many students don’t realize they are starting their professional network. They will be meeting people in a professional setting that they could network with and potentially use as a reference. Statistics show that the better prepared student gets a better internship, and in turn, will get a better job.”
5. Career opportunities reveal if your chosen field is a “good fit.”
Getting experience in your field is key to understanding whether a job is right for you. While some students have confirmed their passion through an internship, others have realized the opposite.
“They have a preconceived notion of what a profession will be like, and in reality it might be very different,” Kay explains. “I’ve also had students realize that their interest changed because of their internship. Some might think that’s a bad thing, but I don’t. I think the more exposure a student can have to a variety of experiences, the more successful they will be upon graduation.”
Sara Ward has a master’s degree in educational psychology and currently writes articles for businesses, educational groups and nonprofits across the web. She also writes a personal blog on faith, adoption and loss at poetsandsaints.com