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Help available for students as they begin job hunting

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Help available for students as they begin job hunting

Career and Employment Services, across from the cafeteria at the Truax Campus, can help students as they begin their job search.

Career and Employment Services, across from the cafeteria at the Truax Campus, can help students as they begin their job search.

Abbey Miskimen/Clarion

Career and Employment Services, across from the cafeteria at the Truax Campus, can help students as they begin their job search.

Abbey Miskimen/Clarion

Abbey Miskimen/Clarion

Career and Employment Services, across from the cafeteria at the Truax Campus, can help students as they begin their job search.

Katie Paape, News Editor

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It is finally the end of the semester. For many students, the years of schooling are complete, and they’re ready to begin careers in their chosen fields. In Wisconsin, there is an abundance of jobs, and it can be difficult to know where to begin looking, or even if you should look in the field you’ve studied.

While the process is often overwhelming for most students, advisors from Madison College’s Career and Employment Services can ease transition into the workforce and are happy to help students turn their interests and passions into rewarding career paths.

“The unemployment rate is at an all-time low,” said Nina Catterall, an advisor from Career and Employment Services. “Across the board, employers are really looking to hire students in almost every industry. It’s hard for employers to find people to fill all the jobs they have open, so it’s nice from the college perspective right now because there seems to be a lot of opportunities out there for students.”

The advisors at Career and Employment Services provide advice anywhere from writing resumes and cover letters, holding mock interviews, giving job search strategies, suggesting internships, helping adult students and out of school youth, and conducting interest inventories to help students choose the right career path.

Additionally, the college has a lot of connections with employers, and advisors help students network and reach out to people in their field.

Catterall recommends students research and explore different fields in the summer and spend some time job shadowing and learning from people who are where they want to be and learn how they got there. This is a great way to find out what you enjoy doing, and “internships are a good opportunity to get some hands-on work,” she notes.

While learning and getting as much experience as possible, Catterall mentions the importance of cultivating soft skills that employers are increasingly seeking. “I think it’s good for students to get skilled at as many soft skills as they can. Time management, organization, and being able to talk to humans face to face,” she said.

Professional, social, and customer service skills are becoming especially important in today’s job market, but there are many skills you may not even realize you have.

“Being at college in a learning environment, you pick up really good skills that are applicable to your career,” said Catterall. “Whether you study psychology, business or nursing, you will gain knowledge you can use in a job that may at first seem completely different from what you studied in school.”

Originally a biology major, Catterall understands how life can lead to different opportunities across many different fields. She spent eight years in human resources, and she now works at Madison College. She advises students to look for open doors and explore new opportunities when they arise because you never know where they might lead, or who you might meet.

“Your career path doesn’t have to be a straight line up or straight line over. It can wind and meander, and you’ll pick up really valuable skills wherever you go,” she said.

“Eventually, I think, and this is my crazy, random philosophy, but everything connects back together.”

You can find the Career and Employment Services right across from the cafeteria Monday through Friday all through the summer. Services for alumni, workshops, and online information are available as well.

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