By Caitlin Chappell
“I am an English major, and no, I do not want to be a teacher,” one senior said.
She went to the Career Center for help, like many other seniors, and found little because she wanted to pursue a creative job. This is the case for many other seniors looking to pursue similar careers.
Senior year is a period of transition. The Career Center is a resource students should be able to turn to for guidance. Their website states, “We help students … prepare for successful lives beyond college.” However, the Career Center does not meet this promise for those pursuing a career in creative production, which has been my experience.
I turned to the Career Center to complement the research I had done and figure out what to do next. I wanted to connect with alumni on a similar path and see what the Career Center could do for me within my fields of interest: film, theatre and publication. Instead, they ran the same Google queries and recommended LinkedIn and Handshake. I waited a month for this meeting and sat for half an hour to watch someone else do the basic research any student should have previously done to prepare for the meeting. This was disheartening at best.
I expected the Career Center to prepare some material for me related to film since I mentioned that was the field I was pursuing when I originally made the appointment. I expected they would be able to connect me to people or resources outside of what a generic search engine could provide. I thought they would at least give me a list of companies in the area I could consider. They met none of those expectations, and I had to look elsewhere for guidance.
I am not the only student who is disappointed by the Career Center. Upon going there, another Rhetoric and Media Studies student also found that they were unable to help her explore work in film production.
This student turned to professors in her department for advice, a tactic other students have used. One theatre student knows that the Career Center lacks the resources she needs to pursue a career in theatre, so she goes to her professors, which she has found to be more successful.
The earlier mentioned English major also found her visits to the Career Center to be fruitless. After mentioning that she worked three jobs during the school year and that she was there specifically to increase her post-college employment options, the advisor proceeded to contact the student’s current place of work and ask about the student joining one of the Center’s projects.
Now the Career Center manages to provide for students in other fields. One history student found the Career Center to be useful because they helped him determine what jobs to pursue, how to piece together a résumé and how to contact alumni. Yet when it comes to pursuing careers in creative production, students find the Career Center lacking.
These students are forced to look elsewhere for guidance, adding to the stress that comes with senior year. It’s nice to have the Career Center assist students, but this help is not available for a lot of students. The Career Center should be a resource for all students, but for many like me it tends to provide little beyond a simple Google search.