University News

CareerLAB’s Project 2019 targets first-years

Program aims to increase students’ engagement with CareerLAB resources earlier in college career

Contributing Writer
Friday, October 9, 2015

This fall, CareerLAB unveiled Project 2019, a series of programs specifically aimed at getting first-years involved in the services and opportunities CareerLAB offers.

Project 2019 was created over the summer by a group of CareerLAB counselors, said Ron Foreman, a CareerLAB advisor. CareerLAB’s increased focus on spurring younger students to engage with the department’s resources arose after counselors noticed students involved with CareerLAB earlier in their college careers typically were more capable of using those resources later on as upperclassmen, Foreman said.

Though first-years have always been welcome to visit CareerLAB, Project 2019 differs from past efforts in that the programs are exclusively designed for first-year students, Foreman said. The hope is that branding the events as first-year specific will increase first-year attendance and interest in CareerLAB, he said. The goal is to “get every first-year in the office in some form,” he added.

Project 2019’s five programs are being offered on a rotating basis throughout the school year. Though some programs — including “How to Find and Fund an Internship for First-Years,” “Careers and Concentrations” and “Effective Interviewing for First-Years” — offer a broad overview of a topic, others such as “Getting Started 101” introduce first-year students to the varied resources available to them at CareerLAB.

“Getting Started 101” provides a setting in which first-year students will be introduced to Peer Career Advisors, upperclassmen specifically trained to aid students with the basics of creating resumes and connecting to CareerLAB’s resources. In the “Getting Started 101” sessions, PCAs offer a broad introduction to skills like building cover letters and conducting job and internship searches.

Through Project 2019, first-years are also encouraged to connect to PCAs during weekly open hours, which are available to all students, as well as additional Sunday open hours that are only available to first-year students.

So far, the Project 2019 programs have been well-attended, said PCA Vannida Lorn ’16.

“Our first ‘Getting Started’ workshop had over 70 people come,” she said, adding that the room designated for the program was “overfilling.”

After students have met with PCAs and learned foundational skills, they can meet with career counselors for a more in-depth conversation. This requirement allows career counselors to better serve the needs of the large number of students seeking out CareerLAB services, Foreman said. More students can receive support if career counselors are able to have conversations beyond “helping students with resumes,” he added.

PCA Elena Saltzman ’16 said Project 2019 has already accomplished its goals of raising first-year involvement with CareerLAB, noting a definite uptick in the number of first-years attending open hours.

Saltzman said she hopes Project 2019 will be successful in showing new students that “not only can you come to CareerLAB, but you should come to CareerLAB.”

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