Career Dating Encouraged at Scranton

Jul 29, 2016

The career development director at The University of Scranton would strongly encourage students to “date their careers” – and to begin the courtship early in their college years.

Christina Whitney, director of the Gerard R. Roche Center for Career Development at Scranton, refers to internships as a way for students to “date” their careers.

“Internships are a way to find out how well suited you are in a field or with a company. It’s a way to see how well you match up,” said Whitney, who explains she has come up with short, memorable phrases through years of working closely with students. “I found using phrases like ‘dating your career’ to explain the benefits of internships gets a students attention and helps them to remember the message.”

The best advice she would give a student is to start the career development process early.

“Going back to the dating scenario, if you plan to marry when you are 25, you don’t begin dating at 24. Students hoping to land a job or enter a post-baccalaureate program at graduation should begin to plan for that moment early – beginning with their first year of college,” said Whitney.

Whitney worked with her team of career counselors and department chairs to develop a “Career Roadmap” for each major offered at Scranton. The roadmap, easily accessible and searchable on the Center for Career Development webpage, provides a year-to-year guide for students, beginning with their freshman year. Each major encourages visits to the Center for Career Development to begin the process early.

After encouraging students to start early, Whitney would tell them to gain knowledge of their field of study.

“The students need to know the attributes or skills needed in their discipline in order for them to develop those qualities during their college years. That way, at graduation, they have a solid resume and possess the skill set that matches what employers or graduate schools in their field desire,” said Whitney.

She calls this the “why should I care” factor.

“If the field calls for strong presentation skills, that is what they care about. Don’t tell them that you are good with a detailed accounting ledger, they won’t care,” said Whitney.

The Career Development Center at Scranton offers students an array of services, including sessions with Whitney and other career counselors. Why? Obviously, because they care.

The University’s Gerard R. Roche Center for Career Development website includes a “Career Roadmap” for each major offered at Scranton that serves a year-to-year career planning guide for students, beginning with their freshman year.

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