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Chemeketa helps students get hired

By Jordan Kuga

Chemeketa has numerous ways to help students find paying jobs.

Students who are in the job market should look into the Career Center in Bldg. 2, which offers help with resumes, cover letters, interviews, and lots of one-on-one training for students.

Students also can talk with an adviser about the services that are offered.

Adam Mennig the Career Services coordinator who is in charge of the center’s day-to-day operations, said, “Our respectful staff will meet you where you’re at in the job search process and help you take the next step. Start early and keep at it.”

Mennig has worked at the Career Center for two and a half years. The center itself has been in operation for three years.

Among the services offered:

  • Career Link, which features online job listings for both part-time and full-time positions;
  • Mock job interviews, both in person and online, to help prepare students for real-world experiences;
  • Assistance in completing job applications;
  • Workshops on the skills needed for a successful job search; and
  • Events that help connect students with prospective employers.
  • Kip Carlson, the Student Employment Specialist, curates the set of jobs on Chemeketa’s Career Link.

    “I make sure that we find jobs, that we get them posted, that old ones get taken down. If an employer needs to make an adjustment to a posting, we do that, along with finding new jobs and employers, and also helping students with resumes and cover letters.”

    Carlson has worked at the center for three years.

    The center’s website has as many as 200 job postings at any one time. Last year, close to 400 new employers were listed on Career Link, along with 2,400 jobs posted.

    Carlson said, “The best thing that you can do is get yourself a Career Link account and check it fairly often.”

    Students also can practice a job interview.

    “We have an online interview system where students can record themselves and share that with people,” Mennig said.

    The ongoing career fairs that the center offers are particularly important.

    “In October, we try to do a hired-for-the-holidays event because that’s when a lot of retailers are hiring for temporary or seasonal work,” Mennig said. “Sometimes we’ll focus on programs and do a more targeted fair.

    “We decide what we want our focus to be, and then we invite folks from the past and we also brainstorm ideas of who we think would be a good employer base. We’ve got a variety for different programs and people.”

    According to Mennig, the career fairs attract as many as 25 potential employers.

    So far this year, the center has helped about 30 students find jobs.

    “The hardest thing for most career centers is to track who’s been hired. Part of our goal this year is to do a better job tracking the numbers,” Mennig said.

    One student who received help from the career center is Sarah Wait. Wait made appointments with both Mennig and Carlson.

    “Kip helped me with my cover letter and resume,” Wait said. “He gave me handouts on writing a cover letter and resume. These were very helpful.”

    Wait said she was told after getting the position that she had one of the best cover letters out of the 40 that were read.

    Wait, who was hired in same month that she used the center’s services, said that Mennig helped her prepare for her interview.

    “We went over interview questions and how to focus on keywords for a successful interview,” she said.

    The career center’s services are open to any graduate, “as long as you remember your K number,” Carlson said.

    “Even if you were here 10 years ago, you can come back in.”

    Carlson recalls a student who attended the school in the 1970s who came back in and received help.

    “If you have gone to school here at any point, the services are here for you,” Carlson said.

    Carlson also said that starting in the winter term, a regular column in the student newspaper, the Courier, will offer students helpful advice and tips from the Career Center.

    The best way to get help from the center is to make an appointment with an adviser. Three full-time advisers are available at the Salem campus.

    While Mennig is available at the Yamhill campus every other week for appointments, no advisors are assigned to Chemeketa’s other campuses. Students at these campuses do have access to the online tools that are available, however.

    Carlson said, “Whether you have a job you know you want to apply for, or if you have identified one that you think would be a good fit for you, come in and let us help you out so that your application is absolutely as good as it can be. Come in for a mock interview, or even if you don’t know where to begin looking for jobs.”

    The center is located in Bldg. 2-115. More information is available by calling 503-399-5026, via email at careercenter@chemeketa.edu, or by visiting go.chemeketa.edu/CareerCenter.

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