What is your role here at CBD College Career Services?
My primary role is to help students in their professional development and get them ready for an externship, i.e., knowing the ins and outs of how to be a working professional beyond their special hands-on skills. I go into their classrooms and teach a program called Career Edge, which is a series of different sessions that helps prepare them for the working environment and interacting with people, as well as the application and interview process.
How can Career Services help me with my job and internship search?
If you really take Career Edge seriously, it definitely can prepare you for the key factors you’ll need in order to be successful in the working world. Here at CBD College, we have all our accreditations, which is great because you have all the hands-on skills to be what you want to be in your specialty. However, you also need to know how to be in the working world and know the rules and regulations and the unspoken language in the office setting, so you can be successful in your craft. What we help you with is getting your targeting résumé, cover letter, thank you letter, reference page, and electronic portfolio all finalized and ready before you go off to externship.
What are the basic characteristics that employers are looking for from someone who just graduated?
They’re looking for a person who is determined, a self– starter. The concept of you being willing to be trained is really important. They need someone who isn’t coming in with a closed mind and takes the feedback and experience they’ve had here at CBD College and on externship as a tool – not the be-all-end-all – so that they can adapt to their office culture. Many times the reason why people aren’t successful or why they leave is that of the office culture, not just the job itself. They’re looking at your energy and personality to balance their team. They also like knowing you’re up–to–date in your current skills; you should meet the minimum requirement of knowledge, or if you don’t they should be able to teach and train you to do it.
What should I start doing today to land the dream job tomorrow?
Make sure you’re building a great relationship with Career Services. It’s really important that from the very beginning, even on your first day, that you make sure we know who you are and that we’re utilizing your interests, where you live, etc. Every school has a Career Services department, but many students don’t visit based on fear or not knowing what we can help you with. You may know what specialty you’re interested in, but we can help you channel your unique qualities within that specialty and find you the right fit with your criteria.
What excites you about helping CBD College Students get placed?
I love seeing students thrive in the working world. Unfortunately, many of us come from the environment where we may not have a corporate or medical background, so the fact that students can walk away with the tools to be successful and use them as life skills is exciting. These skillsets are useful no matter where they work.
Who has been your greatest inspiration or mentor?
My mentor is Professor Bernadine Brodice, one of my freshman college professors. She is an amazing individual, a black woman from the segregated south, and she had such a great energy and passion. She owned her craft when it came to teaching. She inspired me to push myself and grow, not just take the easy way out. The fact that she’s 80 years old and still teaching and doing public speaking has shown me that the sky’s the limit.
Do you have any advice for potential students interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare industry?
Make sure that you really build your network here. Don’t wait until your externship. You’re here with other students who will be in the healthcare field and they can be a connection for you. Diploma, degree, it doesn’t matter. They’ll be working somewhere. If you’re connected with them and their hospital is hiring – who do you think they’ll call? Networking is key, so start at CBD College.