Point Loma Nazarene University’s website asks each student to reflect on the question, “Who are you called to be?” As a senior about to graduate in May, this question is heavy on my mind, as I’m sure it is for some of you. Thankfully, our university doesn’t leave it up to us to figure out on our own. Career Services is a resource on campus that aims to support PLNU students in their career journey and equip them for the next step in life as a professional.
Program Manager of Career Services, Claire Buckley, wants students to take advantage of all the resources they have to offer. Career Services offers instruction on how to write a strong resume, cover letter and elevator pitch, create a LinkedIn profile, explore career options, prepare for interviews, job/internship search strategies and how to build a strategic network.
“We hope students feel equipped and empowered, not only with the information they need to help them move into their career, but with the confidence they have what it takes to get where they want to go,” Buckley said.
Career Services recently posted a quote from The Atlantic on their Instagram page, which states that fewer than 20 percent of undergraduate students reach out to their school’s career centers for advice on finding jobs or finding and applying to graduate programs. Utilizing this resource could make a huge difference in many students’ post-graduate plans.
“Often students tell us ‘I have no idea where to get started’ and our response is, ‘perfect, you’re in the right place,’” said Buckley.
I most recently used Career Services as a resource for interview preparation. One of the Career Advisors conducted a mock interview with me and instilled a sense of confidence and readiness for my actual interview.
I asked Buckley what advice or encouragement she had for seniors about to graduate.
“You already have far more transferable skills, strengths and experiences to offer in your future career than you realize. Once you become aware of that, you will be significantly more confident in presenting yourself and your personal brand to potential employers,” Buckley said.
Sheri Strothers, visiting professor of communication at PLNU, encourages her students to consider how our professional calling and our calling as followers of Christ are connected.
Strothers teaches an upper-division course on Leadership Communication where students are required to read “The Call” by Os Guinness and keep a reflective journal on what they take away from the readings.
Strothers hopes that by reading this book, students will realize the potential God has placed in all of us. She also shared this insight on what she would say to seniors who are overwhelmed with what the future holds.
“I would advise seniors to remember that we only get one day at a time and nothing comes as quickly as we hope. Most graduating seniors do not secure a career job for at least six months. Dive into your faith, pursue random opportunities and try to make connections with people that you may not expect anything would come out of. God created you and is calling you with specific purpose and opportunity,” Strothers said.
If you want to get connected with a Career Advisor, you can visit the Career Services building located on the left side of Bond Academic Center or jump on a virtual session to get the support you need. For more information, visit https://www.pointloma.edu/career-services
Written By: Camden Painton