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Career Development: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Hidden Gem of Student Services

November 01, 2016

by Nadia Duncan

On a whim, I decided to apply to become a Peer Career Liaison at the Career Development Center during the spring semester of my freshman year. When I applied, I honestly didn’t really know what the position would entail. But, I decided that I needed to branch out and find something to do outside of the performing arts.

Now, in my second semester of the internship, I’m responsible for critiquing resumes and cover letters on the Purchase Jobscore system, as well as conducting walk-in counseling, working the Career Development Center (CDC) table during on-campus events, and shadowing our staff of career counselors during presentations. Whenever I bring up the CDC in conversation with other students, I get a lot of “What’s that?” or “I’ve never been there,” and it’s really shocking how few of us take advantage of this amazing resource that we have on campus.

So, here are 5 things YOU need to know about the hidden gem of the Career Development Center.

  1. You can come in ANY TIME!

Never been to the CDC before? Not a problem! You’re welcome to stop by and take a look around! The Career Development Center is on the 2nd floor of the Student Services Building, on the right side (just look for the orange door). The CDC is open from 8:30am – 5:00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30am – 6:30pm on Wednesdays, and 8:30am – 4:00pm on Fridays. In the office you’ll find hundreds of printed resources, articles and flyers about resume and cover letter writing, grad school opportunities, job and internship opportunities both on- and off-campus, and announcements for upcoming events and workshops!

  1. The counselors are trained to work with EVERYONE!

Oftentimes students seem uninterested in the CDC because they think it’s “not for them,” especially those of us who study within one of the intensive BFA programs here. Our counselors are trained to work with students of all disciplines, and particularly those in the arts. Why wouldn’t they be, when we have a school full of students pursuing so many diverse paths? As a performing artist myself, I understand the disdain for a school-sponsored career planning structure. You may think that they won’t “get it” when it comes to career support for artists. But they’ve helped me, and they can help you, too! What’s so invaluable about our counselors is that they have no interest in trying to steer you away from your artistic passions – they want to guide you and instill in you the knowledge and give you the resources to pursue them! Anyone, of any major, will find a helpful resource at the CDC. This semester, I have been focused on bridging the gap between the students of the School of the Arts and the CDC.

  1. There are FREE events to attend throughout the semester!

Although our biggest, most attended events tend to be the Grad School Expo in the fall semester and the Job and Internship Fair in the spring semester, don’t forget that throughout the entire year the CDC is putting on informative and inspirational events. At the Artistprenuer Panel, recent alumni from our Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts programs such as Visual Arts, Dance, Music, Theatre, and Creative Writing, come back to talk about their career experiences and answer YOUR questions about their success after Purchase. At the Women’s Equal Pay workshop, representatives came to discuss the wage gap and help women, and women of color in particular, to learn strategies for bargaining with their employers and not accepting a salary below what they should be earning. Representatives from outside organizations often collaborate with the CDC to visit Purchase, such as Teach For America at their event earlier this semester. Make sure to take a look at the calendar available online and in person to see what events are coming next – all students of all majors and years are welcome to any of our events!

  1. Alumni counseling services are free for 2 years after graduating from Purchase!

The Career Development Center doesn’t stop working for you once you graduate from Purchase – our counselors are still available to you for career counseling appointments, grad school help, and resume or CV review. Even alumni have something to gain from stopping by in person or calling in to the Career Development Center.

  1. It is never too late or too early to start your career planning!

Whether you’re a freshman who hasn’t decided on a major, or a senior who’s already on the track to grad school, the Career Development center has resources to help you. The Center offers a framework for everyone in every stage of the career planning game. Whether you’re on the hunt for jobs, internships, grad school opportunities or just looking to discuss your options with a qualified professional career counselor, the Career Development Center is a one-stop shop to help you plan for the future.

No matter where you are in your collegiate journey, the CDC has the resources for you. And every single event, workshop, resume review, mock interview, career counseling session and resource document is FREE to any student. What could be better than that?