St Augustine students get career help at Flagler

Flagler College announced to local Historic City News reporters that their new Director of Career Services, Tara Stevenson, is trying to make the process of finding a job in a stifled economy a little less daunting for Flagler students about to graduate college.

“While we’re not a placement office, we can give students all the resources and tools so they can utilize them to take their next step,” said Stevenson, who is beginning her fourth year at the college. “Whether it’s for a job search or to find out more about where the student would like to go and then ultimately help them build that network to get them there, we can help.”

Stevenson said the career services department offers plenty of opportunities for the student interested in preparing for the real world; from one-on-one services, to events, and fairs that feature employers and graduate schools.

Stevenson said she’s even planning to host an event in September that will bring 50 law schools to the Flagler campus.

The dark cloud of a bad economy shouldn’t overwhelm students, says Stevenson, who has also spent time as a student life and leadership development specialist in higher education.

Employers are hiring.

“We have so many connections to different employers in this office who are coming to us saying ‘We need people,'” she said. “Whether it’s volunteering, creating a relationship with someone so they can use them as a reference, an internship or an actual job, employers are looking.”

As the new director of the department, Stevenson said she would like to get more involved in the classrooms, offering specific help for individual majors.

“Students spend four or five years here and they’re so immersed in their major and their studies and sometimes career services is an afterthought,” Stevenson said.

She adds that her goal is to fine-tune programs already in place such as Thursdays with Employers, which brings an employer to campus each week. Stevenson says that turning events like these into bigger successes sometimes involves changing the mindset of the students.

“I want students to see these events as less of a ‘Oh this person is on campus, I need to go get a job’ and more of a ‘Oh this person is on campus, how can I work with them? How can I network with them?’ ” Stevenson said. “Students need to know that they can utilize us while they’re still here and not just when they’re getting ready to leave us for the real world.”

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