Since the onset of the pandemic, the CSI Center for Career and Professional Development is struggling to bring students into their office.
By Eileen Cruz
The CCPD staff prepare and hope for the inclusion of all CSI students.
In a sturdy effort to engage the CSI student body in a time of fledgling participation, the Center for Career and Professional Development held an event on November 3 from 11-4:30 p.m.
The department conducted an information session that included raffle prizes, snacks, and giveaway items. The prizes included free pasta or pizza for a year and in December, the gift-giving continues with a $100 Visa gift card raffle for students who make appointments with the CCPD.
The department offers many resources and services that can benefit students and ensure career readiness, such as internships, jobs, resumes, and tips for self-branding.
“After a long pandemic pause, the goal of this event is to heighten awareness of our services,” said Jennifer Lynch, Associate Director, Annual Giving. “And to encourage students to visit us to utilize our many career services.”
Lynch is a career development specialist and typically attends the events on campus amidst ongoing efforts to encourage students to visit the center. Getting students to show up, however, remains a challenge, which has made events and social media promotion crucial in regaining their attention.
Basic professional headshots can cost you up to $350. The center provides free professional photographs for your resume and profiles; there is even a supply of fake suits, collars and accessories to make your portrait look more qualified.
There are numerous advantages that the CCPD can offer, especially due to their partnership with Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP). But many students are unaware of them.
“I think a lot of students are extremely knowledgeable and it’s hard for them to clear the clutter, “ said Ronald J. Oliva, the ASAP/ACE Assistant Director and CSI alum. “You have people who are professionals who will help with resumes, who know the ropes.”
Students are focused on graduation, coursework, and jobs, while others have to juggle the additional load of sports and clubs. It can be hard to manage your time, explore CSI departments, or go to campus events.
But students shouldn’t be afraid to venture into new areas. Explore the campus centers and departments; these centers operate on your tuition bill, so it’s worthwhile to take advantage.
The CCPD has time for everyone regardless of your background, academic standing, race or gender expression. It’s an LGBTQ+ certified center that’s inclusive to all.
“Every semester, we try to find events so that students can interact. We help a lot of seniors, we help them to network,” said Joanne Hollan, Associate Director of CCPD. “It’s recommended to start freshmen year, but we don’t turn any students away. We make every student a priority regardless of the year they’re in.”
The CCPD recently began to use social media, specifically Instagram, as an outlet to reach students. Vincent Sicari, a senior at CSI and an intern at the CCPD, runs the page @csicareer.
From September to now, the page has gained thirty followers. Though there was a reported undergraduate enrollment of 10,743 students in Fall 2021, the page still currently has less than 500 followers.
“As far as career, if you’re confused or uncertain there is help, I know it can feel like you’re alone,” said Sicari. “I’ve felt that way a lot of times too. But here, with the right people and guidance, you will find your way.”