The Career Development Center at Geneva College not only helps students find and prepare for their callings, it also helps them transition into the post-graduate world and even continues to provide alumni valuable services after graduation. "We are a calling, career and professional development resource," says Rob Rostoni, Director of the Career Development Center.
The Career Development Center sets a high standard of excellence in providing a professional advantage. The seven-person team facilitates over 600 employer interactions, offers thousands of job and internship postings, and successfully completes more than 500 student appointments each year.
Career Counseling Sessions are one of the most well-known services offered by the center. Available for students as well as alumni, the sessions help individuals identify talents, abilities, goals, potential areas of study, career options, related experience, job search strategies and graduate school options. "The value of Career Counseling sessions is for us to check up on each stage of a college career," says Rostoni. "We provide insight into how one is wired and what possibilities are available."
Another program, Student-Alumni Connect, matches alumni with current students based on their fields of study. Through this program, alumni provide guidance for students in their personal and professional lives.
During his time as a student, Daniel Dydek '12 established a connection with alumnus Kevin Robinson. Robinson, who published several novels in the series of Stick Foster mysteries along with many short stories and articles, assisted Dydek through his own publishing journey. Eventually, he connected Dydek with literary agent Joshua Bilmes, who has represented well known authors Brandon Sommerson, Elizabeth Moon and others.
The Career Development Center maintains a two-way relationship with employers through Geneva Job Link. Using this online resource, students and alumni can post resumes, search for jobs and internships, register for career events, and receive job announcements. On the other side, employers have access to post jobs and internships and search the resume database.
Career Development also hosts and sponsors a variety of professional development events specifically tailored for the students. Some of these events include GRE, LSAT, MCAT Kaplan workshops; a summer job and internship fair; a student and alumni networking event; resume, cover letter and job search workshops; a networking and etiquette dinner; an e-portfolio workshop; and more.
New to the center's programming is "Beyond Here: The Senior Success Project." Beyond Here is a set of programs geared towards Geneva College students during their senior year. Within the program, over 20 services specifically address the needs of seniors, involving activities such as resume building, civic engagement, graduate school preparation, workplace challenges and debt management.
Although Career Development may provide a large variety of high-quality features, many feel that its most valuable asset is the staff. Rostoni brings a diverse portfolio of experience to lead operations and efforts. Prior to Geneva, he worked in the Career Development Centers at other colleges such as Aquinas, Calvin and Nyack. He also managed his own private, career counseling practice for five years. Office Coordinator Beth Ann Mine schedules and manages appointments, while Graduate Assistants Sam Duguid and Anna Eichner work alongside Rostoni to counsel students. This year their staff of student workers includes junior middle school education major Melanie McLallen, sophomore business major Geoffrey Hohman and junior music major Molly Lyon.
Mine says, "We are always trying to think of how we can serve our students." As part of this mission, the center started "Resume Drop Ins" last spring. These allow students to bring resumes and have them critiqued. They also offer "Job Search Drop Ins," which assist students with their job search strategies. Resume Drop Ins are every Friday from 10-11 a.m. and Job Search Drop Ins are every Friday from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Both are located directly outside the Career Development Center in the Student Center.
Rostoni encourages students to take advantage of Career Development sooner rather than later. "These things don't happen a week before graduating," says Rostoni. "It is a process, and we would like students to use us every step of the way."
To learn more about Geneva's Career Development Center, schedule and appointment or view the list of upcoming events, click here.
-Benjamin S. Butler '14