This summer has been amazing in so many ways. I’ve been growing in all areas of my life and it’s really exciting! My internship with the Career Center has been phenomenal thus far and I have unexpectedly become very interested in career development and career services. As an intern I have had the privilege of representing TCC at freshmen orientation, perform resume and cover letter reviews for students, create 2 presentations, give a Prezi training for staff and offer feedback and suggestions on a variety of services and resources. Me and my co-intern have been pretty busy to say the least. This internship has benefited me in several ways. The first is that it has given me insight into a functional area of student affairs that I never thought I would be interested in. The more I learn about career development and career counseling the more I understand the importance and necessity of career services for students. It’s more than just helping students find a job or get into graduate school. Career counseling provides an opportunity for you to guide students on a journey of self discovery. This happens through helping students identify their interests, skills and values which if taken seriously, will lead students into a life full of passion, joy,and fulfillment. Helping students understand the importance of self awareness is key to helping them unlock their potential. I’m sure that not everyone views career services this way, but as I’ve talked with students while just helping with their resumes and cover letters, it seems that even the most confident ones need some reassurance and direction.
This leads me to another amazing discovery I have made about career counseling. My own personal experiences this summer and research studies have found that many students, especially students of color, are more likely to utilize career counseling than other counseling services, even if those services are more appropriate. This means that many times a student may make an appointment to talk about the job search, but there are usually underlying issues surrounding that. It has amazed me how much I’ve learned about students lives through a 15 minute resume consultation. As I ask basic questions about their experiences or the purpose of their resume, students begin to slowly tell their stories. They are stories of unyielding pressure from their parents to pursue a career that makes them miserable. They are stories about being so desperate for a job because their family is depending on them and. These are issues that you would think students would take to the counseling center, but no, they take them to the Career Center. One last thing and perhaps the most important lesson I will take away from my internship so far has been that I truly have a passion for working with students. I am energized by them and feel fulfilled after interacting with them. When I am meeting with students I feel like I’m making a difference. I have a really difficult time with “desk work.” I know now to definitely pursue a position where I will have high access to students. I know this conclusion is nothing new. After all, there would be no student affairs without students!