By Cadence Russell
Located on the first floor of the Wick Student Center is Career Services, open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. They’re an office you pass by on the way to TGIF every Friday or glance at on your way up to the dining hall, but they’re located there for a reason: they want you to stop by and start talking about career and professional development.
“[The] Career Services office is something that’s available for both students and alumni of Daemen, helping with career and professional development,” Assistant Director Tiffany Dillon said.
“So a lot of times I think people think that’s resumes, cover letters, job search strategies, internships, and we do all of that. But we also help with graduate school admission applications, and if you need help with formatting documents for that. We also really help with professional development,” Dillon said.
Career Services offers a variety of initiatives beyond just the typical resume and cover letter work. Dillon’s personal favorite is the Career Closet, located within the office and always open to students and alumni during normal business hours.
“It is professional attire for any of our students and alumni if they have a need, whether it’s an interview, a headshot photo, professional development if they’re presenting, and if they have a need where they need some professional attire. This is kind of a one-stop shop where they can stop by and browse our selection of clothing,” Dillon said.
Students and alumni can choose up to one complete outfit for their needs, no questions asked. The closet itself runs fully on donations from the Daemen faculty, staff, and community, which allows the closet to host a wide range of styles, sizes, and clothing types.
“I think it’s important because we know that our students and alumni are going to have professional needs, whether it is job fairs or interviews or even commencement,” Dillon said, “There’s a need if they have a need for professional attire and maybe don’t have the resources. This is an available spot for them to come see what they need.”
Beyond the Career Closet, Career Services is available for students and alumni for the typical resume help, job hunting, or even mock interviews.
“I went to Career Services because they were having an introduction event,” sophomore Caitlin Ercole, physical therapy major said.
“I met with Tiffany Dillon and she introduced me to all the things Career Services offers. I later met with Tiffany again and she was able to help me build my resume. She showed me how to update all of my past accomplishments from high school and transform it to a professional setting,” Ercole said.
Career Services also offers a 0-credit, free pass/fail course called CFE-97 (Career and Field Experience), open to all Daemen students.
“It’s a really great opportunity for students. They’ll build a resume specific to their major, they will find a job posting that is applicable to their major and they will draft a cover letter toward that same position, and then they’ll have a mock interview conducted with their designated career advisor for that specific position as well,” Dillon said.
Some majors require CFE-97 while others do not. However, if students are looking to take an internship for credit that is receiving credit hours for an internship in replacement of a standard class, CFE-97 is a requirement.
“The most beneficial thing I gained from this course is that the expected formatting for resumes and cover letters have changed since the last time I wrote both of them,” sophomore Aysha Waddell, history and political science major said.
“I would recommend this course to other students because it’s really helpful with giving you an idea of what employers would expect from you in the situation of an interview, or the application process,” Waddell said.
Students can still utilize Career Services for an internship or job hunting even if they don’t take CFE-97, they will just not receive credit hours on their transcript.
“They can come you know, talk to us with they have you know, whether it’s interviewing needs or job search needs, you know, they want mock interview prep,” Dillon said, “We really like to kind of build that rapport with them to get them as comfortable so when they’re graduating, they feel ready and prepared to go out into the workforce and nail that interview, get that job, and have that internship.”
Dillon advises students to get to know their career advisors sooner than later, and that working a little bit at a time for future needs goes a long way.
“If we see postings or we see opportunities, and we remember, oh, that student was looking for something, you know, making sure they hear about this. A lot of positions are through networking and through who you know and word of mouth,” Dillon said.
“I absolutely see my future career benefiting from the help I received from Career Services. They offer mock interviews and resume building to help me appeal to better job opportunities as well as helping me form connections to increase my foothold on the industry,” Ercole said.
Career Services hosts various events throughout the year, including DIY Business Cards, where students get design help and 50 free business cards, the Career Closest pop-up shop, and even meeting your career advisor, with donuts.
“I think maybe sometimes students are thinking about Career Services a little bit closer to graduation when they’re maybe thinking about the job hunt, especially if they didn’t have to do an internship,” Dillon said, “And I want to try to you know, let them know as early as possible to meet with our office.”
In order to meet with your career advisor, students can log onto Wildcat Works, which doesn’t just connect students with Career Services, but also job and internship opportunities in Western New York. Students can set up a meeting time with the career advisor assigned to their major. Each career advisor specializes in certain majors to offer the best help to each student.
“It’s really rewarding to be able to offer this and see the progression with students,” Dillon said, “I love kind of remembering them as first-year students working with them and then seeing how much they’ve come and just getting ready for commencement and the career paths and I love hearing back from them.”