As numerous seniors near graduation, landing interviews and connecting with possible employers has become a priority for many. Since the end of February, PCC’s Career Services has hosted a variety of events here at PCC, providing students with the chance to talk with field experts and employers and streamlining the hiring process amid a busy semester. Each function offered students the opportunity to share their résumés, set up interviews, or simply learn about businesses.
The most recent of these events have included two Educator Recruitments and a Career Fair. Almost 100 schools were represented at the Educator Recruitments, and approximately 25 participants including Answers in Genesis, Siemens, Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, and Avalex Technologies met with students through Career Fair.
Anna Maxwell, coordinator for Alumni and Career Services, commented on how these events can help students connect with possible employers. She explained, “These events allow students to . . . establish connections with companies [and] ministries that want to partner with PCC students.”
“For underclassmen, all of these events give students exposure to employers,” added Brad Mullenix, director of Alumni and Career Services. “It is an opportunity for them to ask questions to learn how to boost their employability. What terminology is being used, what experience and certifications are they looking for—knowing this will give them an advantage as they enter the job market.”
Siera Weber (Sr., MT), who is studying elementary education, decided to attend the Educator Recruitment even though she won’t finish her second degree in professional writing until next May. She explained that she wanted to practice her communication skills as well as “see what private schools feel they need to offer their communities.”
“It was interesting seeing the different schools and how they presented the work that they are doing,” Siera said. “Some of the schools would highlight the area and the community in which they were located. Some would emphasize their academics. Others would emphasize the ministry aspects of their schools.”
Drew Fennell (Sr., OH) noticed that going to Educator Recruitment from one year to the next can open up special opportunities. “There were several recruiters that I had made connections with in previous years that I was excited to see this year,” he said. “I had an enjoyable time reconnecting with some schools as well as meeting many new schools for the first time.”
“I think [Educator Recruitment] really helps connections to be made by both the students and the schools,” Drew added.
Shelby Guthrie (Sr., FL) attended Career Fair last year, so she knew what to expect. She went in searching for positions that dealt with graphic and web design. “[Career Fair] helps students understand that there are companies out there that want them,” she said. “There have been multiple times that I’ve walked up to a station who was looking for someone completely different from my major, but they still told me there was a position available for my major.”
As a senior studying marketing, Palik Benjamin (TN) was hoping to get interviews for marketing and sales job opportunities. While he had planned on talking to Chick-fil-A at Career Fair, Palik ended up speaking with the Sherwin-Williams representatives the most. “Companies care how you carry yourself and how you talk to others. Communication is one of the vital features all of my teachers have stressed to me and that is one thing I want to improve at every day,” he said. “Career Fair was a great experience for me, due to the fact that some of the companies actually saw potential in me by just talking to me. I believe that a company can tell a lot more of a person in person than just what they read on paper.”
Though the events were planned to meet specific health guidelines such as social distancing, some students or vendors were not able to meet in person. To accommodate for these limitations, Career Services also organized two virtual events: a Virtual Educator Recruitment and a Virtual Career Fair. Even alumni were encouraged to attend the Virtual Educator Recruitment, which took place in early March through Career Link, the online platform for Career Services. The Virtual Career Fair will take place at the end of March.
“For the virtual fairs, a chat room is available for students to ask the administrators questions,” Mullenix said. “Students can also request a Zoom meeting with the administrator to have a more detailed private discussion about their ministry and needs.”
As students prepare for their upcoming careers or areas of service, Career Services works hard to offer resources—whether through in-person events or online support—to help make the transition smoother.
Knowing that Career Services is there to help can be encouraging to students as they consider their future careers and ministries. “You honestly never know where life will take you, and it is such an encouragement to know that Pensacola Christian College still cares even though we move on and graduate,” Syneaqua Benboe (Sr., FL) said.