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AU News

Center for Career Development Provides Students, Grads with Ingredients for Success

Pictured are Center for Career Development staff in front of their new home, the G. Ross Anderson Jr. Student Center (from left): Jensen Barker, Dr. Wendy Smith, Lewis Hightower, Kathleen Smith and Morganne Tankersley.

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The Anderson University Center for Career Development exists to equip students with career competencies so they can achieve success in serving wherever the Lord calls them. 

The Center for Career Development is taking strides toward being more convenient for Anderson University students, having recently moved its offices to the G. Ross Anderson Jr. Student Center and communicating on digital platforms where students are.

“We take very seriously the idea that choosing a career must involve a student’s purpose and what they are called to do for the world,” said Associate Vice President for Student Development Robyn Sanderson. “Our approach involves finding the competencies a company wants to see from prospective employees and figuring out how to develop those competencies in our students. The goal is to holistically equip them not just for a career, but for their unique calling.”

AU PRO, an initiative of the Center for Career Development, helps students prepare for the working world, offering experiences to help them improve written and oral communication skills as well as conveying a professional image—all through a servant leadership lens. According to Coordinator Lewis Hightower, AU PRO offers student career coaching and discipline-specific events where students can learn from employers about what a particular career looks like. AU PRO’s Signature Series is a group of seminars held throughout the semester whose topics include writing professional emails, writing and editing resume, communication strategies, interview strategies, networking strategies and online image.

Graduate school bound students can also turn to the Center for Career Development as well, to help them prepare in the process of being accepted into any of a variety of graduate programs.

Communication-wise, the Center for Career Development moved from doing a biweekly email to regular posts on Instagram at aucareerdevelopment, where videos, job search tips, employment opportunities and news about upcoming events are constantly being posted. According to Center for Career Development Office Manager Jensen Barker, the center used to send out regular emails, which were harder to track and less engaging for students, so their staff wanted to build connections with AU students in a fun, interactive way. Since students always engage on Instagram, they concluded that’s the place to be. With the help and support of the staff, she and the CCD student employees produce videos on various topics ranging from job search tips to skills that will help a new employee navigate their workplace and avoid harmful pitfalls.

In addition to the offices at the Student Center, the Center for Career Development is also available during certain hours and days at the Thrift Library. Center for Career Development staff help students find on-campus jobs and internships and hold workshops and seminars throughout the year.

On-campus jobs can be valuable to students, according to Center for Career Development Director Dr. Wendy Smith.

“Supervisors work around a student’s schedule and they care about their development,” she said. “It’s a win-win for students who work on campus for a variety of reasons. We focus on the NACE career readiness competencies students should be able to develop while in an on-campus position—career and self-development, communication, critical thinking, equity and inclusion, leadership, professionalism, teamwork and technology. I feel like we’re on the front end of that and I’m proud of Kathleen Smith (on-campus student employment coordinator) and Morganne Tankersley (on-campus student employment program manager); they’ve done a great job.”

One powerful tool the Center for Career Development offers is Handshake.

“Universities across the U.S. use Handshake, which functions similarly to but is designed specifically for university students and serves as a central hub for all things related to job searches,” Dr. Smith said. “Students make appointments through Handshake and search for full-time, part-time, internships and on-campus positions. We have over 7,000 employers on Handshake with 62,000 open positions, including full-time, part-time and internships. Smith added, “Internships are valuable because, according to recent research by NACE, paid interns averaged 1.61 job offers.”

The Center for Career Development has also come up with new events, such as Cookies, Coffee, and Critiques, a come-and-go event in the banquet hall of the Student Center where students can connect with others committed to their success. Students drop in for a 15-minute session with a career coach, have their resume or cover letter reviewed, and can grab some coffee and cookies.

Here’s a schedule of upcoming events from the Anderson University Center for Career Development:

  • Let’s be Real: A Look into Deception Theory w/Cassie Webber – October 2, 2023, 10:10 a.m.
  • J.C. Penney Suit-Up Event, 30% off professional attire, Anderson Mall, October 10, 2023, 4-7 p.m.
  • Cookies, Coffee, and Critiques, Come-and-Go Resume and Cover Letter Reviews, Banquet Hall – October 16, 2023, 2-4 p.m.
  • So, You Want to Go to Graduate School? Crafting Stellar Graduate School Application Essays, SC 302, November 13, 2023, 10:10 a.m.
  • Free Headshot Event, SC 304, November 14, 2023, 2-4:45 p.m.

Anderson University Center for Career Development

The Center for Career Development prepares students to live out their Christ-centered purpose and to pursue career readiness to make a difference in their communities, cities and professions. The Center for Career Development seeks to cultivate student’s unique purpose through personalized coaching and corporate experiences to empower ownership in the life-long journey of personal and professional development.

For details about services the AU Center for Career Development offers or to schedule an appointment, visit their website here.


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