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Career Week Gives MC Students, Alumni Sneak Peek into Job Market, Continuing Ed Opportunities

Brennan Heard, a student veteran of Career Week activities, will be seeking internship opportunities for the summer during MC's annual Career Expo.
Brennan Heard, a student veteran of Career Week activities, will be seeking internship opportunities for the summer during MC's annual Career Expo.

Brennan Heard knows all about how Career Week can help Mississippi College students take the next step toward their academic and professional callings.

As a former student worker in Career Development, the senior public relations major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has helped set up each of the events on the Clinton campus that offer a blueprint for effectively navigating the job market or successfully gaining admission into a graduate program.

“I have seen the benefits of Career Week from behind the scenes,” Heard said, “and I was able to find companies that I am interested in working for one day. Now that I no longer work in Career Development, I want to participate in Career Week this year to find a great internship opportunity for this upcoming summer.”

Anna Davis is looking forward to speaking with potential employers during the Career Expo, the penultimate event of Career Week. Participating in Career Week activities leading up to the expo has helped the junior from Bossier City, Louisiana, hone her interviewing skills.

“I am planning to attend as many Career Week events as possible,” Davis said. “As a biology major, I hope to interact with representatives from clinics and hospitals.

“Career Week is a great way for students who are interested in an internship or job to find and meet potential employers. It is also helpful for students to practice interacting with employers and make connections with people.”

Co-sponsored by the Office of Career Development and the Office of Graduate Admissions at MC, Career Week 2023, scheduled for Monday-Friday, Jan. 23-27, is aimed at all classifications of students and alumni of MC. Whether seeking full- or part-time employment, internship opportunities, or a place to obtain their advanced degree, participants can gain a wealth of knowledge about the current job market and continuing education options – all without leaving the Clinton campus.

Shreve Bland, director of career development at MC, said representatives from more than four dozen employers, graduate schools, and seminaries from across the Southeast will be on hand to speak with students at the Career Expo.

“The Office of Career Development wants to help MC students and alumni grow, both professionally and personally,” Bland said. “A big part is helping them learn how to communicate effectively with professionals and build their professional network. Career Week is a time for students to strengthen their professional skills and have the chance to meet many different employers.

“The Career Expo is our biggest event of the year, so we have planned activities every day during Career Week to help prepare students for the expo. These activities are valuable even to those not necessarily looking for a job or know what they want to do for a living.”

Graduate Admissions will kick off Career Week activities on Monday, Jan. 23, with a “Don’t Waffle About Grad School” breakfast from 7:30-10 a.m. in the Alumni Hall gymnasium. Representatives will explain how to apply to graduate school and will offer best practices for successfully navigating the registration process.

“Advice by the Slice,” a pizza party and Bingo game that will reveal information about the Career Expo, is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. on Monday in the Alumni Hall gym. A representative of Service Specialists, a staffing and recruitment agency in the Jackson-metro area, and an employer participant in the Career Expo, will be on hand to offer professional guidance and tips for effective communication.

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the annual “Race to Career Day,” a one-mile fun run in which participants wear business professional attire above the waist and athletic wear below, will start at 5 p.m. in front of Nelson Hall. The event will be loaded with prizes and giveaways for attendees.

“Coffee and Critiques,” an opportunity for students and alumni to have their resumes reviewed by professionals, is set from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. along Pedestrian Street. A Rollin’ Beans coffee truck will provide hot cups of java for participants as they revise their documents.

“We want to make sure everyone feels confident about their resumes going into the Career Expo,” Bland said.

On Thursday, Career Week culminates with the Career Expo, scheduled from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in Anderson Hall upstairs in the B.C. Rogers Student Center.

“Students and alumni are invited to bring their resumes, come in professional attire, and converse with employers of all industries and representatives from graduate schools and seminaries,” Bland said. She said a photographer will be on hand to take professional headshots of attendees, and resume printing services, refreshments, and giveaways will be available.

Students who attend the Career Expo will be entered in a drawing for an iPad. Attendees can receive an additional entry in the iPad drawing for each Career Week activity they attend.

The following day, Career Week will conclude with a “Friday Follow-up” activity from noon-2 p.m. in the Office of Career Development in the basement of Nelson Hall. Students and alumni will have the opportunity to write thank-you notes to the employers they met with during the Career Expo.

“Following up with an employer makes you stand out – it shows that you appreciate your conversation with them,” Bland said. “All the things covered throughout Career Week will help in different aspects of the students’ professional growth. They’ll hear about professional etiquette, and what employers look for in students they meet at the Career Expo; they’ll learn how to build up their resumes, meet with potential employers and graduate schools, and grow their professional network. They will be encouraged to follow up with the employers they meet and ultimately land an internship, part-time job, full-time job, or graduate school opportunity.

“Who knows what kind of conversations and opportunities this fair can lead to in the future for these students?”

Heard, who plans to attend the Race to Career Day and the Career Expo, said Career Week excels at preparing students for internships and jobs.

“Many activities are offered to set up students for success, such as resume reviews, mock interviews, and of course, the Career Expo,” he said. “This is a perfect week for students to take action on their future, and it’s a great opportunity to take away the worry that comes with planning for the future.”

Davis, who enjoys the variety of “fun and serious” activities, said MC students should take advantage of Career Week.

“Even if a future career seems far away, it will sneak up on you in no time,” she said. “It is better to be prepared beforehand rather than wait until the last minute.

“Whether you are a freshman, graduate student, or anything in between, Career Week will be helpful to connect you with potential employers, regardless of whether you are looking for a job now or in the future.”

Students can view an updated list of employers, graduate schools, and seminaries scheduled to participate in the Career Expo on Handshake. For more information about Career Week, click here.